Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Luxurious minimalism

Last night we were running in my 'hood and Eric spotted a guy he knows who lives in a studio apartment, doesn't own a car and only has one plate, one fork, etc. Apparently this guy gets job offers from high tech companies all the time, but turns them down to stay at his current job with a non-profit. First I thought how cool it is that he has such a minimalist lifestyle. Then I wondered how he could have company over if he only has one plate. I mean, even your closest friends would look at you weird if you had them over for dinner and only put one fork on the table. Though you could serve pizza and other finger foods and silverware wouldn't be an issue. Actually a finger foods dinner party sounds pretty awesome, now that I think about it.

My first apartment was a studio. I had 2 bowls, 2 cups and 2 ice cream scoops. I didn't own any pans (Technically I still don't own any pans. All the pans in my house were left there by people who used to live with me). I had RG&E turn off the gas because it would save me $20 a month and I never used the stove anyway. Everything was always in its place. There was never any extraneous stuff because there was no room for it. It was all very efficient and I loved it. But it started to get lonely. I needed a few complications, some chaos and more people. So I moved to a 3 bedroom apartment with roommates and then a 3 bedroom house with roommates, then a boyfriend and a dog, and soon to be another boyfriend and another dog.

When I bought the house I was concerned that I'd have to buy a bunch of stuff to fill it up and once I started running on that hedonic treadmill I wouldn't be able to get off. So far it hasn't really happened. I do have more furniture and more tools now, and at times I fantasize about selling everything and taking off to travel the world, but at the same time I like having the extra space to fill up with guests and parties and good times. My house is just under 1200 square feet, which is small in comparison to the typical American house. But it's always felt big to me. I could be happy living with less. Of everything really. Except people. I try to be vigilant about not accumulating too much stuff. But I always like accumulating more people. 'Cause if I'm going to take off and travel the world, I'd like some company.

I suppose my current aesthetic is a sort of luxurious minimalism, somewhere in between austerity and excess. Maybe I've always been trying to find the lifestyle equivalent of Baby Bear's bed: not too hard, not too soft, just right.

Lyric of the moment: "I refuse to fade into the grey of something trite. I'd give a lot of precious things to see you taking flight. Oh, if we meet, be brave, be brave. The Mayan Pilot needs no aeroplane..."

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