So, there’s this movie that’s super relevant to the Grails Issue; it explains perfectly the essence of a “grail.” It’s not The Last Crusade. It’s Richie Rich, the corny ’90s family movie that starred Macauley Caulkin and has a 24% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. John Larroquette, the villain, does all manner of dastardly business in order to access and, so he thinks, steal the Riches’ fortune out of the family vault. At the climax (spoiler alert), the vault is opened and inside there is no gold bullion and no jewelry. Instead, there are innocuous items of sentimental value, accrued over the family’s years together. It’s sweet and cliché ending that is also viscerally disappointing.
At least the supposed moral — “love above possessions” — is disappointing yet totally valid. But what I (and the other 24% of moviegoers, apparently) ultimately gained from the story was that the love of things is starkly subjective: there is no possible way for me to anticipate or perfectly understand why another person would so intensely care about his “treasure.” Try as you or I might, no degree of empathy or sentimentality will fully unlock for us why my neighbor values a custom surfboard, or an old Mercedes or a rare bomber jacket. But still we remain curious and fascinated by those same treasures. It’s that pursuit of understanding that led us to create the Grails Issue.
This Issue is about products — whether in our own lives or in the lives of people we’ve come to know or newly met — that define ultimate desires. The unquestionably vaunted things we have all always wanted, or have always had and will always cherish far above any other. One True Loves. Pedestal-worthy idols.
Of course, Crusade got it right too. It was a simple wooden cup — not a golden chalice — that was a wise choice; one that could be coveted by, but not completely understood by, anyone else.
What is your grail? Whatever you choose, they are things worth reveling in for a lifetime; things you’ll seek until the ends of time or celebrate until then. And that we understand completely. — Nick Caruso
More From The Grails Issue
An exploration of the products in our lives that are so singular, so special and so intensely personal that no others compare. From brand new multi-million-dollar jets to Brazilian rosewood furnishings, these are Grails. Read the Stories