In October I had to move out of one apartment two weeks before I moved into my new place. During that time I stayed at a friend's. And developed a new appreciation for a tiny, silly present my last boyfriend gave me.
The dish scraper. It's a flat plastic squarish-shaped thing you use to scrape food off dishes that you're washing. During my two weeks of homelessness I reached for it a thousand times. My happiest unpacking moment was finding it again. It works on anything baked on and then it washes clean itself. No more icky cheese particles embedded in the scratchy part of your sponge.
The funny part of the dish scraper (besides how much I prize it) is that he only gave it to me because it came in a package of two. I saw it by his sink and asked what it was, and he told me I could have one. It's not like he set out to change my life or endear himself to me forever or anything.
And most boyfriend presents are like that. I mean, the stuff you remember later is always throwaway stuff like that. For instance, Josh got me a FasTrak application and made me fill it out. Every time I cross the Bay Bridge, I think a little thank you to Josh. (Who otherwise I would totally wish I'd never met.)
Same with friends and people you once worked with -- they change your life in tiny cool ways that don't seem important at the time. (Except the friend stuff keeps happening, and adds up way too fast to count.)
My last boyfriend also introduced me to Olivier Messiaen and countless other incredible composers. But it's the dish scraper that really got to me.