“Learn to want.” Learn. To. Want. Learntowant!
Lather into brain. Rinse. Repeat.
OK, friends, meet my new catchphrase. Been saying it to myself ever since it was said to me (about a month or so back) with equal parts scolding and love. It’s not so much a new year’s resolution now as maybe a Lenten one.
Here’s pretty much how the original conversation, set in a furniture store, went down:
Me: Check out this chair!
Scolder: I knew you would like it as soon as I saw it.
Me: Quite correct. I must have it.
Scolder: You don’t need it.
Me: I do need it.
Scolder: You don’t have room for it!
Me: I’ll make room. Give your blessing, please.
Now that last part might require explanation. I seem to have this little problem. Has to do with approval-seeking. Not for what I think or say — Lord knows I’m a stubborn one — but, rather inexplicably, for what I buy. Anyone who has ever been shopping with me probably has experienced the phenomenon, which is more likely to manifest itself when my better angels tell me to run but the little devils inside drown out their voices.
Those devils were a vocal lot when I spotted the chair, so kicky, happy, full of swirly color and exquisitely comfy to boot. And the price was far less than expected. When does that happen? (So much easier to listen to the angels sing when the sticker is a turnoff anyway.) All I needed was someone to tell me it’s OK/go ahead/just do it, someone to cheerlead this impulse buy.
But what did I get? A naysayer. A killjoy. Someone telling it like it is, in other words: “You don’t need it.” Bo-RING.
Yet I “obeyed,” nevermind that I know the compliance won’t last, not when I still visit the chair in my late-night imaginings, mentally preparing the house to receive it.
Ah, yes, it’s but a matter of time …
Speaking of time, happy daylight-saving time. Or not so much. What a horrid ritual, eh? It only feeds my learn-to-want angst, too. Turns out I also have a problem with clocks. I buy too many, which is one big reason I despise time-change time. We gain an hour, I lose half of it resetting all the clocks; we lose an hour, I really lose 90 minutes doing same. Not good for someone who tends to run late and, hence, run around in a constant state of shame and remorse. So I lie to myself and keep adding clocks. The more aware I am of the time in any given room, I reason, the better off I’ll be.
So far, no good.
Truth is I’ve always been painfully aware of the time, even going so far as to swear I was born with a sundial in my cerebral cortex. I can wake up from the foggiest of sleep and tell you what the clock says, usually within 10 minutes, without even looking, precisely because of this painful awareness. And no big, bright orange mantel clock with a cool, crackly finish is going to change that.
Oh yes, bright, bold orange. With fun, fat numbers. Visible from clear across a room. Spotted it the other day, and it’s now my latest craving. (I’d say “need,” but … ) At a reasonable enough $29.99, it might have to come home with me eventually.
I truly can learn to want, I swear. But let’s start small. It’s the clock or the chair, killjoys. Even cranky, lesson-teaching taskmasters can only ask so much of their students.