I am obsessed with a store called Anthropologie. It is a clothing and housewares boutique that has a sort of shabby chic appeal. I have shopped there for several years, mostly perusing through the sale racks and picking out a random sweater or a cute sundress. But lately I feel myself drawn toward the housewares section.
My house is decorated in a simple modern style and I have never been too particular about my kitchenware. I have plain white plates from Target and some clear glasses from IKEA. A few years ago when I started dating the Boy, I went to Pier One and bought a few stemless wine glasses and four blue square plates with a large brown flower painted on them.
Every time I look at the kitchenware section in Anthropologie, it feels like everything belongs in someone else's life. Someone who throws fabulous porch parties on hot summer evenings. And of course, her hair never gets frizzy. Whenever I see something I want to buy, I end up talking myself out of it. It always feels like too much pressure. How can you create an entire new life just by picking up a set of hand blown wine glasses or some retro pastel ice cream bowls?
There is one particular item that I just couldn't get out of my mind. It was a small juice glass with a delicately painted green tree on the front and a small red and blue bird hopping next to the tree. On the back it said "Maybe someday" in whimsical semi-cursive writing. I must have held that glass in my hand on at least three different occasions and each time I set it back down and walked away.
Two weeks ago I found out that my sister is moving to Akron, Ohio. Even though I knew for months that it was a possibility, I didn't want to acknowledge that it could actually happen. And the Boy is getting ready to finally move into his new house. And my best friend just had a baby. It seems like everyone is moving on with their lives and I am still struggling to define myself.
Last week I decided to stop into the mall on my way home from work. I couldn't resist a quick visit to Anthropologie. As I walked through the housewares section, I wondered if my little juice glasses were still in stock. And then I saw what remained of them on a large wooden table, sprinkled amongst a newer collection of plates and bowls.
Once again, I debated whether I was ready to commit to the shabby chic lifestyle and perfectly straightened hair that these glasses inevitably represented. I asked the woman to hold them behind the counter while I browsed around in the comfort of the clearance racks and contemplated my purchase. I am a single woman of means and these are $12 juice glass from Anthropologie, I thought to myself. If I want to buy the glasses, then what exactly is stopping me?
So I bought a set of four glasses. One with a rabbit on the front that says "You are the cream in my coffee" on the back. I'm not exactly sure why it says that on a juice glass. Another one with an empty cage on the front and a golden bird on the back with the saying "O happy day." And two of my "Maybe someday" glasses. There was a fourth glass in the set, but it was already sold out.
This weekend I have been in Florida visiting my Mr. Big. He had knee replacement surgery and I wanted to be here to take care of him. I flew in Friday night and immediately went to see him at the hospital. On Saturday, I spent most of the day with him, but he kept encouraging me to get out and go shopping.
My Mr. Big has never given me a hard time about my little shopping habit. In fact, he embraces it. For this trip, he printed out a google map showing the locations of all the malls in the Orlando area. Then he hand wrote little messages by each mall. One was called the close mall, another one was the secret mall and the last one was the best mall. Of course, I chose the best mall.
When I walked into Anthropologie for the second time in a week, I realized the other thing that appeals to me about that store. It's the smell. I walked toward the center of the store and discovered the source of the aroma. They were burning a candle called Santiago Huckleberry.
Usually, I only burn candles when I have a date over and we are drinking wine. But that day, it occurred to me that my house could smell like that any time I want. So I ended up buying the Santiago Huckleberry. And another scent that I liked called Gogi Berry. Then I headed back to the hospital to check on my Mr. Big.
He was feeling pretty rested and his pain medications had kicked in so we had an extended conversation. He asked me about my blog and why I hadn't been writing for awhile. I explained that it was a combination of working too much and having a lack of material, at least in the romance department.
"Actually I am surprised that you've had all of those boyfriends," he began. "You are kind of unusual in terms of the lifestyle you want."
"Well, I can be pretty charming," I teased. "And there must be something appealing about me because it worked on you. And the Boy too. Well, until he decided that he wanted to move in together and have kids."
"That's what I mean," he continued. "Anyone who meets you and falls madly in love with you is eventually going to want to get married or at least live together, even if they don't want kids."
"I don't understand why all these guys need to find someone and move in with them so they can share their lives together," I said. "Can't they just see me a few nights a week and share their life with me over the phone?"
My Mr. Big just laughed. We both knew that our relationship was unique and it worked for us at a point in time. But who's to say that after five more years he wouldn't have changed his mind and tried to make me the fourth Mrs. Big. I guess I will never know for sure.
Maybe someday I will fall in love again. And maybe someday I will live in another place. Maybe someday I will figure out what I want to do with the rest of my life.
Until then, I will live in a home infused with the scent of Santiago Huckleberry and I will sit on my patio sipping wine out of my menagerie juice glasses with the whimsical sayings on the back.
And maybe for now that is enough.