Saturday, October 20, 2018

Throwback Thursday

I know, it's not Thursday. But this really is about a Thursday-related throwback, not that that's important.

I've been thinking (and blogging) a bit about the people we've become, and where we came from, and what a long way it can seem to be. I wrote about it with regard to my kitchen but spared you when I ordered a new mattress. Here's the short version: I remember starkly how Nina's parents and mine had an epic meltdown because she spent $500 on a mattress (this must have been 20 years ago). It was the height of indulgence and financial irresponsibility! Who would do such a thing when you can get a mattress for $75?? And that is their attitude. When I decided to replace the mattress I've had for more than ten years--largely out of stewardship for my problematic back--my initial research pointed to the starting price of a decent mattress being around $700, with the average for decent being around $1,000. I found this vaguely annoying not just because that's more than I cared to spend, but because most of the people in the world can barely afford a bed of any kind. It's also an incredibly hard thing to research (the reviews are all over the place, and models change frequently, so it's hard to get a sense of what you're buying). But I promised you the short version, so enough about my mattress.

Thus far, my 'you've come a long way, baby' musings have largely come from the standpoint of how the universe I know inhabit entails spending that was unthinkable to my parents, and how I've had to adjust to the paradigm of it being okay to spend money. But on Thursday or so, I had a different, more pleasant kind of "remember when." Someone mentioned that a colleague that I'd never really talked to had spend a lot of time in Chile, and that colleague and I got to talking about Pablo Neruda. He referred to Canto General, and I dug out my copy, as well as my copy of Matilde Urrutia's memoir to loan to him. We talked about Latin American literature, mentioning Allende, Borges, Cortazar, and Dorfmann. I thought wistfully about a time when all I did was read books (rather than news, tweets, and the New Yorker). Having that conversation awakened a long-buried part of me I'd forgotten existed and that I need to make time and energy to nurture. I've been so tired, but you've got to feed your soul.

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