Years ago, when Jack and I were engaged, there were some older women that were highly concerned that I had not registered for fine china. It certainly seems to be a generational thing. As an avid reader of the entire Anne of Green Gables series when I was little (Lucy Maud Montgomery, you’ll forever hold a place of esteem in my heart, just under the person who invented sweatpants, but right over Snoop Dogg), I love the idea of that sort of living.
“Let me take your cape.”
“How is your family?”
“Are these your aunt’s doilies? They’re lovely.”
“Would you like a glass of raspberry cordial?”
“Oh, damn, Diana Barry, I accidentally gave you wine instead, and now you’re sorority girl drunk, puking in front of the pastor’s wife, and now your mom’s not going to let you hang out with me again until I save your little sister’s life. #ugh #omg #why #icanteven”
But since I’m not living on Prince Edward Island in the late 1800s, I couldn’t really justify registering for fine china. That, and our first apartment was under four hundred square feet. Thank you for joining us for dinner. No, the plates we use everyday are for peasants. Please stand by while I retrieve our fine china from the under-bed Rubbermaid storage container.
I don’t really save things for special occasions, which might seem irresponsible, but let’s talk this out for a second. How many of you have a stash of bath products somewhere in your drawer that you’ve barely used? A special skirt in your closet that only sees daylight once a year? A pile of gift cards set aside because you’re waiting for just the right item to buy, and ughhh what if I buy that cute West Elm kitchen thing but a cuter West Elm kitchen thing comes out next month?
I KNOW! It’s anxiety inducing.
Jack bought me a candle. Jack bought me a candle because I threw a link in an email with the subject “you can buy me this candle if you want to.” Gift shopping – he admits – is neither his strength nor his favorite pastime, so I try to eliminate all of the guesswork by shooting him links in an email.
I love the overpriced candle. I burn it while I write. If I’m working late at night, I light a candle and pull up my slow jams grooveshark playlist (Climax by Usher is on there, highly recommend) and it gives my office the perfect chill vibe for writing.
Jack walked in and goes, “Wow, you’re really burning the candle. Have you thought about using it sparingly?”
And while I am all about simple, non-excessive living, I said no. This candle – this tiny, inanimate object in a jar – brings happiness to my day. It evokes a sense of pleasure while I write. I like lighting it. I like smelling it. I like looking at it. When I’ve used it up, I can either be sad that it’s gone, or I can be thankful for all of the joy that candle brought me. This is not a metaphor for something deeper! I’m actually, very seriously, just talking about my favorite candle.
And so I’ve decided that I’m not saving anything up for a special occasion. I will liberally dump bath salts into the tub on a Tuesday night. I will wear that dress out six times this year instead of two. I will buy that cute West Elm kitchen thing. Everyday living is a special occasion, so if you come over, don’t be surprised if there are 36 crocheted doilies out, waiting for you to admire them.
I promise not to get any fourteen year olds drunk.