Want Need Have

I like things a lot.  I don’t think of it as an admirable trait.  In fact, I fear it’s shallow, too rooted in the physical world and while I don’t worry much about my status in the great beyond, I think I could be spending my energy and resources better in the here and now.

I don’t know if that is why I so often pass on something I see and want, why I pick it up and set it down thinking, “I don’t really need that.”  It would be all fine and good if that is where it stayed, but what happens, a lot – more than I’d like – is that the thing takes up residence in my consciousness and refuses to leave.  A squatter, noisy and with a habit of poking, it won’t go away.

So I go back.  Back to the thing.  There are three possible outcomes: it is there and I was right the first time – I don’t need it; it is gone and is immediately elevated to “the best thing there ever was” that I now cannot have and mourning begins; or, we meet again and angels sing and I cough up what ever it takes to bring that wonderful thing, the thing that even in the not having has already brought me both torture and delight, home.

This happened to me recently in Atlanta.  Both Sid and Ann Mashburn’s shops had been recommended by every stylish person who advised me on where to go when I was there.  I could not stop thinking about these black African beads at Ann Mashburn’s.  I had a picture of them on my computer and I kept pulling it up and thinking, “I really do like those.  I’d wear them a lot, I’m pretty sure.  They’re not expensive.  Three?  Five?”  So I went to the site and while there were lots of pretty beads, no black.  Clicking further, I also realized what I really wanted, needed as well, was this lightweight wool scarf to stave off the chill of relentless air conditioning.

I do hate to be a bother, but I rang them up and was flooded with relief to know the beads were still there.  A very nice young woman popped them in the mail and I had them by the end of the week.

The scarf has a lovely hand, drapes like silk and is long enough to wrap but not so wide as to be cumbersome.  The beads are light as air and fall to at just the right length and I was pleased with how they look against tan skin (add vanity to greed and lust – a lot of deadly sins for three skinny strands.)

I just can’t stop thinking that maybe I need two more.

Part Two of my visit to Atlanta is now up at archdigest.com here.  Do take a moment to visit Sid and Ann Mashburn’s site here.

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8 thoughts on “Want Need Have

  1. I just wrote a post about the same thing (kind of) and my struggle to just not "want" anymore and showed an example of all the great things I found one day while shopping that I would normally be tempted to get. But I didn't. But do you know the very next day I drove (in horrible traffic even) to go back to see if that one chair was still there. I had decided that I had to have it.
    Even after I posted that I wouldn't! Well, it was gone. Part of me was grateful (saved!) and part of me was not. And you are right, I have made that chair into "the best thing that ever was." I think about it ever time I pass that corner of the room where I decided it needed to go.
    Yes, you probably NEED two more 😀

  2. Just read your AD posts on the tour of Atlanta shops with SK – sounds like you had a great time! Wish I could have met you that trip.

  3. You must call for two or three more, quickly. They're not Cartier, will not break the bank and you will be sooooo happy. You can wrap them as bracelets too….. Love your subject today! Hurry, don't be sorry…..


  4. when i am in an overwhelming aquisitive mood i go to goodwill-
    it won't be expensive and if i later decide i don't have to have what i bought it can just go rightt back- and don't think i haven't found copper pots and cashmere sweaters because i have –

    john in nc who always makes the goodwill rounds when in atlanta

  5. You are a bad influence Mrs B. I don't need BUT do want some beads so here I am late at night emailing my new 'favourite' long distance store to buy beads. Even the mail costs won't deter – just redirect them to a girlfriend in CO and get her to mail them to me snail mail. I think my credit card is pleased that I don't live in the US or there could be trouble.

    Keep them coming!

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