I accidentally broke my pledge.
It really was an accident, I swear. There was this flea market at school, and there was this bottle, and I thought it was beautiful, and I bought it without even thinking.
The church ladies had been setting up tables covered with old crap donated by other church ladies. They were carefully putting prices on lace tablecloths, vintage costume jewelry, and tiny plaster figurines.
The bottle caught my eye: cut glass, with a huge, hollow glass stopper, and a slightly-scratched-up metal label that read "I.W. Harper Bourbon." The cork--darkened, dried and cracked--wrapped around the glass neck of stopper, flanked by two dingy plastic rings. The bottle had no cracks or chips, but the glass under the label on the inside of the neck of the bottle itself was discolored with whimsical brown stains.
"I like this!" I told my friend NurseLady. "I think I might buy it."
"You should," she said. "It's pretty." So I plopped down my money and collected my new treasure. It wasn't until a half hour later that I realized that I'm supposed to be having a purchasing moratorium.
When I showed it to my friend Abba, she was underwhelmed. "You bought that nasty old thing?" she asked. "Why?"
"Because I think it's cool," I said.
"Let me see it," she said. She popped the stopper off and peered in. It was a teeny bit brown around the edges, and the cork had seen better days. "Ew," she said. "Just...ew. It's hideous. How much did you pay for it?"
"Ten dollars," I told her.
"TEN DOLLARS!" she screamed. "You are kidding me! A DOLLAR, maybe! But TEN! WHAT were you THINKING?"
"Um, I like it?" I said.
"You can't put anything in this, you know," she said.
"Why not?" I said. "It's clean."
"NO!" Abba screamed again. "You CANNOT put anything in this. It has someone else's disgusting yuck in there!"
"You just have no appreciation for beauty," I told her. "This bottle is an object of beauty."
Abba handed the bottle to LunchMom. "Mom," she said, "Look at this. Would you put anything in there?" LunchMom tilted her head and squinted at my new treasure. "Bleah," she said succinctly. "It's disgusting. Throw it out."
"E. Peevie bought it," Abba told her mom. "Guess how much she paid for it?"
"A dollar?" said LunchMom.
"TEN!" said Abba. "Ten DOLLARS! Can you believe it?"
"No way!" agreed LunchMom. "That thing belongs in the trash."
Well, I like it. I brought it home, and Mr. Peevie thinks it's cool, too. So it's going to have a place of honor on the bookshelf in The Green Room--the actual, literal green room.
C. Peevie picked it up and looked it over.
"What's this?" he asked.
"I bought it the other day," I said. "What do you think?"
"It's old," he said, "...and disgusting." What does he know? He's 14.
Whatever. I like it. I might fill it with colored water, a different color, depending on the season, or holiday, or time of year. I might fill it with marbles. I might keep it empty.
You know what they say: One man's trash is another (wo)man's treasure.