What: Red Vase

Where: It’s packed in a box in the US now, but it would normally be displaying flowers or sitting prettily on a shelf.

How: Purchased myself at Pier 1 Imports a long time ago

I was thinking of things that I’ve had for a long time and this vase popped into mind. You’ll have to forgive the picture; it’s the only one I could find, from Christmas a few years ago. The vase is safely packed back home since I couldn’t find a practical reason to bring it all the way to Amsterdam.

There’s nothing that special about the vase, it’s just a regular thing. It didn’t hold my wedding flowers, it wasn’t a gift from a special person, and it’s not exactly a Ming or Wedgewood. But I really can’t imagine my home without it.

I bought it for myself way back in high school, on a whim. My tastes have changed a lot since that time, on the road to college and beyond, and a lot of items have ended up in the Goodwill pile. But not this! I consider it the perfect red, the kind you look for in lipstick but never find. The color is bright and bold without being too overwhelming, and it makes the perfect pop on the shelf. If I saw it in a store today I would still buy it, which is something I can’t say for most of the things I owned and liked at 16.

And every time I move it gets carefully packed up and brought along to grace the shelves of yet another apartment, a pop of perfect red wherever I go.