I came across a post on Tumblr (which is usually a scary way to open a conversation, but bear with me) about not waiting for Special Occasions to use the nice things, and thought I'd present my own take on this concept.
Now, it's true some things you really might not want to do on a regular basis. Wearing a cocktail dress that looks amazing on you, but you need to wear torturous slimming paraphernalia and unwalkable shoes to pull it off - yeah, I can see saving that for once a year or so. But what about the candle that smells amazing? What's holding you back?
Most homes I visited growing up had china cabinets. I'm not about to knock them, by the way, because I wouldn't mind having one myself, and I don't see them as often in the homes of people around my age. However, it occurred to me that many households would save the Good China for once-in-a-blue-moon moments, and thenthey'd pass it down to the next generation. Sadly, the next generation might not even care for the china, and they would either give it away or sell it on ebay. What was the point of all that care and Don't Touchitude?
Since my late teens I've been collecting teaware. I've scoured local shops and later online resources for teacups and teapots, and I have always been grateful when relatives passed on treasures to me, especially since they know I Use Them. I grew up in Queens, New York, and everything was rushed, no time for losers, hurry up and eat, pop something for indigestion, move on. Discovering the culture of Taking Tea gave me a respite from all that, a chance to stop, savor, hear myself think. Sure, I can't pull of the entire ceremony at work (usually), but if I can take a morning, or evening, and break out the delicate teacup (not always delicate; I dropped one recently and it remained intact), and relax.
|And have that nice blend before it goes stale!|
I do travel, though not nearly as much as many of my friends, but there were years here and there when I hardly left the city, much less the state, because my finances weren't having it. It can be awfully depressing when I based my happiness on looking forward to the next journey, and had instead a gaping hole in my calendar. How much of a relief it was to design my own mini-trip, with some cake and the best Darjeeling I could afford, and of course a good book! Even better, when my sisters or friends could come over and be my travel companions! The Special Occasion stuff does that. If I'd stashed everything away, to use maybe once a year, for an illustrious gathering, what would be the point?
A few years ago, an apartment on the top floor of my building had a fire. It was quickly put out, but there was water damage in most of the apartments. Mine was the one one that had absolutely no damage (from that day, at least). It made me think: what if I'd lost everything - would I have been glad that I'd not used the Sherlock Holmes teapot because it was Too Nice?
I have to remind myself to do this for other things, too, like makeup and jewelry, clothes I particularly like. Makeup is a big problem for me. I wear it every day, but usually stick to the same palette and brushes and concealer, etc. This is fine, but I have too many other lovely cosmetics from years of ipsy subscriptions, and even though they don't go bad as quickly as food, there has to be a point where it's gone off a bit.
Finally, journals and blank books. It's so scary to put pen to fresh page, so I have some gorgeous books that have sat around, untouched, waiting for years to be used. Shame!
Let's sum it up by saying I love to visit museums, but perhaps it's not the best practice to behave as if I live in one.