Saturday, May 06, 2006

What do you covet? (updated)

Got tagged by Rodger Jacobs for an interesting meme-birthday-list this morning. He urged that we not focus on general concepts like world peace and the like. Practical things, he said. Funny, on my birthday, I thought and thought what I'd like to have and couldn't come up with anything. What I wanted was the impossible. No practical thing could satisfy me.

But certainly, there must be something?

1. A large, obcene amount of money in my checking account. Not that interested in small monthly deposits. No, there's nothing as satisfying as seeing a 5 or 6 digit balance for those on the lower economic end of things. The thrill of potential, the rush of the immediate future. All those things we've been wanting to do!

2. A new computer. I'm virus infected but don't have the time to wipe the drive right now so I'm living with that same ridiculous bug I've had since January. JANUARY? Yes. Damn Windows and Microsoft.

3. A vacation house either on a beach bluff or in the mountains. I have visions of taking weeks off to write, to recoup. A place to watch the kids search for pretty rocks on shore or pine cones in a stretch of forest. A place to study the stars at night because here in the city that is an impossibility.

4. Two extra rooms in our house so J can have his coveted own room, and another to house a library full of books.

5. A housekeeper-gourmet cook. Someone to clean up on a constant basis and cook all our dinners. I'll handle lunch, but how satisfying to have healthy, whipped-up meals without my having to get started at four in the afternoon for such a thing. How wonderful to sit down each night to something delicious. I have images of smiling faces and beautiful china and candlelight. All without my having to work at it.

Who do I tag? Lori at Lori's Place, Hurricane Shirley at Excellent Fodder, Diana at Diaphanous, Patrick at Full Blue Moon Dementia, and Carolyn at the Ginger Quill.


Today, I'm unsociable. As I write, the family is at a community dinner, the kids hanging out with neighbor kids, the husband listening to speakers talking about our…community. The idea of it just grated on me. So at the last minute, I decided to stay in and grade papers. I managed to get in a nap. The papers still sit. The husband is irritated at me. He called and asked, “Come over and serve the kids their food, please.” I gritted my teeth and said, “No.” I’m certain to hear about it later. I’ll let you know how it all goes down.

Last night, however, I wasn't feeling unsociable. I had the pleasure of meeting Hurricane Shirley of Excellent Fodder, and excellent she was! We enjoyed ribbing Rodger Jacobs about his mild grumpiness while surrounded by a noisy crowd at the Acapulco. The waitresses were passing out beads a la Mardi Gras or St. Patrick’s day. The three of us nodded kindly and passed on the green baubles which evoked a flash of horror on the waitress’s face.

“What do you mean you don’t want the beads?”

“No, no beads.”

“But they’re happy beads. Take the beads.”

“No beads.”

“TAKE THE BEADS YOU VILE, UNSOCIABLE CUSTOMERS!!” At which point she flung like ten strings at us, the strings breaking apart and mixing into our Fiesta Plate. A beautiful sight really.

That didn’t happen. Completely made up. Total, utter fiction. About the beads, that is. The waitress wanted that to happen though, I could tell. When we rejected her offer of plastic jewelry, she blinked, her mouth stiffened, her blond hair shook with simmering tension. She turned and left to bother others about the beads.

Our afternoon dwindled as we drank our margaritas and over all enjoyed the company of one another. The 210 freeway was amazingly open as I drove home near seven beneath a darkening sky, zipping through Eagle Rock and Pasadena, and onto home, Nelly Furtado accompanying my drive.

I’ve decided what I covet most is unscheduled free time.


Update: You can find Diana's thoughtful list here.


David N. Scott said...

You didn't take the beads??

Man, some people...

Fromage de Merde said...

Ah, what do I covet? I think that it would be a far shorter list saying what it is that I don’t covet, but here goes:

1. For obvious reasons that we need not go into right now I’m seriously coveting a Maserati, Lotus or a Ferrari – any make or denomination, hell, I’m not gonna be picky here. Though maybe this time I won’t be walking away from plowing into the next embankment that’s awaiting me.

2. Living in San Francisco with the serious lack of “space” being available I tend to find myself coveting my neighbor’s apartments, artist lofts, three bedroom homes and condos with their million dollar bay views. Sometimes even a nice station wagon looks inviting and larger than what I reside in.

3. Ok, this maybe a little weird here but I covet other people’s ability to drink and use drugs reasonably/responsibly. You know stop at a few drinks, get high on New Years only, drink sociably, party on the weekends etc. etc. That’s just not me – I use until it’s gone and then I use yours, and when that’s gone it really gets ugly.

