In my husband's early years he developed a great interest in geology due to the fact that there was a rock collector's store across from his junior high school. He would spend his lunch money on rocks for his collection and on the weekends he would drag his dad out to one of the several known places in the county where fossils could be found. As he grew, his interests changed to girls and cars, but he still kept his rock collection. He joined the navy and after his tour, he met me, we married and he moved his rock collection from his parent's home to ours. Oh goodie!
"You have a lot of rocks," I said.
He said, "Look, this is a fossil of a centipede and one of a fern leaf. I also have a lump of petrified dinosaur poop, look, here it is."
"I am so proud dear." I would say. "Where am I suppose to put all this, we have no shelves and only one end table so far?"
He decided that he would keep them in his cardboard boxes in the bedroom until we could afford a display case. Life got busy and his rocks stayed in the cardboard boxes until one day after we had three children (not all at once), I decided to buy him a display case for Father's Day. Of course this display case would not fit in the house because it was as big as a coffin (only deeper and heavier); it sat on little wooden pedestal legs. I put it in the shop, wrapped it in newspaper and told him to leave it alone. He was curious and thought I had bought him a motorcycle. He had two whole days of happiness thinking about riding his new motorcycle under the stars with his balding head blowing in the wind.
When Father's Day finally rolled around, the kids and I excitedly watched as he peeled the newspaper off his new glass, rock-collector case.
"What the heck is this?" he said trying not to sound too disappointed. After we told him it was a display case for his rock collection, he faked happiness, but for awhile was pretty miffed that we did not buy him a motorcycle. He still has the display case in the shop displaying his collection; although he never did any more with the collection, his chosen occupation deals with rocks - he drives a gravel truck.
We had two more kids, and in the meantime, he saved enough money for a motorcycle. He drove it the eight miles to work one day and scared himself to death. He discovered he was no longer a young man who wanted to ride under the stars, but someone who was barely strong enough to keep his motorcycle from being sucked under a passing truck. He came home and sold it; then he went out to the shop and polished his rocks.