Saturday, June 25, 2005


I have a tendency to go to other people's houses, like most recently Thisbe’s in Iowa, and covet everything they have, their entire lifestyle basically. Thisbe has a house full of cool vintagey things, she makes crazy beautiful art books, she has things taped up all over her office in that random sort of way that ends up looking incredibly collagey and artful, and she grows salad in her yard. And she has a barn and she grows stuff in old things like sinks and tubs and whatever might look cute.

What is increasingly more absurd is that this already is my lifestyle. Minus a few art supplies and a little less natural talent, plus different vintagey things, plus a corkboard (because when I try to tape things to the walls randomly and artfully it looks only like I taped them to the walls randomly like a four-year-old - but) plus a husband who tapes things to the walls artfully, minus the salad and the barn but plus a hammock.

So just now I was looking around my desk at all my desky stuff, which I will give you a little glimpse of. To my left is a polaroid of Ben on my old back porch from the first month we were dating. It's a little blurry but he's looking at me like... well, you know. There's my pink cut-glass lamp from the Columbus Avenue flea market that I've had for probably fifteen years. Then there's my 67 Barracuda model on the window ledge, commemorating my first car. Two mugs full of pens and stuff, one with a picture of me on it in front of London Bridge that my stepmom had made after a wonderful "girls" family trip ten years ago. It says "They say 'Tems..." which was a running joke about some Texan tourists we met who said, "They call it the Tems, but it's really the TAMES." Then there's a petit point my mom's mom made decades ago of three Dutch children under an umbrella. A photo of my dad and stepmom and sister and me from when I was in college that I've always loved, taken by my former roommate and good friend Davey. A bunch of files in a pink metal napkin holder I got at a vintage store. And around the room: a photo of me and my dad at my wedding in a snowglobe, a jar full of beach glass, a vintage typewriter from Dad's barn, some beautifully framed vintage prints for a children's room from my friend Lisa, a calendar of prints including one made for me by our friend Chafe, a portrait of me and my mom from when I was a baby.

Anyway the point is, I am a little bit misty now, and incredibly grateful, and with all due respect to Thisbe, not covetous.


DAM said...

Glad you're no longer covetous, but now I covet your desk, which I suppose is better than coveting my neighbor's husband.

Here's (obviously), telephone, pen case artfully positioned on an angle, telephone, cigarettes and ash tray that travel with me so they're not permanent features. No personality. Nope, I'm going to rephrase that. Filled with minimalism.

Wanna' hear something weird ? My mother once had an apartment two blocks away from the building where I now live. When I would sit in her living room, there was a specific apt. in this building I would look at. Always the same apt. I created an entire life for the people. Seriously, I wrote of their lives. Don't know why, but I believe I now live in that apt. Too bad I no longer have what I wrote. Considering I keep *everything* I've ever written, it's strange I wouldn't have it. Wait a sec. I just realized why. I was meant to write my own story for this apt. Wow.

thisbe said...

i'm exactly the same way! i think it's covetousness that makes me collect so damn much STUFF! i have a feeling that i'd come to your house and then want to come back to my house and fill it with stuff like in your house... and i'm a little misty now too, reading about your photographs... i also kind of want to go look for a vintatge napkin holder for my desk now... ouy...

Betsy said...

Wow is right, Debra, go for it!

Thisbe, I think you're onto something here - if I just get more stuff, the right stuff - will I no longer covet other people's stuff? Until I go to someone else's house and see something I didn't know I really really wanted until they had it... pink napkin holder so much cuter than actual Target file holder thingie behind it! Go find a garage sale now! You would love my friend Lisa's stuff in LA... and she has a vintage store called Flounce
in Echo Park if you're ever there.