Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Rings, Medals and Xboxes - assignment.

Rings by Kiley Granberg 

I decided to take the route of pen and paper for my interview, I felt it was a lot more personal and also meant I took in more information instead of recording it, nodding where needed and glazing over dreaming of other things while the interviewee told me their live stories, well, favourite possessions.
I asked them these questions while conducting my interview:

1.If your house were on fire, what possession would you save?
2. How old were you when you got this possession?
3. How long have you had it for?
4.Does it have a retail value, how much did it cost?
5. Was it given to you as a gift or self bought?
6. What does it mean to you?
7. Is it replaceable, how would you feel if it got broken or lost?
8. Is it one of a kind?
9. How does it make you feel?
10. Would you ever let anyone use/borrow/have it?

I decided to ask men and women at different ranges of age to see if there was a link or not.

I noticed that women instantly chose a piece of jewellery, mostly a ring, be it a wedding ring or a ring passed down through their family.
I noticed that their opposite hand instantly went to their ring and played with it. As if to check it was still there and had not slipped off.

The women that had chosen their wedding ring were obviously still married, and a woman I asked who was divorced answered that a ring, given to her by her mother was her “chosen possession” Though it was a wedding ring, it held a different meaning of love, but her family’s love and the bond between her mother and father.

Asking the women who answered with their wedding ring, I then asked what would happen if it got lost or stolen. Their faces instantly fell, and again they twisted their wedding ring about their finger. I got varied answers that all basically said that they would be devastated but they could always get a new ring, as the meaning of a wedding ring was still with them, being their husband.

However, the lady who answered, her mother’s wedding ring, face fell like the others except she clutched her hand instead of just twisting the ring. She said she would be utterly devastated as her mother and father had both passed away, and it was almost as if it was her last, touchable memory of them.
With this type of possession it was a lot more sentimental than a wedding ring, I thought. As the other women stated, they could always get a new ring, their husbands and the rings meaning would always be there, as long as the marriage lasted, but completely the opposite for the other lady. She could never get the same ring or her mother and father back.

They were worth sentimental value rather than retail value.

The men however chose other things. Young teenage boys tended to go for a piece of technology, like an xbox or a playstation. With technology these days, people are able to communicate through online gaming, so their choice of possession has a social aspect to it. They could loose all their “status points, medals and friends” on it if they lost their console.
Although a virtual possession, they had still worked hard for them. Almost like the saving of money to buy a wedding ring.

Their possessions didn’t have as much of a sentimental value, more a retail value. But I think this is because they are still “young” and living their lives. They haven’t encountered marriage yet or any other “big” thing to happen in their life, like a war…

Which brings me to my next point. I asked a man what his chosen possession would be, and he said it was a medal from his grandfather from the 1st world war. Obviously a more “masculine” piece of jewellery similar to the lady who had her mothers wedding ring.
I asked him what would he do if he lost it and he shook his head and said that it would be possibly one of the worst things to happen. He said that it meant to much to him and that it made him so proud that his grandfather had helped fight in The Great War.
Though not on display like the other jewellery pieces that were chosen, it still meant a great deal to him, if not possibly more. Again, a huge sentimental piece, that although it would be worth a good deal of money, he wanted it to be passed down generations in his family so his grandfathers story could be told, and also so people wouldn’t forget about the wars in time.

These jewellery pieces may not have been one of a kind (least some were not) but they all held a completely different story and meaning to their owners.

I don’t think they were pieces to be borrowed as no one can really wear someone else’s ring unless it is given to them. So these pieces would be handed down generations I feel.
Unless we are talking about the xbox and playstations, where you might be given one, if they had a spare! 

1 comment:

cap'n scurvy. said...

i would save:
my mac, my xbox, my graphic novels, my vengeance trilogy box set, my digital and film slr's, photographs, some drawings, some vinyl and my glow worm.
i hate that question. keeps me up at night, as a child i had a plan. i would put all my favourite things in a duvet tie it up with my dressing gown cord and throw it out the window.
as i've got older i find it easier to adopt a buhddist appproach to material posessions, the only thing i would really risk myself for is a photo of my dead cat.
i was obsessed in 3rd year with the emotions and importance people charge physical objects with and started comparing mementos with religious reliquaries.
i think the importance people charge these objects with has a lot to do with personal identity as much as anything.