I've long wanted to replace the musical jewelry box with a ballerina that was misplaced in the course of my own displacement (country/city, before/after), but the few fleeting recollections I have of what that particular box looks like are further and further apart as time goes on, and are becoming more and more vague on the horizon, making the process of finding a match quite arduous. I'm no longer sure that it's somewhere out there, and that I'll know it when I see it.
Some family legend (3rd Person):
How cunning of a five-year-old, to observe gifts beneath the Christmas tree and to notice the pair that are shaped the same, one with her own name on the tag, the other with her three-year-old little sister's name on it. To then convince her little sister that we can open these ones now, even though, in fact, no permission has been given to do so.
To then tattle on her little sister for opening a gift before Christmas and to make a plea, in turn, to be able to do the same, or it's not fair.
Moreover, even if she isn't able to open a gift, she wins, because she's seen her little sister's and knows what it is and that she has one of the same.
There's a missed opportunity if the five-year-old chooses to open the gift that's the same as her little sister's (a musical jewelry box with a ballerina inside), instead of choosing to open a different gift, thereby, in a sense, getting to open two gifts before Christmas. But maybe she is satisfied with the one.
Those were the golden years, before the new foundation was poured.
Long-gone, now, the years and the box.
Every once in a while, though, I look for the box again, if only to enable the part of me that thrives on the reclamation of what's been lost. I look in the archives, among the artifacts therein and herein (wishful thinking), and I look online to see if it/or one like it is for sale.
Commonly used search terms:
Inventory of vintage stock is low, shipping alone, exorbitant, but I do window shop, so to speak--or, for our purposes here, I coordinate the logistics for a little known enterprise called the Bureau of Ballerina Music Box Reclamation (BBMBR). I also hold auditions.
Shipping is, in fact, so exorbitant it's more cost effective in most cases to purchase a new box, and due to relevant budget constraints and a general lack of investors interested in funding my obscure enterprise, conservative spending is certainly vital to the longevity of any given project undertaken here.
Buying new boxes (assuming affordability) might, in other words, be an option if quantity was the primary objective for accumulation, but, in fact, quality matters most, particularly in the context of the nostalgia my enterprise strives to evoke.
More specifically, the ballerinas inside most of the relatively affordable new boxes don't wear tulle or any other fabric for a tutu--oftentimes, the tutu of a new box's ballerina is part of her mold, making her just that much less real, that much further from the heart of the matter.
For what it's worth, I suppose one could say a certain brand of grief endured in my recent past--and beyond that felt about what was lost to me as a child--has, over time, developed into an urgent proclivity toward buying every vintage box that I found while scouting for them at various Value Villages and Goodwills, and, with that, a collection was born.
I have, henceforth, also felt a strange sense of responsibility to appreciate the troves and would buy them all if doing so were in the budget (it should be for a bureau whose mission is reclamation), but that's a separate matter altogether, as are any present accusations of sentimentality and the court proceedings that will, presumably, follow.
One can buy spare ballerinas (presumably, vintage), to replace missing or broken ones, or to swap out the contemporary ones, and/or the unicorns, but, again, there's only so much inventory, and one ballerina, plus shipping, makes it more cost effective (once more) to accumulate new boxes--or to seek them at thrift stores, or, better yet, to advertise interest in free ones, however long a shot.
One Vintage Ballerina Jewelry Box Replacement - (1pc) Miniature Plastic Ballerina - Jewelry Box Replacement Ballerina
My eldest daughter recently discovered the BBMBR collection of boxes on the high shelf in her closet, and she and her brother argue over them constantly now. I cringe when drawers and keys go missing, or when another ballerina vanishes from her spring with no trace, no lipstick kiss on the mirror, no scrap of tulle, no trail of golden dust.
The children are also taken with tiny treasures (their own whimsical obsessions) that they can put inside the boxes, which is endearing and reminds me of myself as a child (not much has changed in that regard), but is also problematic when their baby sister who just learned to crawl wants to put everything in her mouth.
Needless to say, I'll do my best as the choreographer of their lives to make sure what my children love doesn't get lost, but I do see how easily it can happen, even to the best in the business.