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“The Things I Carry”

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I carry so many things, so many insignificant things, things that you would never think could hold so much meaning.

Chapstick.
No, I do not carry it for fear of coming across Prince Charming and diving into his arms for the fairy-tale kiss. But I do fear chapped lips; it is more of a phobia (chapped-obia?). I was eight years old in the Alps of France over winter break when no one informed me that chapstick would be a good little soldier in my pocket to defend my lips from the enemy: the cold (and cue the evil soundtrack). Cracked, dried, irritated lips soon came my way, and Superhero Chapstick came to save the day.
I prefer Burt’s Bees Pomegranate Replenishing Lip Balm with Pomegranate Oil (ingredients: sunflower seed oil, beeswax, coconut oil, castor oil, lanolin, comfrey root, pomegranate oil, sweet almond oil, anise oil, cassia, cinnamon leaf oil, clary sage oil, mandarin oil, tocopheryl oil & tocopherol, rosemary leaf extract, carmine, fragrance). The ingredients (not that I actually know what they all mean) are the perfect army of soldiers against the weather. One day, as I was roaming through the aisles of Walgreens, I stumbled upon this new magical creation. I read the ingredients (finally, a chapstick without the fraud Petroleum Jelly) and knew at once that it was the equivalence of nectar from the Greek Gods.
And I knew from there on that it was love at first sight; Burt’s Bees Pomegranate Replenishing Lip Balm and Sandra Marianne Hamaoui, together forever in holy matrimony.

A gold bracelet.
People always say that my grandmother, Claire, and I are the same person: we have a tendency to love unimportant “girly-girl” things. Perfume, jewelry, make-up, and clothes - what most would describe as a bunch of superficial nonsense. However, this “superficial nonsense” is sometimes important to my grandmother and me. But do not be fooled; though we may appear to be gentle “girly-girl” delicate beings, looks can be deceiving. (Caution: Grandmother and granddaughter not to be messed or fooled with).
Two years ago, I was sitting in my grandmother’s room going through boxes and heaps of vintage jewelry when I came across a little gold bracelet. I picked it up and it smiled at me, a glimmer in its eyes. My grandmother looked at it with tenderness in her eyes, reminiscing of what the bracelet seemed to carry. She told me to keep it. So I did, and I carry this bracelet ever day.
The bracelet, which lies on my left wrist, inscribed the word, “Claire,” in a hand-crafted gold cursive. People look at it and say, “Oh how pretty! What does it say – Love?” “No,” I respond, “It says, ‘Claire.’” But it practically means the same thing.

My laugh.
An obnoxious, piercing, chilling and cringing sound. It is a cacophony of sounds: it starts off as a loud cackle, and then shatters to a high pitched, ear- piercing alarm. Kind of like a loud ascending and choppy “HA HA HA,” a short pause, and finishes off as a high-pitched and punctual “HE HE.” My laugh is loud and noticeable and unafraid of the judgmental stares; in fact, my laugh laughs in the face of judgment!
People hear it, and they know it is me. Even if it is not the most flattering of laughs, it definitely carries a whole lot of personality!
Chapstick, a gold bracelet, and my laugh. My chapstick holds my fear: it told me that I was growing up and had to care for myself and that I had my own responsibilities; my bracelet holds my love and passion: it carries my family and what my family has taught me; and my laugh carries my personality. All these things that once seemed so insignificant have shown me that there is more to them than just “superficial nonsense” or sound. The things I carry embody my individuality and my being; these things I carry represent me.





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