Everyone has that short list of items they’d take with them to that hypothetical desert island that comes up now and again in conversation. Much of the time, those things special to us wouldn’t be of much use to us on that island (what good is a Kitchenaid mixer without electricity?) but we’d haul them along with us anyway. Human being are kind of like magpies that way, and more power to us. I think that our ability to imbue inanimate objects with emotional value is fascinating.
Here’s my list, which I put together just now. I didn’t let myself think too much about my choices because I wanted to see where my impulses would take me.
1. I try to keep an unending supply of petit fours in my pantry. Sometimes I buy ‘em, and sometimes I make ‘em from scratch. You don’t want to run into me on the street when I’ve run out. Little cakes…they are my crack.
2. My collection of Russian khokhloma kitchenware is important to me because it represents a connection to my heritage. Well, part of my heritage seeing as that I’m what one might not-so-politely call a mutt. In more courteous conversation I hail from “mixed ancestry.”
3. I always admired my grandparents’ collection of masks from different parts of the world, and now I have all sorts of masks of my own. Why do I like creepy faces hanging inside my house but hate the creepy faces hanging outside of other people’s houses? I’m going to guess it’s because mine are culturally relevant. I do worry that they’re going to scare the hell out of my kids someday!
4. My red Oreck upright rocks my socks — it was a hand-me-down from my grandparents, and thank goodness for that. Vacuums are way more expensive than I assumed they’d be back before I ever had a floor of my own to keep clean.
5. As annoying and yucky and mean as they can be, I adore my my quatro of cats. Did you think I was going to say “the litter box?” Having living beings around is, in some way, invigorating, if only because I find myself chasing them around the house with the spritz bottle.
I guess at my core I am a crazy, cake-eating cat-lady neat-freak who has a weakness for other cultures. Now tell me, what are the five things that you wouldn’t want to live without? And what does your list say about you?