We bought new bedding, or I did, from Ikea. After much anticipation and more research than could ever be necessary.
I bought candles, too, in shades of turquoise. Coconut scented, and I bought three small succulents, in little tiny tins.
The old bedding was brown and off-white, the texture of worn-out t-shirts. Pilling from the day we got it.
It was sloppy, the stuff of teenage bedrooms, of awkward sexual exploration, freshmen, dormitories.
The new bedding is bright, sharp, geometric. Mature yet playful, or intelligent yet fun. It is all the adjective couplings that I am not.
(This is not the first time I’ve personalized home decor).
(Anyways, it’s all from Ikea; you probably have the exact same things).
It pleases me to an almost ridiculous degree. In the midst of all this soul-searching and mind-mining, my most consistent source of contentment came with matching pillow cases and a money-back guarantee.
Now, should I fall apart and cry for hours, I do so on a grown-up’s bed. If I squander my morning and into the afternoon wistfully and enviously watching others live their lives in real time on instagram or lifestyle blogs, then at least it’s within a color scheme of my own choosing.
* * *
It’s not true that money can’t buy happiness, wrote one of Chad’s students for a “This I Believe” assignment. He had grown up poor and acutely aware of the specific, tangible ways in which money can, indeed, buy the things that create a life more easily lived. Money – basic needs – a modicum of social status – happiness.
Other students talked about things like the time Mickey hugged them at Disneyland. They wrote about love and positivity, about friendship, and lessons learned at school, and growing stronger. They turned away, physically–eyes cast downward–as the boy explained that not all maxims are true, a lesson learned the hard way. “Is it okay if the story isn’t happy?” another asked, and before long the boy himself questioned, and later changed, his public assertion of belief.
* * *
Best not to look at the pilling underside of things. Don’t stretch that sagging fabric any further. Instead, admire the bold shapes and crisp whiteness, the way avocado and turquoise marry with slate.
Or the way brand-new work clothes hang with such promise in the room, late afternoon sun rendering them ghost-like and elegant. Soft heather grey and peach-nude chiffon, tomboyish geometrics and playful neon, lace and navy and layers and prints, silhouetted against curtains that, already, you want to replace.
Lose yourself in the material.