This is my nail kit. My sister has its twin. The nail kits were a Christmas gift to us from our aunt on my dad's side. Being approximately seven (my sister) and thirteen (me) when we received the kits, we were naturally as excited about unwrapping them as we were about unwrapping, say, socks or underwear.
But over the years, my sister and I have come to agree that the nail kits were one of the most practical and best gifts we've ever received. My nail kit has been with me through high school, college, moving to North Carolina, getting married, moving to Madison, and all the spaces in between. Whenever my sister and I visit one another and one of us by chance asks for a nail file or cuticle clipper, the other one grins as the familiar dark green case appears. "I still have mine, too!" we exclaim.
As is evident from the photo, the nail kit has seen better days. Yet I'm uncharacteristically loathe to part with it. I'm usually pretty adament that anything falling apart, torn up, or just generally disintegrating needs to be replaced. A hoarder, I am not.
But I can't bring myself to replace the kit. I'm not sure if it's sentimentality or stubborness. My sister feels the same. We've both gone to CVS or Target and looked at replacement nail kits. It's not like buying one is going to break the bank. But I don't know those nail kits. Every time I pull out this falling-apart wreck of a case, it's a reminder of all the years gone past. I see myself as a teenager in its dark green pleather wrapping. I remember moving after college to a state where I didn't know anyone when I run my hand over the the soft green interior. I hear laughter and see tears and just feel memories every time I hold it.
Yeah. It's a lot to ask of a nail kit.
Although I still glance occassionally at nail kits in stores, I'm pretty sure I'll end up bringing this same kit--wrapped in duct tape at that point--with me to the nursing home. The other residents will bring pictures or blankets or stuffed animals that hold meaning for them.
Me? I'll just cuddle up with my nail kit.