a dollar is a dollar is a dollar


I go through phases, months, wherein I can’t find anything I want.

I am a particular, picky kind of person, and I tend to want just exactly what I want…and not a substitute for just exactly what I want. Often, too, I know the category of thing I want (straight leg jeans, knee-high boots, a duffle bag, a dainty formal watch, an eggcup) but I cannot find a suitable candidate within that category, and must browse and browse, and bide my time, and wait for the right stuff to come along. I will wait for years. YEARS.

Lately, over the past year or so? longer?, the right stuff has been coming along.

[But then, too, I’ve devoted more time to browsing.]

I am sometimes wrong, in which case I return or sell or give away or just suffer [and do I learn my lesson?], but I have been getting lucky…and spending all o’ my money.

Example: I bought a rabbit fur capelet of pale blue-gray. Incredibly soft and warm, looks not of this era but out of some glamorous 1920’s winter soirée or, maybe earlier still, a light, early 19th century Russian troika wrap. Had that rare feeling that it was there for me to find; that complete object affinity.

What else is this money for? What have I been saving it for if not to acquire the ingredients I need to evolve? I absolutely need this ring shaped like a pair of lips. [Who loves lipstick and kisses more than I do? I cannot tell you the depth of my love for this ring.] I cannot tell you the complete absence of doubt surrounding the purchases I have been making lately. And the more I acquire, the more categories I identify (a bulky semi-precious cocktail ring: simple yet ostentatious, a men’s blazer, another Jean-Claude Ellena fragrance, various things in oxblood suede (a jeweler’s drill?!)), and the more discerning I become. I can almost feel the process of refinement underway, like an intelligent system of gears that grows sharper and more precise with use. I am improving across the board, too; thinking up better and better gifts for friends and family.  When I am generous toward myself, I am generous toward all.

…it is getting a little out of hand, but when you find just the right thing…what can you do?

It has happened that I was unable to get just the right thing*; the moment was lost, and I could never find it again. This one Tang-style, silk-embroidered jacket with a regal collar at an arts fair 9 years ago haunts me still. I remember you, silk-embroidered jacket.

*just-rightness includes being affordable, in my view

So I have learned my lesson. I do not get things I cannot afford but my definition of what I can afford expands when I am smitten, as does my definition of what I need in other areas of my life…and what I can sacrifice to facilitate further expansion. This is on my mind because I basically reached the limit this month (’tis the season), and there is much sacrificing and conserving of funds, which gives me time to reflect.

The question is always, is it worth it?

And I think my answer is most often…yes. I would rather have the item (or the food, the experience, etc.) than the value of the item back.

Which is as it should be.