Saturday, July 26, 2008

The Things You LIKE First

For me, with people, it's obvious.  You put the people that you love and like first in your life.  But I have come a lot slower to that understanding with things.

I suppose my new consciousness of it started with silverware.  For everyday silverware, I had inherited my mother's things, when she broke up housekeeping.  And I had gotten a new set when I was married.  All of these jumbled together.  But then a lot of "my" set of spoons got lost.  I call them "mine", not because they only belonged to me, but because I chose the set and my husband and family had no interest in their choice or their design.

My husband, thinking that the simple design of "my" silverware meant that it was not the "good" silverware, put many of the spoons in the kids' lunches.  (Yes, he usually fixed the kids' lunches, so I am grateful.)  So we used a lot of Mom's silver, mixed in with mine.  Then, for some birthday or anniversary, my mother asked me what I wanted and I told her I really longed for a nice set of silverware - with all of the spoons.  I knew it was extravagant; I didn't REALLY need it, but I wanted it.  And she bought it for me.  I put it in a beautiful silverware case and the set sat there, waiting for company.  But company doesn't come that often and the beautiful case remained closed most of the time.  

So, one day, I decided to take away all of the old mishmash of Mom's silverware and mine.  I put Mom's and my silverware in an extra drawer and took my new set OUT of its beautiful case and put it in the regular silverware drawer.  And now, we use the new set every day.  It comes as a surprise to me that I enjoy that little thing so much.  No, we don't have a beautiful set reserved for company, but company can enjoy the simple and elegant set we use every day.

And now this corruption of saving things for special occasions has spread to my wardrobe.  Anyone who would take a close look at what I wear each day would notice that, for some reason, I seem to favor white turtlenecks or white short sleeved knit tops as a first layer.  But I had a hard time finding ones that fit.  Many of the ones I bought seemed OK at first, but after I washed them, the arms of the long-sleeved ones were a bit too short.  And I have never had the inclination to remove them after washing and line dry them.  

So I have accumulated a lot of white (and other color) turtlenecks that are still serviceable, but don't quite fit right.  Then, I found a turtleneck that REALLY fit, that I could wash and dry, and it STILL fit.  And I did something right:  I bought 5 or 6 EXTRA ones of this brand (Hanna Andersson, in case you want to know).  But, I was still trying to "use up" the ones that didn't quite fit right first.  Once I wore them out, I would use the Hannas, the ones that REALLY fit.  

But just a few weeks ago, I decided to apply the silverware strategy to the white turtlenecks.  Now, I wear the Hannas FIRST.  If and when they wear out (they seem to last forever, by the way: outstanding quality), I will use the ones that don't fit as well.  Most likely the reason that I will have to retire a Hanna is not because of wear, but because I tend to stain them.  And, I still have 3 brand new Hannas sitting in their wrappers on the shelf in my closet, so it may be a while until I have to wear the turtlenecks that really didn't fit.  

Maybe I can even recycle some of the things I am not using any more.  What a novel idea!  

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