I recently made a public spectacle of myself in the middle of Treasure Mart (a local antique store) when I stumbled across a slightly-used wooden aardvark of middling size. I instantly clutched him to my chest and proceeded to leak hysterical tears of mingled adoration and mirth. After ten minutes of happy wandering, I was shamed out of buying him by my less whimsical companions. With an overwhelming sense of unease, I tucked him under a quilt so he could observe passers-by from a shelf perch.
For two days, I couldn’t shake off the reckless feeling that I Must Own Him. I felt guilty and on edge. I finally gave in, and rushed back to Treasure Mart after work to execute a search and recovery mission. I started in the basement where I’d left him…no aardvark. I got a little nervous, but hey, there are three floors. Forty-five minutes later I had frantically torn through every shelf, drawer, and storage-unit. I looked in things, under things, on top of things, behind things, and I was eventually forced to admit that he just. wasn’t. THERE.
I just couldn’t understand how anyone but me could develop a strong enough attachment to the ridiculous creature to take him home. So why wasn’t he there?! I trudged home sadly, wishing I’d had the good sense not to abandon something that so clearly needed me to love it. I tried to forget over a sewing project, but that quickly proved to be a hopeless attempt.
Suddenly, there was a knock on the door. I opened it…and there was no one there. I looked about in confusion, and my eyes fell to the floor.
My aardvark. There he was, with his funny snout forward and a bow tied about his stout little belly. David, knowing the strength of my internal aardvark-related struggles, had rescued him for me over lunch just hours before my panicked search.
While it’s impractical to buy every little thing that demands one’s love, this was truly an unavoidable exception.
(Disclaimer: Yes, I realize he was probably intended to be a pig. Aardvark tails are longer and thicker, and they have long stout legs. No, I don’t care. His face is too perfect, and he fooled the antique store. Good enough for me; aardvark he is!)