I believe I’m pretty conservative and down to earth. When I was growing up there was a place for everything and everything in its place. You did the laundry on Mondays, ironed on Tuesdays, sewed on Wednesdays and so on until you rested on Sunday. There was an order to our lives—everyday work and special days of rest and relaxation.
If you were lucky, you had clothes for doing chores so as not to wear out, and to keep clean, those needed to wear to school or work. On Sundays you wore your Sunday best, which you saved for good: for attending church, to go to birthday parties, christenings, weddings and of course for company.
“Before my wedding,” a friend confided, “I bought a set of really good flatware, not stirling silver but a special set with a nice chest that would last a lifetime. In all the years I was married and after the divorce, it came out of the box no more than half a dozen times in the 40 years I treasured it. I was saving it for good. For special occasions when it could sparkle and shine on a glamorous table.”
A number of years ago while I was shopping with another friend, I broke down and bought a long chiffon skirt that caught my fancy so I’d have something appropriate and fitting should a special occasion suddenly come up. I saved it for good. It continues to hang in my closet without having made it’s maiden voyage. That was five years ago.
A while back, when all the rage around Dollar Stores began, I fell in love with some dinner plates. They were similar to a set I’d seen in a department store but without the high price and minus all those cups and saucers you always get stuck with and never use anymore. I bought 12 dinner plates as well as 8 matching serving bowls. I bought more plates in the event I ever broke any so I’d still end up with at least eight plates, especially if I could no longer buy replacements. I liked them so much I saved them for good, along with the other just-for-company really good dishes, so they wouldn’t get broken until that special future dinner arrived.
Quite recently, I saw an unbelieveable pair of wedgies for an absolute steal. It was summer and I could just see them paired with a sundress, any dress, even jeans. The shoes were covered in faux jewels all over the outside of the heels. I wore them once. They were nearly impossible to walk in for any distance as there was only a one-inch strap, just above my toes (bad styling), to help hold them on while clutching and teetering forward. They are not for actual walking but for presenting a pretty ankle. They’re so delicate and pretty, I’m afraid that somehow I’ll knock off / wear off the ‘jewels’ so I’m saving them for good. Only for special occasions if I can still walk in them when and if any materialize.
I’d been saving some special but dressy tops for good. I decided I needed to wear something different for a change instead of the same old, same old so I picked one and wore it with jeans to the second-hand bookstore I volunteer at. From the time I arrived until I finished working, all I heard was, “What are you so dressed up for?” Imagine that!
If we celebrate every day as a special occasion and use our best silver, china, crystal, fussy tops and bottoms all the time, the question is: How will a particularly outstanding day differentiate itself from another—just a notch above the rest? Where’s the Yay? Where’s the Wey? Where’s the Ahh? Where’s the singing in your heart when looking forward to something, yes special, that’s just around the corner? Where will all the butterflies go that flutter in your stomach when you’re all excited—the excitement that keeps you young? Where’s the buildup that makes your eyes sparkle sending giggles up your throat and lightness to your step? How do you celebrate a golden opportunity when all days are the same, special to be sure, yet MORE exceptional?
Friends just five years younger than I am can’t understand my confusion. They don’t SAVE anything. They use everything every day, all the time they tell me. Does anyone understand my dilemma? For one thing, because good china or silver or good flatware don’t go into the dishwasher, nobody keeps them around anymore—at least the younger generation doesn’t. What is treasured nowadays anyway?
Drat. I bet my age is REALLY showing now but still . . .
September 8, 2011 at 4:03 pm
An elderly relative of mine was widowed young and lived alone a long long time. I was single for a very long time too, and the best advice she ever gave me on living happily alone was this: She said, “I dress up, I use my best china. I treat myself like company everyday.”
But I think this advice doesn’t just apply to a solitary life. Everyone would be a little happier enjoying their ‘special’ things – whether they are possessions or talents.
September 19, 2011 at 11:05 am
Because, my dear Polak friend, Life is too short for waiting for ‘good’. If you want a special occasion, make one! Once a week use your ‘good’ stuff. Wear those bejeweled shoes and knock off some of the sparkle. Life is worth living isn’t it? And surely some days are worth wearing the special for no other reason than to …. as James Brown says…..” Ah feel GOOD, AOW”
September 20, 2011 at 8:38 pm
You are right when you’re right! Thanks for pointing that out as a number of other have who commented.