Sunday, November 11, 2007

flea bitten

I’m not sure how I made it to age 30 without ever having been to a real flea market. When I was a kid my family went to the swap meet periodically, where I’d search out LA Gear sneakers and short, wide Body Glove T-shirts. And my mom was a thrift store regular, to the extent that my dad, who was always trying to get her to indulge a little, referred to her “98-cent T-shirt collection,” meaning why not break down and by a $20 shirt or even something that was Dry Clean Only?

Today AK and I went to the Rose Bowl Flea Market, mostly because no less than four of her friends were planning to be there, and she and I have a tendency to always be on the lookout for a party.

But it was cold and my new shoes were biting into my ankles and I ended up spending a lot of time on my own. Not in a bad way. There were just so many booths that it was hard to concentrate on other people and on things, and there were so many things.

Some things that caught my eye, which I didn’t buy:

  • Milky white juice glasses with red stripes
  • Sparkly wrap sweater
  • Necklace with randomly spaced silvery beads
  • Necklace with a circle of fake diamonds (ever since seeing The Jane Austen Book Club, I’ve been wanting a necklace that is some variation of Maria Bello’s, which involves circles)
  • Red vinyl chair with white piping if it were in a little better shape
  • The modern-y white glass lamp that Christine and Jody bought, which will look so cool in their apartment because they are the kind of people who have the ability to make things look effortlessly cool
  • Tank top printed with small castles
  • Everything on the many $5 racks

I was overcome with greed and longing, which is what happens when I enter an arena of shiny, reasonably priced objects. I’m flooded with thoughts of what my life might be like if I had a lot of space for decorative items or the ability to upholster or if I gave dinner parties. The only solution is to buy nothing or everything. Today I leaned toward “nothing,” although I got a couple of Christmas gifts.

It was a nice Sunday, capping a really relaxing weekend. But tonight I’m feeling wistful and bored and I’m wondering why.

If all goes as planned, AK and I will find a place together later this winter. We spent some time this weekend talking about Gold Line proximity and washer-dryer hook-ups and rent control. So maybe some of my blueness is antsy-ness. Nesty-ness. I want as much of my life as possible to be in one place and I’m ready:

I want to come home knowing that I won’t be leaving again in an hour. As much as I like to be the pared-down, sustainability-minded urban girl on a train, I also want to spread out, steam up a kitchen, turn on a lamp, invite friends over, have chairs for all of them.


Tracy Kaply said...

I don't think that I could be happier for you than I am Right Now.

Prince Gomolvilas said...

My mom says garage sales and flea markets have things and clothes once owned by dead people. They will haunt you. Be warned.

Cheryl said...

T: Thanks, Tracy. Happiness is a warm sparkly wrap sweater.

P: That's sort of what my novel is about. Seriously. Maybe that's why I'm having trouble getting it published.

Don Cummings said...

Something about a flea market overwhelm me. I love looking at everything followed with buying nothing at all. Though, I do have a bench, a trellis and a baker's rack from the Rose Bowl flea market. So I guess I'm a liar. But at least I never bought one of those coffins or any of those church kneelers.

Cheryl said...

A coffin could make a nice coffee table, if you happen to be a DIY goth.