“Let’s Be Brave and Search Alone-Together”: Q’s 7 & 8

My friend, Tia, has started a tumblr (inspired by a production being put on by a local theatre company) encouraging folks to go on an Identity Scavenger Hunt.  And in her rallying cry of “let’s be brave and search alone-together” (which I love love love love) – I’m all in.  And I encourage you to play along as well! Over the next 30 days or so, Tia will be posting a question or two a day from the famous Proust Questionnaire on the tumblr.  I’ll be doing my best to keep up and answer the questions here; my approach will be to not think too much about any one answer and to go from the gut.  You can answer the questions on the Identity Scavenger Hunt tumblr, on your own blog, in your journal, in your head, or feel free to e-mail answers directly to the lovely Tia at theatretia@gmail.com – she may want to use some of your answers in different ways in the future!

7. What is your greatest extravagance?

Bedding. I love bedding. I have alluded to this love ever so slightly three times before, but never in-depth… so here we go.

At the end of a long day, I want to be enveloped by a comfortable, beautiful space where I can truly relax. If you can’t feel good sinking into your bed at night, what can you feel good about? Plus switching up bedding is the simplest way of changing the look of your bedroom – and I am easily bored and like to inject new colors and patterns into a space that essentially stays the same in all other ways. A prettily made bed also makes me feel like I’ve got my *ish* together every time I look at it, even if I don’t really – which is why I make my bed every day. That being said, I don’t always go for the fancy stuff. And I love having brightly colored polka-dotted or printed sheets contrast a paisley patterned quilt or muted, sophisticated duvet.

I think in some ways, the hoarding of bedding stems from a period of my life when I lived in a not-so-cat-friendly group house and Fabs had to have bedroom access at all times because her food, water, and litterboxes had to be in my room (gross…I know). Due to a urinary tract infection, Fab had a number of accidents on the bed (gross…I know) – and then continued occasionally doing that even after the UTI cleared (gross…I know!!!). Thank goodness my mattress was protected, but I needed back-up bedding so that I could clean things up and still sleep in my room vs. waiting for bedding to be washed and dried to sleep in my own room. Now that I live by myself, the KitBit’s necessities are in more fitting locations around the apartment and she does not have access to my room unless I’m in there with her.  Despite the fact that compromised bedding has long since worked its way out of rotation, the need for ALL OF THE BEDDING remains.

So now that I’ve said the gross things…here’s the pretty bedding!

The current hotness #forsheetsandgiggles

Spring 2015: The current hotness; quilt pattern close-ups and the hot pink polka-dotted sheets it is currently paired with. Current total pillow count: 8 pillows. #forsheetsandgiggles

Spring/Summer 2014 favorite - peacockin' y'all; also the quilt came with three pillows. #forsheetsandgiggles

Spring/Summer 2014 favorite – peacockin’ y’all;  the quilt came with 3 pillows. Total pillow count: 7 pillows.  #winning #forsheetsandgiggles

Favorite winter bedding. #forsheetsandgiggles

Favorite winter bedding OF ALL TIME – I may have two of these duvet covers because if one duvet cover dies, I MUST STILL HAVE THIS. You can’t see it here, but there is shimmery gold thread used on the designs. And the textures and patterns vary greatly from section to section.  LOVE. Total pillow count: 8 pillows.  #forsheetsandgiggles

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Back-up winter bedding new in 2015 and also how I got 3 more pillows!  Total pillow count: 10 pillows.  10 pillows felt excessive and helped me coin a phrase – #beditor – because sometimes you need a bedding editor. 2 pillows eventually got punted to the living room. #forsheetsandgiggles

8. What is your favorite journey?

This life. Or the band. But probably this life.

Purchases of Promise

Occasionally I get the idea that I’m going to be a different person than who I currently am and decide to invest in tangible objects that promise to help me become this new person who I am so sure I actually am deep down inside.  I think this impulse may stem from my belief that talents and truths can be buried and all you need to do is unearth the hidden treasure to become who you have always been destined to be. Or something.

And apparently I also think that means that I need to purchase tartlet pans with my 20% Off coupon to  Bed, Bath and Beyond to fulfill my previously undiscovered destiny of becoming a celebrated tartlet maker. Or at least someone who makes fancy and impressive tartlets to bring to parties or to serve to friends or the BFry on a lazy Sunday morning for breakfast like it ain’t no thang to make tartlet crust from scratch (when it is most definitely a thang). My actions in this regard may also correlate heavily with my enthusiastic-yet-short-lived bursts of extreme Pinterest-browsing. And I may or may not have an entire Pinterest board dedicated to tartlets called “All Tarted Up.” Because I am merely human and a sucker for a pun.

