Monday, October 15, 2012

Realizing the Luxury You Already Have

The thing that makes me most sad about American Culture is how utterly rich and wealthy we are, and yet we do not appreciate it.  We lament our lot, we wish we had more and more -- I myself am not immune.  I think if we just paused and realized how much luxury we have, even the lower-middle class, then we might be more content.  My wife helped me realize this in a backhanded, inadvertent way.

The other day, Celia was putting away dishes, including our glasses.  Now, we have lots of glasses -- I have two sets of six glass beer mugs (one is big and thick, the other smaller), then I have a few pub pint glasses (a "Luther" movie set and a few souveniers), plus a set of 4 demotivational pint glasses that Celia liked -- then a Guinness set -- and then a set of 4 Guinness glasses with their shape... and of course there are some scotch tumblers, and a few shot glasses, and two sets of wine glasses and then the plastic cups for water...

And let's not even talk about the shelf of coffee mugs (which brought out the discussion - we bought some corelle ware that came with 8 mugs).

In her attempt to impose order, my wife asked, "Do these different glasses really matter?!?"  And I answered, "Well, yes - the different shapes do different things for how the smell of the beverage comes out, and how the head forms, how quickly things cool or warm to room temperature..." (or at least something approximating that... I started to explain the benefits of the different shapes).

That is luxury.  I have different glasses so as to enhance the various character of different beverages.

This is insane luxury.  No longer is it basic functionality (hold liquid) but nuanced and... as much as I won't tell my wife... not really necessary.  My Guinness is a bit better when in my Guinness pub glass, but, well, it's still good out of a plain mug.

And we aren't talking about highly expensive glassware -- most of these are Ross Dress for Less discount sets or Target Clearance.  But the variety... utter luxury.  The modern grocery store, with spices from all over the world... utter luxury.  Netflix,wherewith I can watch tons of stuff for a few bucks a month... utter luxury.

When I think of the luxury I have, when I see the good that I have - it's much better and much more enjoyable than focusing on the things that I don't.

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