Sunday, August 9, 2009

Sean's Summer Want List . . .

I'm constantly longing for "stuff." I'd LIKE to pretend that I'm not a material person. That I'm not at least a little fulfilled by objects and things. That I'm really some evolved person that knows "you can't take it with you" and lives accordingly but . . . I'm just not that smart.

Now - I'm not embarrassed of my fixation with items. Not at all. If given 45 free minutes in the evening or on the weekend - I will peruse catalogs I've already looked at a dozen times or sort through my pile of clippings from my magazines (super-preppy and super-old man stuff I'm about five years and an inch or two of bald forehead from fully embracing) or browsing the Internet and my many, many bookmarks for stuff and things.

At any given time there are thousands of things that might clog my brain of things I want. I won't ever really break down and by many (any?) of them. It's not really practical. I'm MUCH happier spending money doing things with Joy and/or Ava. I'm way happier putting pennies away for our upcoming vacation and travel plans. I'm more than motivated by having practical clothes in the collectice closets that belong to my family members and maybe splurging on some killer groceries or a meal (or two) out every now and again.

I said I was obsessed with stuff - not obsessed with actually GETTING stuff.

Anywho, I was reading in one of my books about how to become a better person and it was talking about how you had to be honest about your limitations if you were ever going to get through them.

To that end - here is a list of 15 things that sorta' keep me up at night - just putting them out there makes me feel better (and more than a little silly for wanting most of them to begin with).

1 - A xylophone - I played in high school. I wanted to play professionally (I kid you not - in that "if I wasn't doing 'this' I would be doing _____" jobs for me. I have "teaching on the college level," "playing xylophone," and "exotic dancing" as my _______s.

2 - A graphic t-shirt - Don't laugh. It is true. I want to get a t-shirt that says something ironic and vaguely funny or shows some sort of great graphic art or supports a musician or musical group that I really like (does the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra sell t-shirts?). I just can't seem to find a shirt that I'll actually WEAR once I buy it. Hmmmm.

3 - A new car - Morpheus (my 2002 Toyota Matrix) has been wonderful to me. Really. Very few complaints and I've worn Morpheus like OJ wears leather gloves. One of these years (knock on wood it will be at LEAST three more years before I need to) I'll get a new car. In the meantime I'm heavily leaning towards getting my bike fixed or maybe getting a used Vespa for my six miles of daily commuting.

4 - An Persimmon Orange Stand Mixer - I watch Food Network. A LOT! I especially like Alton Brown and Good Eats and the Barefoot Contessa. I swear that I am a really great cook (in my brain) and I am one of those people that actually believes that a house account at Williams-Sonoma and a little free time is the only thing between me and a James Beard Award. This mixer might be the first step to my greatness. OR it will take up a LOT of counter space in the kitchen. Either way . . .

5 - A home in Aurora, New York (or a house on a lake) - Growing up in Groton, New York meant a few things. 1) Either you or someone (if not multiple people) that you knew had a place on "the lake" (and by "the" lake we speak of all nine finger lakes, the two Great Lakes that touch New York State or the countless lakes in the Adirondacks. For me it doesn't get any better than Cayuga Lake and it doesn't get any better than half-way-up the Eastern shore of that lake in Aurora, New York. We had prom there (at Wells College) and Melissa's Grandparents used to live on the lake in Aurora and MacKenzie-Childs is there it is just the perfect little, overpriced and overly aspirational town. When I get my first billion in the bank - I'm going to buy up a FEW places on "the lake" - for now though, we might do some camping in the fall (grimace).

6 - Most of the National Lampoon's Movies released between the late 70s and early 90s on DVD - I'm talking Chevy Chase and the still-very-lovely Beverly D'Angelo taking the family on vacation or Mr. Blutarsky and his zero-point-zero grade point average and a few other randoms. Not sure why but I think movies were just funnier then (with all due respect to Judd Apatow and his band of merry men). Even if I owned the movies . . . when would I watch them? Oy.

7 - This bowtie, and dozens more - The bowtie. I want to be man enough to pull it off. I browse them online. I shope them. I put them in the "shopping cart" and then I surf away. I own two of them. I wear them rarely to never. I want to have more. But . . .

8 - To be locked, alone for the night, inside The Louvre - I know this is not a "thing" - I would not loot the museum by dawn and I would not join Tom Hanks in a high-speed chase around Europe. I just want to look at all the pretty pictures and "stuff" (and no, I do NOT mean the Mona Lisa - I saw her in high school . . . totally overrated!).

9 - An Irish sweater - I mean - who doesn't want one of these? Oh? You? Well - besides YOU. Who doesn't want one. That's some expensive wool though!

10 - More patterned and plaid sportscoats - I can't have enough. I'm obsessed. I want to be an 80 year old man who's retired from a long career in teaching political science at the local JuCo or whatever. Sportsoats. I love you even more than I love blazers.

11 - A Narwhal Wallet for every day of the year - I have one. I love it. I go to the site ALLLLL the time and just look at what they've made out of the old ties. I want 364 more of these wallet ties. Almost as badly as I want to be one of "those guys" that doesn't really need to carry a wallet because they just have their driver's license, a credit card and four bucks in their money clip. Those are MEN!

12 - Origins for Men stuff - I love my skin. I want it to last the rest of my life. I want people to think I am younger than I am. I don't want to be wrinkly. To get all of the above I need to take care of my skin. Neutrogena is doing just fine for me. I'm happy with it. I aspire to the overpriced goodness in these bottles though. Not sure why.

13 - A collection of local art - We went to dinner at my CEO's house this winter. He and his wife collect art. Artists you've never heard of - might never. Stuff that doesn't really go together in the classic sense of the expression. It is all stuff they like though and it is important to them and a great collection. If only Joy and I agreed on art (her taste, to be clear, is far better than mine - lest anyone think I am implying my wife is not cultured).

14 - Sperry Top-Siders. LOTS of 'em - Some men like sneakers. Some want motorcycles. Some want jeans. Some want women, fame, money. More women. Not this guy. I want shoes. Specifically boat shoes and boat shoe-inspired sneakers. There is something wrong with me. I know this and I resist the urge to buy in to my illness accordingly.

15 - Everything Ina Garten puts her pseudonym to - I love you, Barefoot Contessa. Not in a sexual way (sorry, Ina, I'm taken anyway) but in a way that makes me want to throw parties like you throw, cook like you cook, have friends like you have or to at LEAST get an invite to one of your parties with your friends and your cooking. I need my Kitchen Aid!

So . . . I'll sleep better having confessed that I am a sad, pathetic, material person. Or I'll just be able to click back on this post any time I want to check in on my top ten "wants" of the moment. Add world peace to this list and I'd be a better person. Sadly - there is no room in my brain for world peace!

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