On My Mind
An international manufacturer of safety syringes, an Interior design firm, a land conservancy, a software technology firm that works for the Department of Defense, an architectural imaging company, a firm that specializes in troubleshooting corporate lease contracts, a resort destination located in a large California City, a few other clients and 20 students in my branding class at UCI all got some brain time from me last week. All in all a pretty normal week and typical of my work routine.
There are of course other subjects and items that occupy some share of my time and thinking like writing this Book of Szen. This includes housekeeping, cooking, shopping, dating and playing basketball. If you remember last week’s excerpt you’ll recall that one of my personal character traits is that I like to do more than one thing at a time. That’s true and another trait I mentioned concerned the subject of loyalty. I spent a great deal of time thinking about loyalty this week. But not about the people that are benefactors of my commitment to them or visa versa but rather the things that I possess that for some reason, I can’t get rid of.
You’re right, loyalty may not be the right term for keeping things for an inordinate amount of time but whatever you call it, I do it. I’m not talking about record collections and memorabilia; I’m talking about stuff that I use in my daily life. My sons think it’s pretty weird that some clothes I still wear came with me from Toledo when I moved here over twenty years ago. My retort to them is that it still fits and it’s a timeless style so why not keep wearing it. They respond with “what you call timeless style, we call old school.” They finally convinced me to actually update a few items that, although they were still good enough to wear, seem to send out alarms to the fashion police. Specifically we’re talking about swimwear and gym wear. I now leave it to the boys to replenish my basketball garb and every holiday or birthday I’ll get a new pair of up to date whatever.
These things that have stayed with me for a while fall into a couple of different categories. One is the category of will not die. These items still function and serve their purpose and like good little soldiers refuse to give up the good fight. This includes my can opener which only works for me, the microwave my mother in law gave to me and my wife for a moving in present pre children which is great if you don’t mind waiting an hour and a half for your Jiffy Pop popcorn, and a refrigerator that was a rental that I got when I was divorced, which for some reason freezes all of the contents inside except for what’s in the freezer – what is that all about? Then of course there is all of the furniture that bachelors think look really good but secretly their girlfriends want to not only rearrange but repurpose into refuse. People usually look at my living room and nod politely and then ask, where did you ever find this piece and how long have you been a collector? When I tell them I’m not a collector they usually start to back up slowly towards the door.
The other category of long livable is for stuff that I keep but never use. This includes roller blades, certain cooking utensils like a garlic tool of some kind –I’m really not sure how some of these things came to be in my kitchen. I have a pot with a lid that is so small that baby carrots could not even fit inside. I’ve never used it but have packed it up and moved it with me for a number of years. In a charity auction I won the world’s largest margarita glass but have yet to fill it with anything except napkins.
The vacuum cleaner I have was made by Mr. Hoover himself and I have a very expensive linen shirt in my closet that I never ever wear because 15 seconds after it’s on, it turns into a ball of wrinkles. And last but not least is my barbeque which functions just fine but ceased looking like its original self some time ago and now resembles something that survived a nuclear holocaust.
I tell you this because this is my way of connecting to all of you, through sharing. And so if anybody out there needs a garlic tool, a really small pot or an eleven inch ruler let me know; I may be able to help you out. Enjoy.
From the Book of Szen