It was a beautiful jacket, fuchsia pink cashmere and love at first sight. It cost a not-so-small fortune and there’s no way that I could afford to buy it now, not even at its 1993 price. You would think that I’d have worn it to death, for I felt a million dollars in it. But stupidly I rarely allowed myself the joy of putting it on it because I thought that it might get spoiled and that it should be saved it for best. It ended up, years later, in the charity bag, barely worn and now hopelessly outdated.
I’d like to say that I learned a lesson from this but I still have a tendency towards saving things to keep them nice. But for what? So that I can enjoy looking at them? In case I won’t be able to find anything quite as nice to replace them? This, of course, won’t be necessary if they never get used anyway as they won’t wear out, and eventually, they’ll go the way of the cashmere jacket.
I have a particularly treasured piece of jewellery. It’s not especially valuable in monetary terms but there is great sentiment attached to it and yet, I would need no more than the fingers of one hand to count the number of times I’ve worn it. But why on earth would I not? Is it a case of ‘what if I lost it’? Well. If I did, at least I could think back on how much I had enjoyed wearing it. As things stand, if we were burgled and it was stolen, I’d have almost no happy memories associated with it. Heavens, I have even refrained from using the leather bound notebook gifted by a friend who knows how much I like unusual stationery, because it’s ‘too nice to use’.
There’s probably an element of hereditary here. My mother kept best tea towels. Tea towels for goodness sake! The old ones were used day to day, whilst the newer ones remained pristine as they hung over the oven rail. Was it because anyone coming into her kitchen would say “What beautiful tea towels you have”? Because, of course, that’s what people do!! Right.
There were other nice things that rarely saw the light of day, a best dinner service kept only for the most special occasions, hand embroidered table linen not used in case it got spoiled, a set of exquisite cut glass tumblers consigned forever to a display cabinet in favour of using plain ones, probably bought in Tesco. What pleasure my mother could have had, every day, drinking from sparkling Waterford crystal.
And what pleasure I could have if, instead of keeping them boxed in my wardrobe, I took out the cerise suede shoes I bought several months ago and actually wore them. I’m going to do it; I really am. And I’m going to wear that necklace and write in that book. I’m going to use my beautiful things and make every day feel a little bit special.
How about you? Do you have things that you love but never use, and if so, why do you think this is?