Three Things

Dear J-

I’ve been listening to Petula Clark lately: the songs are I suppose stereotypical early sixties but I’ve always liked what that era tries to remember itself as, so I’ll buy into it. For everything that I’ve done and learned, I’m easy to sell. I remember coming back from a Wal-Mart with some guy’s eyeglass cleaner packed in my bag too, an extra ten dollars I suppose we could have afforded but didn’t need to, after everything else was added up. Smart, right? Gullible. I like to think optimistic too but that’s just me putting a positive spin on things again. Don’t sleep in the subway, darling.

I’ve taken Jael’s advice from ten years ago and applied it: there are houses I’ve biked past that I might look up later but on the whole I haven’t picked up or looked at a single real estate website since we bought our house. There will always be something nicer or cheaper or more unique or in better condition or more modern or more quaint. We’re never going to be perfect with everything, and that’s okay. Part of the new philosophy should be finding contentment in what you’ve got, and right now the only thing standing between me and nirvana is a few more bookshelves, which if you’ve got them always end up being something to fill.

I don’t go to thrift stores any more and automatically gravitate to the books section: I don’t, for that matter, go to thrift stores much any more, although I suppose I should be on the lookout for a heavier coat for travel. I keep telling myself that layers will set me free but there’s a limit there. Meanwhile I have a fair amount of other things just taking up space: we’ll no doubt need to have some time to spend cleaning and getting rid of things this spring, if not sooner (for instance, all the locks around the house that I’ve now removed — they’re all still perfectly useable, just not necessarily very lockable — we never got the keys for some). It is part of the great recycling drive of life.


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