Wednesday, October 01, 2008

We Stopped At Perfect Days

One of my friends likes to tell a story about a little girl and her dime store pearls (whenever she begins this tale, I can hear Dolly Parton singing it). The little girl desperately wants the pearls (isn't this the way with all wants -- for what is desire if not tinged with a bit of misery?) and saves up for the necklace. They get a little more tattered day by day, and every night her father asks if he can have the set. She refuses until one night she breaks down and gives them to him. Of course, the next day he presents her with a real set. I'm not so dim that I miss the moral which is that we hold onto crap while the authentic awaits us whenever we release the substandard. You can provide a religious subtext or not; the story works either way.

But this particular story doesn't really work on me. I think about how hard we save for what we want and think about the pearls getting ratty and me loving them even more than when they were pristine. I think the authentic is overrated sometimes, that we must work with what we have. I worship at the altar of decay and brokenness, perhaps the most real things there are. Whenever someone asks what the perfect day would be for me, I don't know what to say. They all seem pretty good or bad in their own ways; I try to like whatever the weather is doing at the time.

Michelle's Spell of the Day
"I can do comedy, so people want me to do that, but the other side of comedy is depression. Deep, deep depression is the flip side of comedy. Casting agents don't realize it but in order to be funny you have to have that other side." Parker Posey

Cocktail Hour
Drinking television suggestion: Season Two of Californication has started!

Benedictions and Maledictions
Happy October! And please check out Laura's Notes From The Handbasket this month. She's having guest bloggers each day (Octoberguest!). I am on the 3rd, my lucky number.


Anonymous said...


Scott said...

I think I see what you mean, Michelle. I think some things are better after they're 'broken in'. I think the shiny and new is sometimes overrated.

Laura said...

I'm a Velveteen Rabbit kind of girl, too. xo

(Can't wait to have you hop into the Handbasket! I just couldn't resist... :)

the walking man said...

Ummm...the authentic has defect enough for the patina to truly be worth the effort of using the article. I really don't want the "Chinese made" from the dollar store.

The weather is going to do what I want anyway so I may as well just be content with that it? ha ha ha ha

Charles Gramlich said...

I like the thought behind this, appreciating the ratty pearls more. I'm definitely that way with some things, clothes, my writing desk. But sometimes I want the new things too.

Heff said...

I'm just wondering what you did to make Oscar The Grouch smile so big.

Lana Gramlich said...

Personally I tend to "ride the wave" in life, y'know? That way I'm never disappointed. I also have a semi-Buddhist take on non-attachment (for the most part--sometimes I need to meditate on it one's perfect.)
I learned often & early that what I wanted wasn't really ever going to happen, so I learned how to live happily with NOW.