Monday, November 10, 2008

Spartan vs. Athenian

So I flew out to my sister's in Rochester, New York, on Saturday, and, as usual when I am confronted with anyone still in college, I just started feeling...soft. When was the last time I learned anything? Wrote anything of consequence? Had a pointless, purely intellectual discussion? Bought an article of clothing ironically? Chatted up people in a public park (or any public place, for that matter)? She had a rehearsal from 9-11 (pm!) and then invited me to a party, and even though it would feel more like 8 or so my time, I still opted out and went to bed early.

Which gave me time to practice living alone in an urban apartment building. The best part was the absence of crap everywhere--no boxes of clothes and toys set out three months ago for a trip to Goodwill that never happened, no inch-thick layer of dust on every flat surface (woo-hoo, humidity!), no closetful of boxes labelled "high school" or "art supplies" or any of the other things I've held on to because I've only had to move them twice and hey, they're already in their own box!, no as-seen-on-TV fitness equipment shoved into forgotten corners, no pile of bills on the desk--and the romantic, high-school appeal of throwing some clothes and the dogs into my car and just driving away was definitely strong (with or without Tyson, Nick, or cats, depending on the different permutations of the fantasy).

The problem is that I really like my stuff. This morning, my achy shoulders and back definitely miss my 1.5 acres of memory-foam-topped Sleep Number bed. I've finally amassed a small army of good-quality kitchen appliances. We have more books than we have shelf space, even with three walls of the third bedroom devoted to bookcases. I have not one, not two, but three motorized forms of transportation (and 4 kayaks, in case an escape over water is necessary).

Anyway, this is getting pointless, and I need to bundle up to brave the snow in order to get pastries for breakfast.


Tyson said...

Um, Athena was the virgin patron of Athens, so I think you need to re-title your post. :)
And I HAVE suggested, many times, that we just throw away about half our stuff; Perhaps next times we move? For example, I can think of a certain useless gray lump that just takes up space which we could get rid of...

Elaine said...

In many ways, I miss school. Not just college, but all school, the freshness, the newness, the unknown and unexperienced. Why is innocence prized over wisdom? You can't have both. After school, even in grad school, once you reach a certain age, learning is different. It has become the practicum, the unending practicum of the accumulation of everything we have learned. Yes, we learn new things, but there comes a point where the new things are more like twists on former things and not actually new themselves. And with the progression of life, comes the fettering. We choose our binding, but that choice doesn't diminish the constricting of our souls, our creativity, or our freedom. Again, we can't have both the things that tie us and our romantic fancies (or exciting, risky adventures). Janis said it best, "Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose."

Sadly, the dust comes from multiple beings of the fury nature, human and not, cohabiting. You can blame it on the humidity if it'll make you feel better, and I am sure leaving a dusty desert would help reduce the dust somewhat. However, we live in a humid environment, and there is dust every where. We are probably going to get puppies for Christmas, which means more dust. It's worse here than it was in Lubbock... the difference is that in Lubbock, I lived alone. So, one more time, you can't have both. Less dust comes with no nummy kisses from kitties, and doggies, and Tyson. Although, I do remember from when I lived in Phily, a nasty grey grime covering on everything from the air pollution. Dusting was kind of gross. So, at least your dust is a natural brown.

I cleverly hide my Goodwill items in the trunk. Then, I don't have to see the pile. The best part is, when I am out and happen past a Goodwill. I just drive up, drop off, and drive away. Not only do I feel good for having donated perfectly usable items to be used again, but also I feel really organized and efficient and "on top" of my responsibilities, you know like a real grown-up!

Tyson said...

Correct me if I am wrong, but did you just allude to my being part and parcel of our dust problem?!
And I have to agree with you about the changing nature of learning Elaine; That's why I still look for opportunities for simple pleasures and new sensory experiences (like in all my "annoying" animal encounters I post about, or in being an adventurous epicurean ). Nothing captures youthful exuberance and awe like catching a wild bunny (which I did in our school parking lot today!) or holding a wild hummingbird, except maybe trying watermelon and feta salad w/ cayenne pepper. :)

Elaine said...

You were also part and parcel of the nummy kisses too!