I recently got my very first safety deposit box, and I love it. I love everything about it. I love the shape of the key. I love the official-ness and secrecy of it. I love the little room I get to go in when I take things out or put things in. I love the way the lady says, “Take all the time you need. I’ll be right outside.” She says it so solemnly that I always feel like I’m in a funeral home instead of a credit union. Today, wanting to respect the pseudo-solemnity of the situation, I stood inside the room a few moments longer after I was finished, thinking, What a nice quiet little space. I wonder what they REALLY mean when they say ‘Take as long as you need’. Could I come here and get some writing done? When I came back out, the lady said, “Wow, that was fast!” and I wondered what other people do in there. I mean, how long does it take to put something in a box?
My favorite thing about it though is the element of surprise.
My attention span seems to be getting shorter as I get older and my memory is not what it used to be. (Proof: A common occurrence in my marriage involves me asking the hubby to send me a text message reminding me of something. Four seconds later, I am exclaiming, “Ooo! I got a text!” I am proud neither of my attention span nor my excitement over getting texts.) So, even though I am the only person with access to my safe—not even the hubby has a key yet; I should probably remedy that—I get to play practical jokes on myself.
For instance… last month when I went to access my safe for the first time, I couldn’t think of what all to put in it. I had brought the few important documents that I needed to store, but they looked so small and insignificant inside the 3 x 10 x 22-inch tray that I felt the need to add something else. Unprepared for such a dilemma, I rummaged around in my purse for items to spice up my collection. Later, back at home, I looked around for things to store in my secret compartment that were more fun than birth certificates and savings bonds. I came up with a few.
So today, when I took my new batch of random possessions to the bank (including, but not limited to: a cd of wedding photos and—in order to help prevent The End of the World as We Know It—a greenroom notebook and a Pentel RSVP pen) I was pleasantly surprised to find the twenty dollar bill, stick of gum, and note to myself that I had left there last time.
Seriously, it’s like a time capsule. So much fun.
I love my safety deposit box. I love the fact that is just high enough to be almost out of my reach and for some reason the attendant never helps me get it down. I love wondering what the boxes above and below mine contain. Last will and testament? Unpublished novel? Great-great-grandmother’s wedding band? Skull of a Paleocene rodent? I love keeping a straight face as I walk into the private room, knowing that I have nothing important in my purse and am wasting this employee’s time putting happy meal toys and pink ballpoint pens in my safe. For all she knows, I may not have anything in my purse. Someday, I may just go to sit in that quiet little room and read for a few minutes, or look at my strange little collection and just get away from it all.
Maybe what that box really contains is a small piece of my sanity. I’d better not lose the key.