Tuesday, 10 July 2012

We are living in a material world

Every now and then, you look back through Blogger or Wordpress, and find a post your wrote, drafted, decided to come back to - then never did. This is one such, a 'traumatic' (in self-depricating inerverted-commas) experience that some with a small number of viciously guarded presious possessions might appreciate.

This is from a few years ago, as I've now had my own house for coming up five years, and while things are still Hard Work as a single female with a household to run, I at last have gathered a few more precious objectject to my person to hiss around, tail thrashing, the mortal embodiment of Smaug. In number comes security, the knowledge that the the loss of one such Precious is a small part of several valued personal treasures, no a whole hoard lost.

Early on, however, each item was an icon, a sliver of pride encased in glass or metal or plastic, each a talisman against desitituation. These were the items that proved my worth and, as such, I applied far more emotional weight to these scant Objects than I do now, at a stage in my life where it's possible to (with the correct, deliberate act of psychological force) gain distance from these objects, and remind myself I am more than my possessions, that I can have succeeded without their presence as a reminded.

It's not an easy thing. I'm still not good at it. I still cling to the beautiful, special, loved objects I have aquired.

Here, in testament to how 'not good' I truely was at it, and how 'not good' I remain at it on the inside when I'm not looking:

I am a materialistic person. Not in a grabby way, I feel, but things and stuff make me happy. They do not have to be big or expensive, they do not have the be plasma televisions or sports cars or big diamonds, but purchases of nice, good quality things please me, for a long time after their purchase as well; every time they are picked up or used or even dusted, I enjoy them, lining my nest with them like some courting bird.

Since buying my house, I have not had much money spare. Bits here and there spent on projects and things, but I work a modest job and it does not leave huge sums sloshing about. As a result, the majority of my household things were begged, borrowed, old, or bought from Ikea, and the idea was to systematically replace them with nice things, one by one, as presents or as and when I could afford a little treat.

In my kitchen is (or, not to ruin the plot, was) a shelf, on which I kept the few 'replaced with nice things' items in my kitchen, a modest enough assortment of some hand made water glasses with little glass watermelon slices in and matching jug, two bone china mugs and a set of six etched wine glasses my Mum and her husband gave me for Christmas.

Friday while I was at work, this shelf crashed from the wall.

My nicest things in their little display spot where I could smile at them when I went past, reduced to a couple of kilos of shattered glass (which of course had to be meticulously cleared up from all over the kitchen and hallway).

It is only stuff. Things. I feel like it says something unpleasant about me that I was not simply disappointed but really very in-tears upset. It is not so much a silver lining as a 'that could have been worse', but I am frantically glad this happened now instead of in three weeks time when my kitten would have been home alone (Moden-day-Verity note: the kitten refered to here is now 3 years old and a fat, fluffy, gorgeous grandmother, Lily.) It looked like a bomb in a glass factory. If she had been in the kitchen when it fell she would have been horrifically injured, possibly killed, and even walking through that room after it fell she would probably have been badly hurt from the huge amount of glass on the floor. That would have been something to be in tears over. But indeed, here I am, a materialistic little person drinking out of her chipped Ikea mugs with snobbish distain, and crying over broken trinkets.

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