Saturday, February 9, 2008

Loving 'The New'

Today I reached a new and unanticipated milestone in my life. Similar to the Age of Enlightenment, but this I call “The Age of Indulgence”.

I must have reached it because this behavior is so foreign to me. I have always had such an overwhelming appreciation for anything new that it always came out of the box the minute I bought it and was immediately put to use.

For so many years I donned my new boots, coat, or dress in the store and had them wrap up the old one I came in wearing. I haven’t done that for quite some time. But only because somewhere along the way it became perceived badly by clerks. And about the same time society developed a sneering attitude toward ‘those that buy something and immediately put it on their backs.’ So I catered to that nonsense even though it certainly dampened my original excitement about ‘the new’.

But my personal preference never altered. It was only outside pressure that made me disguise my thinking and furtively sneak my new things home where I promptly ripped them out of the wrappings and draped them on my body to luxuriate in for most of the afternoon. So, to me, it never counted as a change in my values, only a change in the perception of others. Though protocol may have changed, I remained wildly happy about new things.

Admittedly Christmas mornings are sometimes a bit hectic with me in my new clothes, protected by an apron, frying breakfast in my new frying pan, painting a picture with my new paints, transferring the contents of the old purse to the new one. Pressing my new scarf and gloves into use, and my slippers, and cozy robe. And then making an extra dish from my new cookbook in my new crockpot, opening and nibbling at my chocolates, and reading a couple chapters in my new book.

And then, before bedtime, finding time to luxuriate in the gleam of new scented candles while immersed in a foam of new bath products. And rising from that bath to slather myself in new body lotions, polish, and dusts before retiring to bed nestled in my new afghan. The day is spent in happy endeavor to fit everything into a hectic schedule of immediate use. But I have to do that, cause I really love new things.

But, something has changed in the realm of my thinking. A transition has happened. Yesterday Hub and I bought a new shop vacuum. A lovely thing. A needful thing. With the old one being as old as it was – probably 15 years or more, I should have been in a frenzy to put the new one into ‘trial’ use, if nothing else.

But somehow the box got kicked aside and left overnight without being opened. There was a reduced buzz of anticipation and excitement in opening the new and putting it into action. It stayed there in that stapled and taped box overnight before it was opened. I didn’t even peek at the shape or color until the next day. I didn’t plug it in, try it out, or listen to it hum.

So I can only conclude that I have at last reached the Age of Indulgence. A place in time where ‘the new’ is too easily come by to be thoroughly appreciated. Too easily secured. A revolution of my very nature that I find as unsettling as letting something precious slip away. It is a change in value and attitude that equally surprises and perplexes me. I never really expected this to happen – not until I had known the luxury of trotting the globe, an exotic cruise in a monster ship, or some other self-indulgent extravagance.

But even without lavish intemperance, a transition has happened that leaves a sense of loss. I feel it in my bones and in the last 24 hours, my actions have proved the happening of it. A loss more difficult to bear than I ever expected. I think when one loses their excitement and interest in the wonders of ‘the new’, regardless of what it may be, that is a deprivation as hardening, and disappointing, as the loss of youth and the loss of innocence.

But still I am not so disenchanted as I might otherwise be. I still appreciate, in my old frenzy of excitement about ‘the new’ – a new day, a new landscape, a new sky, a new snow, the freshness of new rain. And new puppies, friends, and babies.

And, slightly, but not so much, the sleek look and incredible suctioning power of the new vac.


Pauline said...

If one must temper one's excitement over something new, a shop vac seems a good thing to temper it with. Why not test your theory on a new dress next and see if you feel the same?

WheelDancer said...

Surely we are related! I now purchase so many things on line that I can savor that first indulgence in the peace of my own home with no one to notice but my Sweetie. Of course if we both have something in the box that magically appears, she's off diving into her new goodies, never to notice until we both parade out in our latest newness.


Roberta S said...

Hi pauline. As is so often the case, you make me laugh. Yes, you may have something there. I will consider a repeat of the story with relevant perspective...IF I ever get a new dress! :D

Roberta S said...

Hi wheeldancer. I have to admit I'm not a huge consumer. Hate shopping with a passion. That is why I'm so surprised that I have lost the excitement about 'the new'.

goldenlucyd said...

Sweet Roberta,
Reading your posts is such a pleasure. Your 2/5/08 entry would make a great movie. What an awful man! And I'm an awful typist.
Hope you're having a great week!

Roberta S said...

Thank you for that comment, lucy. I am truly honored to have you visit and honored to visit you with the greatest of pleasure.

Matty said...

How I love the new stuff too....but not clothes or make-up. What I buy and take great pride in is my 'kitchen stuff' wooden spoons, a new egg whisk, Lagostina knife set...with a Sodoku chef's knife..fancy cake plate' glasses.
But I treasure the old as well...sandals that people keep telling me to throw away...I use as slippers....old raggedy oh so comfortable blankets...the smell of old books...but not old old dolls and my books in every room!
Wonderful post.

Roberta S said...

matty, when you say 'wooden spoons', I'm with you on that. I think they talk and flirt with cookie dough and bread dough in a way that metal spoons know nothing about. And when the grandkids get a bowl and wooden spoon to lick the dish, they know licking out the cake bowl is REALLY happening.

And old books -- the older the better. Hub's old but he still smells awfully good especially when he gets fixed up with some nice after shave. But old glasses, rather than new. I'm always on the look out for wine glasses, sundae dishes, shooters, whatever that are just a bit different, just a bit unique. I quite like the fact that when I serve wine, everyone gets a different glass. I chuckle to myself how often conversation starts among casual acquaintances with an opener about my crazy, mismatched glasses, some of which are amber, blue, and even gentle pink.