|Use it! Enjoy it! Because it's beautiful, and because...|
This is the time of year when we all start breaking out our winter/holiday finery, including tablecloths, decorations and even special furniture. This last weekend I bid in another online auction and got this gorgeous mahogany dining room table for $200. (Thanksgiving on my mind! It has TWO leaves and can expand to 120 inches!)
I know many people who have dining room tables like this in their formal dining room, and rarely use them. Which seems like a shame to me. I think the things we buy should be used and enjoyed. That's why we don't have a breakfast area, and instead eat all our meals at the one dining room table, thereby visiting with it almost every day. It's gorgeous, so why not look at it every time we sit down to a meal?
I remember going to an antique store several years ago which featured toys for sale -- in their original boxes, unopened. Apparently that is the gold standard for buying these kinds of things -- toys like Barbie dolls and stuffed animals are highest priced in their original wrappings, unused.
How sad that we relegate such things to uselessness in order to keep their value. It's one thing to take care of what you own to make sure it lasts a long time, but entirely another to never enjoy it or never use it for the purpose for which it was intended...gee, and I thought formal dining rooms people rarely went into was sad.
About 18 years ago, my mother found an antique sideboard at a junk store, liked it and purchased it for me at the bargain basement price of $100. Upon doing a little online research, we discovered that it was a one-of-a-kind Brown-Saltman piece from the 1930's and was probably worth between $4,000 - $10,000. She was thrilled. I was dismayed. The insurance company was helpful in putting together a policy for it. Which meant, as a struggling single mom and beginning teacher, I was now in possession of a piece of furniture that needed its own insurance policy. I felt a little sick.
For months I worried about the piece, not putting anything on it, not allowing the kids within a mile of it. I was almost afraid of it, yet at the same time resentful -- how had I unluckily come into possession of something which clearly demanded so much respect as to not be touched or used?
And then my best friend visited and told me I needed to use it and enjoy it. She said that was what it was created for. And if an accident happened -- it got scuffed, dented or scratched -- well, nothing lasts for ever, she said.
The message is the same, whether it's home furnishings or something even more intricate yet also temporary: the sand mandalas the Buddhist monks spend months creating, only to to pause for one moment at it's completion and behold its beauty before sweeping it away, forever gone. The message is clear: Use it! Enjoy it! Because nothing lasts forever. And an unused toy wrapped in a box is worth nothing, because it's never fulfilled it's purpose of being played with and loved by a child. I don't care what the auction house says.
The fact is, if it's a creation made by man or even in nature, it has a life expectancy. Give it a life worth living by using it, for heaven's sake.
|Nothing lasts forever.|