4. I covet living out the rest of my life in the south of France – enough said!

5. I covet the ability that certain writers have for telling a story: Annie Proulx, Chuck Palahniuk, James Ellroy, Anne Lamott, Hubert Selby Jr. – just to name a few, and the fact that they’re published, adored and read by millions doesn’t hurt either!

6. Love, I covet the love that people got in their lives. Sure I got friends and family that profess that they love me and all that nice happy “huggy shit” it’s just that I got no one that LOVES me, ya know what I mean? (the following lovability disclaimer is more for me than you, please disregard if this becomes too uncomfortable) It’s not that I’m that disagreeable, hell, my ex-wife still thinks we’re gonna get back together and we divorced 17 years ago! I just don’t know how to go about doin’ the get together thing anymore and besides I’m so friggin’ picky and…

Oh never mind.

And with that said he took his little coveting self and wandered off into the sunset

Diana said...

I've been thinking about this a lot this weekend... I love the word "covet." I'll try to write something up soon!

Lori said...

Oh, jeez. Like Patrick, it'd probably be easier and shorter for me to tell what I DON'T covet. LOL! But seriously...I find myself agreeing with a lot of your list, bud. I think we want a lot of the same things. But since you asked, I'll do up my own.

1. Like you, that money in the checking account. A lottery win would be ideal...but at this point I'd take a few hundred extra every month, just so I'm not dreading checking on the balance and hearing something like, 'two dollars available.' Oyyy.

2. A nice, cushy consulting job at a movie studio where I could just go in occasionally, watch rough cuts and tell them what I think as an editor...and get paid. I remember the first time I heard of such a job...I definitely turned green with envy.

3. Yeah, a housekeeper and a cook...I'm just not that into housewifing.

4. A bigger house with a decent yard and a pool.

5. A Hawaiian vacation. Sometimes I really think I'm never going to see that place.

6. And like you, bud...more time to myself. LOL!

Jennifer said...

I'm a very focused, single minded sort. The onliest thing I covet at the moment is a high school diploma for my son. *ahem*

That said, a cabin in the woods that nobody else knew about and the time to spend there might make my list, too.

Open Book

Adriana Bliss said...

LOL beads!

Patrick, what a list - and no, it didn't make me as a reader uncomfortable! LOL No. 6 is very real - you made me think of the kinds of love I think of, wish for, even in the face of being surrounded by love. There's always more or something that eludes us. Great list.

Lori! I'm so glad you posted. We're so on the same page with that money in the checking (I don't care that it's cheating! I do covet those large bank accounts! I do!). Hawaii! Fantastic choice - how often I dream of travelling. Even with the rugrats. Maybe especially with the rugrats...okay, I won't go THAT far. :) Right now, a fellow blogger, Tamar, is preparing for a trip to Greece. HUGE envious sigh. :) Thank you Lori for playing.

Diana, your list is awesome. I'm linking to it.

Oh Jennifer, I wonder if I'll be wishing that high school degree in a few years. See, that mountain cabin is a draw, eh?

narrator said...

Of course I always covet safety. And the sense of security. But I'd like a cool convertible and a house with a view of Dublin Bay or the North Sea. Oh, yeah, and the publishing contract...

Diana said...

Oh, Adriana, I didn't mean that you cheated in saying a large bank account! I just meant that if I had that, I wouldn't have very many much else on my list. I'd have a housekeeper. I'd get lasik surgery by the very best surgeon. I'd have one of those Oprah-style makeovers where they completely change my hair and wardrobe and throw out every item of clothing that doesn't make me feel fabulous. For that matter, I'd have someone come do my hair a few times a week. So... that wouldn't leave much on my list! And that's not so interesting to read...

Diana said...

And an editor to follow me around the blogosphere. "many much else"?!?!

Adriana Bliss said...

Are my eyes deceiving me? Is that you, Narrator? :) It's great to "see" again, and with an excellent comment no less. :) A cool convertible...yes...and the publishing contract...[heavy sigh].

LOL Diana! I accepted the word in the best light possible. :) Your wishes are completely agreeable... :) The hair thing. I could do with that. I could do with more hand-and-foot-waiting-upon. But then, maybe I'd turn into a freak a la Michael Jackson or Tom Cruise.

I still like the idea of a huge amount of money in my checking account.

Oh, and I must add, a piggyback onto Patrick's idea of love - I think I'd like to BE coveted. Period. It must be wonderful to be wanted, desired...coveted.

Carolyn said...

Hi Adriana,
Usually when I want something for so long, then if and when I get it, I realize I didn't want it as bad as I thought I did, lol! But there are things... and I will definately do this list in a couple of days :)