gun case full o' marblesso my ex-boyfriend is coming to town this weekend. which means it's time for my annual pilgrimage to one of the worlds oddest places -- the marble convention. ritchie is a punk rocker teacher who takes in stray animals and deals marbles on the side. he once stole my heart by meeting my bus with a bag of hamsters clutched in his hand. he had rescued them from drowning in a trash can. he's that kind of guy. and he buys, sells, and collects marbles.

and once a year, for almost a decade now, i go spend time at the convention in marlborough. it's funny the things you do for ex-boyfriends. while i might not actively pursue this hobby on my own, i have a tiny collection of marbles, and can speak knowledgeably about agates and handmades and christiansons and peltiers, and i can even spin the marble urban legend tale about The Golden Rebel. but i generally don't unless ritchie's in town.

when rich and i dated, a million years ago now, i spent my time watching his various hard core bands play in dirty clubs. i did the same when we were in college together. it's what you do when you're dating somebody -- you take on odd habits and quirks and loves of theirs. if you're lucky, it's stuff like favorite restaurants or music you listen to or a penchant for Aqua Teen Hunger Force. and maybe it you're unlucky you find yourself robbing houses.

but if you're really unlucky... they make you a red sox fan.

almost every guy i've ever dated has tried to make me a fan of the red sox, and for many years i could avoid it. then, about four or five years ago, it got under my skin. and i found myself watching games when there was nobody *making* me do it. i was finally a fan. i don't talk much about it. i live in fear that somebody will expect me to rattle off stats or, worse yet, ask me to join in their fantasy league, but it's there.

i used to think that these guys were just trying to bond and share a great love of theirs with me. ha! these guys... these guys... were freaking sadists. these guys wanted to teach me the pain and desperation that comes with being a red sox fan.

so the marble convention is coming to town, and once again the sox are in post season. and once again i am cursing every man i have ever dated.


sarinche said...

Who else thinks bandit should'a been a writer? Really, you have quite a talent for the prose!

Anonymous said...

interesting. marbles. my sister in law's dad has a marble factory that manufactured the first American made Cat's Eye marbles.

bandit said...

uh, serious? do you happen to know which company? from what i understand (warning -- geek marble talk coming up!!) the first cats eyes were made in japan, and then the technology was brought over here sometime during WWII. that sound about right? i thought marble king was first with u. s. cats eyes, but i could be wrong...

let me know, it would give me some major street cred with the punk rock marble collector... all those early machine mades are his total passion!

Rob_Gordon said...

serious. My brother is married to a howdyshell, and they own marble king. I wondered why I got marbles for christmas for a few years.

as for the cat's eyes:
"The mid-1950s witnessed the introduction of catseye marbles from Japan to the American market, an event that crippled the U.S. marble manufacturers and even sent some out of business. In an effort to battle this blow, Pinky, Howdyshell, and Duncan Peltier (son of Sellers) traveled to Japan in order to purchase the machinery necessary for producing catseye marbles. Negotiations failed, but not before they managed to learn how to copy Japanese techniques. In 1955 Marble King introduced its own line of catseye marbles, which enabled the company to survive.

Earlier methods to reduce costs and keep the company profitable included a technique called "veneering," which was reportedly developed by Howdyshell. By this method, white-based glass was covered with colored glass, which was much less expensive than using colored glass for the base."


Pandora said...

post some marble pics?