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This post is part of my 2022 Word Project. You can read what that’s about here.

Tuesday, August 29, 2023

For my birthday, my friend Kaarina, who is this magical unicorn of gift-givers and always finds the positively coolest things, sent me a TINY Hello Kitty. I mean, it can’t be more than a half inch. It’s so stupid cute.

I put it on one of my bar shelves and subsequently forgot about it, because … wait, what am I doing here? Oh yeah, writing a blog.

Anyway, I put it on a shelf, forgot about it, then went to make a drink the other day and there it was, this tiny Hello Kitty looking at me. And it made me smile.

Then, it might surprise you to learn this, I know, but I forgot all about it again, and a few days after that I was making another drink, and there it was. I was delighted to find it.

Look at her sitting there being tiny! How could that not make you smile?

My big Hello Kitties are also delightful, but I see them every day so it’s hard to forget they exist when they are inserted literally into every corner of my line of sight. The tiny Hello Kitty is so tiny as to be completely unnoticeable until I go to a very specific shelf and then there she is, a half inch of joy.

It gives literal meaning to the phrase it’s the small things in life.

I’ve always loved tiny things. After 50+ years of trying to figure out why I do/say/think/like/dislike the things I do, I doubt there is anything now that’s going to explain it, so let’s agree that I like tiny things for no reason whatsoever except that they are so very cool.

My parents have always acquired tiny things for me. As a kid I had tiny dolls and tiny animals, tiny beads and tiny flowers. I had teeny tiny clothespins in pink and blue that hung teeny tiny clothes. I just loved that things came in this miniature size. I have a quantity of these things still, tucked in a box in an attic in Brigantine. They are my treasures.

Over the past few years my parents have made me a collection of tiny glass animals. They found them in a little shop near Brigantine and every time they go they find a new manifestation of tinyness. I have an octopus and a chicken, a rooster and a cat, a lion and a zebra and a squirrel and quite a lot more. And a Santa Claus. I’m not sure how he got into the equation but whoever makes the tiny animals made a tiny Santa so it was very important that I have him.

These teeny tinies greeted me when we moved down to Brigantine for the first time. Happy Place, indeed.

Most of them are also… great travesty… in the attic, but I do have one that my mother sent to me here. He sits on my desk waiting for his friends.

My teeny tiny animal, barely as tall as the base of the candle on my desk. So cute!

For some reason the chicken is always drunk.

Keep him away from my bar shelves!

One of my favorite parts of having tiny things is that you can fit a whole lot of them in a tiny space, so you don’t have to worry about cluttering things up and nobody is going to say why do we have all this junk in here?? 

I mean, it’s hard to hide my empty bottle collection or my empty candle jar collection. When I accumulated 25 empty cigar boxes, we had to have a Conversation about whether these things were Important and maybe we could just keep one or two? But there has yet to be a debate about the 25 buttons I love.

Plus when you have a tiny collection you can sit down on the couch when you’re bored and feeling boring, and open your tiny box onto a universe of fun things. And then you can try to figure out where they came from and why you have them in the first place, until you remember, oh yeah, because they’re TINY THINGS! And that will explain everything.

Some years ago Ralph and I printed up tiny containers and filled them with M&Ms as a marketing thing we did, and after that was done I kept one of the boxes in my collection, which doubles as a tiny collection collector.

It has a few seashells and stones, because of course it does. It has a bead from a tiny bead collection I had as a kid and even though I still have all the rest of the beads, this one rebelled and made its way into my tiny box all on its own. I have a bullet, which to be honest I can’t remember why I kept, but the good news is it was never fired at me, or anyone else for that matter. It has some tiny confetti monkeys from my sister-in-law’s baby shower ten years ago, but these things are important when you have tiny collections. And it has a sparkly button that was on a dress my mother wore once, the day she glowed like a fairy princess with halos and rainbows all around her. I can conjure up that memory every time I see that button.

These are a few of my favorite things.

As a kid, Kevin and I collected tiny mosaic tiles that somehow ended up scattered up and down the street where my grandparents lived. I don’t know why they were there but I do remember we’d squee with happiness every time we found another one, like we’d never seen a tile in our lives and didn’t have about a hundred others that we’d already collected. That collection has long since been lost but the memory remains. I think of it and it makes me smile.

I highly recommend keeping a tiny collection for days when you’re feeling especially boring and need a tiny nudge. Tiny things have the effect of bringing huge smiles and now that I’ve remembered this fact, I can forget the Hello Kitty again until the next time I go to make a cocktail and find her waiting there to be discovered.

Photo: even Mother Nature collects tiny things.