i asked my mom if this would offend her. her answer was pretty noncommital.

I realized a few days ago that coming into my [parents’] house is a bit of a fall down the rabbit hole. I had lulled myself into believing it was really a normal house, but I was jolted out of my stupor when I stubbed my toe on something. I looked down full of the kind of instantaneous fury that can only come from stubbing a toe, and confronted this horrific sight:

No, my family does not dismember clowns as a hobby. But my extraordinarily energetic mother does own a business selling antiques, which makes our house highly amusing to visitors. It is full of such gorgeous tableaux as this:

And this, which is actually kind of artistic-looking but sadly stands unnoticed in the middle of the floor.

Its name is “upended colander stool”, you can have it for $500

Some of the unexpected old things are super beautiful,

vintage giant thread. who knew you could buy these things?

But most of them are things people really shouldn’t get used to.

I spy two pistols and a folk art bird.

Another thing [young, able-bodied single] people shouldn’t get used to is unemployment, but it’s been surprisingly easy for me to do so. I haven’t left the labor force – my situation is complicated and I will start at Domino’s soon if I don’t get another offer I’m waiting on*. But meanwhile, I have ceased to be baffled by my mother’s ability to enjoy being a stay-at-home mom. If you like domestic-y things, there is always another project to begin. I’ve been cooking, baking, and sewing up a typhoon.

and trying to remember where I put my yellow mug.

If my parents would let me, I could probably think up some excuse for why I needed to stay here and do these things for a really long time [um, hello?! Becoming an important blogger** takes time and these antiques are my muse!!]

All of which forces me to wonder, once I’ve found my yellow mug, why contentment can be so hard-fought while complacency sneaks up on me like a cat with wings***. The fast-food rut, the B’s-in-Greek rut, the half-hearted-prayer rut, the waiting-for-my-bank-account-to-replenish-itself rut… I never notice I’m headed there until I’m already stuck.

The other side of the spectrum, to which I often frantically swing, is a fear of complacency so deep and terrible that I can never relax; I am Jason Bourne, scanning the sky for the aforementioned bat-cat of obesity every time I try to enjoy some gelato.
Did that sentence make any sense at all? Is it time to sell some of your antiques [be honest with yourself]? Do you have a solution to the contentment/complacency dilemma? I certainly don’t.
*I have seriously wanted to deliver pizza for as long as I can remember, the pizza guy being my first [babysitter-night] hero.
**I am aware these don’t exist.
***I’m pretty sure the analogy I’m looking for exists, but this phrase came to mind instead. Although now that I think about it, a cat with wings could indeed be frighteningly stealthy.
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  1. Jacqueline in Atlanta

     /  June 18, 2012

    Here is what I think about your pizza delivery hankering. I think we all have an odd desire to do some kind of job that, even though we may have a degree in this or that, seems maybe taking a step backward, yet oddly enticing. Here I am with my BS in Accounting, an antiques business and work as a freelance writer, yet I have always wanted to get a job selling the high end cosmetics at the department store. I made the mistake of asking the lady one time if they got free samples and got all the gifts with purchase for free. “Of course,” she replied. “We have to know what we are selling.” I was doubly hooked. The sad part is, I would probably make more money selling cosmetics than ticking up columns of numbers and filing tax returns, especially in this economy. sigh

    As for my mess, it’s proof that the counseling I got for my perfectionism worked!

  2. You distorted the truth by using that last photo.


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