Let me state here I am a woman of a certain age. The certain age is old. I am not being coy. When you hit the sixth decade you can no longer say you are young. You can feel young, look young but you are not young. I was born in a working class family. That is my father worked and gave my stay at home mother a small portion of his salary to feed and clothe me. Hey he paid the rent and had another family to take care of. Anyway, I had a vivid imagination of things I would get when I would become employed and free. My first real job was at the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company in New York City. I was a file clerk and made 62 dollars a week. I was sixteen and married so for the first time my money was my own; sixty whole dollars! I never had that kind of money. I went out on my lunch hour. Usually lunch would find me in the free cafeteria Met Life had in those day, but it was pay-day, and I was delirious. So, what did I purchase? I bought a set of steak knives. I don’t know why. They just spoke to me of a life of plenty.
I also craved a modern designed plexiglass coffee table I saw in a fancy furniture store window. Imagine glass that doesn’t break! What ever happened to Plexiglass? I saw a TV show last night that said they still use plexiglass during the Coca Cola bottling process but I don’t drink cola. And maybe they still make plexiglass coffee tables but I don’t covet them anymore. I also had a thing for a stereo system that looked like furniture. I never got it but imagining being alone listening to classical music without being bothered by anyone appealed to my trauma filled life at the time.
I used to like high heels. I am five feet tall and during the 60′s and 70′s , I wore cork platform heels daily. I thought I was hot until I went to Spain and was asked if I needed the shoes to walk on water. Obviously cork had not come to Spain in the form of shoes at that time. I don’t wear heels anymore because my feet hurt. Again age comes into play here. I like to look at shoes I can’t wear and then put on a pair of sensible Easy Spirit Mach 100′s which is the badge of honor among women who wore heels back in the day and still have an urge to move.
I like to think I am a simple person because I don’t own many things but it’s not true. I still covet things, just not the things I used to want. I now covet a massage once a month, someone to clean my house and being able to travel whenever I want. Sometimes I get these things because they are a priority to me. I love to travel and make-believe for a few minutes I am rich. I’m not the type to sleep in a tent. I want to live the life I thought I was meant to have when I was sixteen and bought that set of knives. It’s fun to make-believe you’re rich even if it’s only for a short time. Does that make me a bad person? I hope not, I only eat steak once in a while so I don’t need those knives anymore but a nice coffee table would be nice; just not in plexiglass.