little luxury: staying home

brick wall, empty building

After commuting all week, gone for half of each day, I treasure the rare weekend days I can just stay home, with no social commitments, no errands—not that I want to spend every weekend this way but that they are a gift. (My friend Carol understands.) Last weekend, I didn't even leave the apartment. To an extrovert, that's likely the equivalent of a week in bed with a wrenched ankle, a broken TV, and a lost cell phone, but for an introvert, long stretches of hours alone at home are pure luxury.

split-leaf philodendron shadows

As a side benefit, I spent no money those two days. I watched little media, only the beginnings of a couple different movies while eating dinner. I listened to music while doing chores and browsing the Web, did a lot of reading and thinking. And I wrote.

Sunday, I snipped the large shell buttons off a rough-silk shirt thrifted for the price of a cup of café coffee a while back from William Temple whose color (red) doesn't flatter me and then sewed those buttons onto a black linen jacket thrifted a couple months ago at Goodwill. (See how these things work? Mix, match, fix.)

white brick wall

Then I ironed a whole pile of clothes, eight pieces to be exact, half of which were new-to-me secondhand linen shirts and jackets to now incorporate into my wardrobe (ironing being one of those tedious but necessary chores I tend to put off as long as possible). The last couple seasons I've been wearing a lot of dark-colored, oversized, masculine linen and silk button-downs with slim jeans and boots or heels and a black leather cuff picked up for 50 cents down at Teen Challenge. Maybe I associate middle age with androgyny, or maybe it's just unconsciously following a broader trend. No matter how many clothes I own, I get bored unless I can mix and match constantly. I apparently can't buy any more clothes, however, because I've run out of hangers. (And I own a lot of hangers—the ex left me all of his.) Oh, such problems.

Maintaining a wardrobe is so much easier than handling people. I've been snappish with a good friend lately over something that's none of my business; people must make their own decisions and live with the consequences. And I confronted a difficult, rude coworker this week, asserting my needs, which felt satisfying. I expect relations won't change, but avoiding the person and swallowing my frustration hadn't been working, so I tried something different. We're all natural scientists, experimenting on each other, right? What will happen if I do this, say that? So I poked the snake, prodded the porcupine. He cannot shoot me a face full of quills again for no good reason with no consequences. That era is over.

red tulips

I bought myself a four-dollar bundle of grocery-store tulips the other night. If flowers never solve anything—and I hate the idea of flowers as apology, as if pretty petals could substitute for hard words—they at least brighten a room. The rest will work itself out over time. When we are ready to change, we change.

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