Saturday, February 26, 2005

Tiny dominos

Dominos When I was five or so, I had a set of tiny dominoes, given to me by my grandfather, hand-carved out of what I suspect was ivory. Each domino was about a half-inch by a quarter-inch, and they fit perfectly into a little case, also of carved ivory or whatever, with a sliding lid. The whole thing was about three inches long by an inch wide by an inch tall. It was beautiful, and I wanted to bring it to school for show-and-tell. My mother told me not to, fearing that I would lose it. I argued fervently that I would not, and eventually, unable to convince me, she simply forbade me to bring it (the fabled "because I said so" argument that, now that I am a parent myself, is so familiar). Of course, I brought them anyway, and of course, I lost them. I don't have many heirlooms from my grandfather, and the fact that I lost this one due to my own stubbornness and stupidity saddens me to this day.

These dominos, of course, are in many ways what that lost set was not. They're cheap, plastic, and mass-produced. Still, they are a set of little dominos in a case, and for now they are my only substitute for and reminder of that lost set. Someday, I will find a set like the one I lost (probably on eBay), but until then, this one will have to do. It is also a nicely portable toy for the kids to play with when we are waiting for a pokey restaurant order. And if I lose this set, I am certain it will not be nearly so difficult to find another one like it.

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