Are You Enjoying—or Saving—the Good Stuff in Life?

It’s time for another installment of Personal Interrogation Reflection: multiple choice format!

Take a shot of vodka truth serum and answer the following three questions:

Question 1: How often do you use your “good” meal stuff (like the bone China, the fancy glasses, whatever precious stuff you put on your wedding registry, or anything you’ve deemed “special”)?

A) The special dishes and flatware and Waterford crystal only come out on special occasions … so two or three times a year.
B) I break that shit out for weekday hot dogs; I need no good reason to enjoy the “good stuff” at the kitchen table.
C) “Good dishes”? Is that anything other than the box my pizza comes in?

I know a woman who saved fancy wine glasses in the back of a closet, packed up for when she and her partner would finally move to Michigan. Their move was delayed and delayed and delayed yet again … which meant they were drinking wine out of Dixie cups (kidding! I think!). It dawned on her that she was settling, drinking pinot noir out of “average” glasses, when she knew her “best stemware life” was waiting for her behind a strip of packing tape. I’ll never forget the day she told me they broke into the box. Joy had been consumed (gulped!). Are you holding back on the good dishes? Might you like your toast a bit more on your special dinner plates? Does your fancy salt and pepper shaker want to come alive in an otherwise pedestrian dinner? What about using those shiny dessert spoons just to eat pudding out of the plastic cup?

Question 2: Describe your decision-making process when getting dressed.

A) I save my best clothes and jewelry for special events, like weddings or galas or Taylor Swift concerts.
B) I need no special reason to get myself dolled up; I’ll wear a dress to Five Guys if I’m in the mood and fancy shoes to Trader Joe’s. I want my accessories to see the light of day!
C) There is no “decision-making process.” Soft pants and orthopedic shoes: decision made.

I just met a fellow who recently turned 50 and decided it was high time to start dressing up, being on the downward slope of life and all. When I met him he had on a dapper suit and bowtie in an office with a dress code that was decidedly business casual. I felt busted … and then inspired. I buy clothes, declare them “too special,” and put them aside in favor of my uniform (the same four shirts on rotation, worn with the same soft joggers no one can see on screen). What if I wore that blue dress? What if I wore the fancy blazers? What if I put on that nice-ish dressy necklace I have? What am I waiting for?! What’s your version of a bowtie life? Do you have outfits that might brighten your day to wear for no fancy reason at all? If they still fit, let’s wear them!

Question 3: What’s your philosophy on consuming valuable drinks and foods?

The Fabulous Scene in Sideways

Sideways …. such a great flick.

A) The “top shelf” stuff is on the top shelf for a reason: so I can’t drink it. I’m saving the good bottles for big occasions in the future, even if I don’t know what those occasions are.
B) There is nothing more pleasurable than decanting a fabulous wine on a random Tuesday for no real reason at all. And I know saffron is expensive but it’s a small treat that goes a long way, so I cook with it regularly.
C) I love Chef Boyardee!

My idea of Valentine's Day romance.

My idea of Valentine’s Day romance.

We all love that scene in Sideways where Paul Giamatti drinks his beloved 1961 Château Cheval Blanc at the burger joint. Check out the picture of Valentine’s Day 2017, when The Husband and I brought a bottle of bubbly to enjoy over burgers and tacos at Big & Little’s (RIP) in Chicago … BECAUSE WE ARE ROMANTIC LIKE THAT.

The moral of the story (duh)

I don’t need to tell you BUT IT’S MY JOB TO TELL YOU that you might die before you get to enjoy that bottle of wine, before you use the exquisite gravy boat, before you use the “good” fishing rod, before you sit on the fancy living room furniture (OMG does anyone still use the plastic furniture covers like our grandparents did?), before you wear those good heels again (okay heels are the worst so please replace with an example that resonates with you).

I get that special things are special precisely because they’re enjoyed during special moments or rituals that don’t happen Every Single Day. They just might lose their Special Shininess if we overdo them. Duly noted. But what if you enjoyed the finer things in your life on a slightly more frequent rotation, though? Doesn’t that sound like an enlivening compromise?

The conversation here is about a Celebration of Aliveness … a celebration of getting to be here, of making something—YOUR LIFE—special in an otherwise unremarkable day in your life.

That’s what we’re after, so I’m going to say it again: we want to make an otherwise unremarkable day remarkable.

Drink Me TodayWear your special watch.

Curl your hair or do that fancy updo thing that looks so pretty on you.

Put your Dad’s cufflinks on.

Pour a glass of the good Blue Label stuff.

Wear the good blazer.

Make that “celebration meal” you go over the top to prepare … when there isn’t a celebration in sight.

Use the fancy skin products and perfumes you’ve been hoarding for “later.”

How will you make today count by cracking into the good stuff?

Jodi Wellman

P.S.: I have a great idea about how to make life special: order my book, You Only Die Once: How to Make It to the End with No Regrets!

P.P.S.: Let’s do Instagram together.

P.P.P.S.: Oh and just in case you missed it… I’d love you forever if you took 16 minutes out of your life to watch my TEDx talk!


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