A paperweight and a lesson in parenting

If any of you loyal readers work for or have any connections with the top brass at Victoria's Secret, please make sure they read this column.

The Story Behind the Object

My wife is a travel agent, which means we travel a decent amount. From 2014 through 2016, we took a cruise every year, though that streak ended in 2017. However, last calendar year we still managed to visit Phoenix (as you may have read), Walt Disney World, D.C., and Knoxville (to see the Heels play the Vols), so travel still took place, just not on a ship.

We are frugal (some may even say "cheap") in many other areas in order to be able to travel, but we've made the conscious decision to spend money on making memories and not buying junk. Note that my Carolina Collectibles are not junk, though I can see how you might be questioning the validity of my claims. Also, in my defense, the vast majority of my Tar Heel paraphernalia has been given to me.

At any rate, in early 2015, we were preparing for a Royal Caribbean cruise to the Bahamas, St. Thomas, and St. Maarten. For my wife, "preparing for a cruise" means digging out the passports, pulling out all the luggage, and mapping out outfits for each 4 hour increment of every day. For me, and I assume every other man on the face of the planet, "preparing for a cruise" means buying bikinis. For my wife. Not for me.

So I hopped online and navigated myself to the Victoria's Secret website. They happened to be offering free shipping on all orders over $50, so I made sure to purchase enough swimsuits (three) to exceed the $50 mark. Having just shelled out the cash for a cruise, we didn't exactly have a ton of money laying around to spend on swimwear, so the plan was to try on the three swimsuits (again, and I can’t state this clearly enough - my wife did the trying on, not me), pick one to keep, and return the other two.  And that's what happened.

To avoid paying shipping on the returns, we took the two unwanted suits back to the physical store in Southpoint Mall one night after dinner. It was a whole family affair, which at that point meant my wife and I, plus our almost five year old son and our two and a half year old daughter. Once we got in the store, my wife decided to try on another swimsuit that she saw when we walked in. She took our daughter into the dressing room to get her expert opinion, while I stayed out on the sales floor with our son.

I'm not sure if you've ever walked around Victoria's Secret as a man, but it's somewhat awkward. Not terrible if you're actually looking for something, but "just browsing" while your wife tries something on is a little uncomfortable. It's actually slightly more awkward when you have your four year old son with you. So I did what every good millennial parent does. I allowed my son to roam freely through the store while I trailed slightly behind with my nose buried in my phone. You should know that our son is well behaved and also, at this stage in his life, quite intrigued by the "sparkly floor" at the store.

So there we are. Aimlessly meandering through the store. He looking at sparkles and I perusing Twitter. Eventually, we wind up near the front of the store at the nesting tables. That’s right, I work in retail, so I know they are called nesting tables. Suddenly, my son stops. He looks at the table. And he picks up... a g-string. (Actually, I believe Victoria calls them "v-strings.") He holds it up right in front of his face, stares at it for a moment, then looks up at me and, with a hint of disgust in his tone, exclaims "this...does not look like anything...except a triangle!"

"Yup, you know your shapes," I reply. And with that, he places the undergarment back on the table and walks away. The two of us never spoke of this moment again, though I'd told everyone I knew within 45 minutes.

What does this story have to do with today's collectible? Well, not much, to be honest. Just the shape, in fact. The panty? Just a triangle. This Carolina paperweight? Just four triangles coming together in a point to form a pyramid.


Carolina Collectibles Description

This paperweight has a square base that is a little less than two inches by two inches. The outsides of the base, as well as the four triangle sides, are made of glass. Inside the square base is a white circle, with Rameses (long horned version) head busting through an interlocking NC. For its size, this is a fairly weighty object, certainly capable of holding down your most valuable of papers.

Carolina Collectibles Comparison: Mike Copeland

This paperweight doesn’t particularly do much. Does anyone actually use a paperweight to hold down paper? I have never walked into someone’s office and seen a paperweight on top of a stack of papers in order to prevent them from blowing away. You could probably find a way to hold down your papers without it, but if you need something to keep them in one place, this little guy will do the trick. But functionality and usefulness notwithstanding, this pyramid is good for one hilarious story about taking my child to Victoria’s Secret.


Mike Copeland, and I don’t mean this as an insult at all, is kind of similar. I think he’s aware he was not a superstar during any of his seasons, but he did play spot minutes on a National Championship team, which is more than I’ve ever done athletically. His role was to help out in practice and maybe see the floor for a minute or two each game. Could the Heels have won the 2009 title without him? Probably (though you never know, I guess). That being said, the guy was Theo Pinson-esque in his ability to lighten the mood. He also still holds the school record for ability to say “what up” the most times in a single minute.

Carolina Collectibles Rating: 2 Stars

I believe I stated it best when I discussed my basketball shaped paperweight, so I’ll just copy and paste that rating verbatim again:

“We’ll reserve the single star rating for objects that are poorly made or completely useless or have some other negative associated with them. But paperweights generally are not going to fetch a rating above two stars on any scale that includes items other than paperweights.”