Written for Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt Glass



Yes that’s the word that comes to mind when I read glass. My mother has come up with a remarkable way to combine her favourite cause with her favourite compulsion. Every time our local orphanage organizes a jumble sale (and that is usually every six months) she goes there and buys all the crystal and porcelain she can find. As a result our house is gradually starting to look more like curio barn.

There is no flat surface left empty in the living room. The glass topped coffee table has crystal above and crystal below. The ornamental fireplace boasts of crystal vases in lieu of coal. We have a big basket chandelier with matching wall lights, a beautiful pair of glass bottomed table lights and at least half a dozen candle sticks scattered around, but of course the only light that we actually use is the tube light!

A month back we were visited by three rather energetic kids between the ages of two and six and I had to skitter around the room relocating everything that was fragile and within arm’s reach. The easiest place to dump them was the dining table, after which of course I was really hoping that they would leave before supper, because the table was piled high with stuff now, and if I had to relocate it all away from there, the only place left would be my bed!

There was a time when every time she came back from one of her scavenging forays we would launch into a long verbal duel. I concede that I never emerged victorious from one of those, but I liked to think that had I not put up that resistance, the size of her loot would have only grown. But now that she’s older and I’m wiser, I try not to scream as much. I am now very clumsy and tend to knock things over, or get forgetful and misplace the truly outrageous stuff. She doesn’t question me too much at such times. A subtle truce I suppose. Moreover ever since dad’s passing I’m really trying to hold my tongue. A silly ‘better a compulsive hoarder than none’, ‘try not to say anything I’ll regret about later’ theory. Of course the smart lady is really riding the sympathy wave.

The other day I told her, “Mum, you do realise that after you I’m going to send all this right back to the orphanage for their next jumble sale.” No, she wasn’t upset. On the contrary she just smiled and replied, “Yes. You should do that. Along with all the useless electronics your father had collected. Donate it all on our names.”

2 thoughts on “The Crystal Barn

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