So on January 24, 2013, I used those 20% off tartlet pans and a Pinterest recipe and I made these:

Posted to Facebook with the caption: "If these taste half as good as they look...man...I may have found a new love."

Posted to Facebook with the caption: “If these taste half as good as they look…man…I may have found a new love.”

Despite that declaration of potential new-found love, this, my friends, was the one and only time I have made tartlets. Because you know what? They tasted fine delicious-ish but were a pain in the keister to make and only yielded four tiny tartlets for HOURS of work. They were also super expensive because I did not have all of the ingredients on hand in my teeny-tiny Smitten Kitchen style cooking/baking/microwaving/refrigerating center at  The Apartments of Eternal Christmas to make my own bastardized version of Flourishing Foodie’s mini heirloom tomato tartlets with a parmesan crust.  I had to buy #ALLOFTHETHINGS before getting down to business.

So now I have tiny tartlet pans that sit in solitude in a top cabinet with the round layer-cake pans and a box of granola that has gone untouched for far too long.

In any case, I refer to tartlet-pan type investments as Purchases of Promise.

Over the last decade, here are some of the other Purchases of Promise I’ve made:

  1. Guitar: Folk-Songstress Phase – I went hard with this one because I thought I was going to be the Stevie Nicks of my generation. Or at least I’d get decent enough to accompany myself singing here and there to make the singing less terrifying and have the guitar to focus on. I bought the guitar, a gig bag, a tuning pipe, tons of picks, how-to-play guitar DVDs and books. I tried to play it only a handful of times over the 3 years I owned it so it got pawned off to a friend during a move that required downsizing…and money. And I’ve seen the guitar used as a prop on stage in a theatrical performance, so it’s doing better than it was sitting in my room.  This dream is not entirely dead though and I have – on more than one occasion – considered purchasing a banjo. I have nothing more to say for myself on this front.
  2. Mop and bucket: Clean-and-Green Phase – I was going to (1) clean my floors frequently and (2) ONLY clean them with a mop and traditional sudsy water/environmentally approved cleaner so as not to be wasteful or harmful to the environment. I don’t think these items have been used in the way they were intended to be used even once. I store things in the bucket. Things like Swiffer pads. And wet Swiffer pads. And paper towels. And the mop has been used to reach cobwebs in high corners. But so has the Swiffer.  #allhailtheSwiffer.
  3. Clothing Steamer: Professional-Real-Adult-Lady-Phase –  I was going to save so much money by steaming my clothing at home vs. taking items to the dry cleaner. Or – let’s get serious – wearing them wrinkly. I asked my parents for the steamer for Christmas a few years ago; I did my research and got a mid-priced, portable, easy-to-care-for model. And I have used it zero times. I have loaned it out to a theatre company once for use on costumes during a production – so it has been used. But I have used it zero times.  I know not how the thing works yet it continues to sit out in the open in my room as though it will be used at any moment. I have no hope I will actually use the steamer some day.
  4. Capers: The Gourmet Chef – What do capers even go on? I’ve had a jar of capers for about a year now and don’t know what to put them on. They may not even be good anymore.
  5. Knitting kit, wine glasses/chalkboard paint, painting supplies: DIY Gifting Gal – Have a birthday coming up? Let me give you these 80’s style leg-warmers knitted together with sparkle-rainbow-yarn and love! Get your Masters? Here are some wine glasses with chalkboard paint bases so when you are entertaining, people can write their names in chalk on the bottoms for identification purposes! Have a baby? Here is an adorable painting of Tigger to go in your Winnie-the-Pooh themed nursery!  Yeah. I sometimes forget that I was the kid in girl scouts who was not only not very good at arts and crafts, but who would throw her arts and crafts violently across the room or on the table in frustration and then cry.
  6. Table and stools for kitchen: The Civilized Citizen – I will be taking all meals at the table from here on out because eating in front of the TV is for heathens. But I really just want to sit on my super comfy sofa. And – hey! – there’s a new episode of Ru Paul’s Drag Race available On Demand.  And I can just pull over this stool and use it as a tray table…
  7. Ulysses by James Joyce: The High-brow Literate Lady – I don’t even know what I was thinking when I purchased a book that entire semesters of college experiences are dedicated to. If this book needs a professor and a syllabus to decipher, am I really going to get through it?  Plus my Harry Potter collection is on the same bookshelf. And I’d choose Harry Potter any day.

In thinking of all of these items (and many more), my newest idea is to try to be as minimalist as possible. To go through all of my stuff and jettison things I have not used in a year plus. Because maybe it is my destiny to be the no-fuss, no-frills, no-crazy-amounts-of-extra-bedding-in-the-closet type whose apartment is always ready for visiting and whose every item serves a function. Maybe. But I do have a magical unicorn 20% Off Your Entire Order coupon from Bed, Bath and Beyond waiting for me at home…