Late Sunday morning was so nice. I had to run an errand, and though it would take me nowhere near our downtown, I asked the Mister if he would mind if I left him with the (sick) boys while I walked around and looked at antiques. He just rolled his eyes and said, “Please. You don’t have to ask. Go and have fun. Just don’t do anything crazy, like shabby chic.”
I pointed out that I don’t like shabby chic interiors so it wasn’t a risk. He then claimed I once sent him an email with a picture of a thrifted dresser spray-painted and made to look “chippy.” Men remember the oddest things. “Don’t forget to buy blue cheese” goes in one ear and out the other, but an email from several years ago about a white dresser? That gets burned into the brain.
I walked around all my favorite shops–not one carrying Rachel Ashwell–and had such a wonderful time by myself. I’m normally with the boys, or on rare occasions, friends. It can be hard to shop with children, of course, but the same can be said of shopping with friends. It was nice to linger at my own pace, speaking to no one, and hover over displays I loved without worrying about dawdling or keeping someone else entertained.
When I went to Campy Mighty, Nicole and I later went shopping on the furniture strip in Palm Springs. We went into one store that had the most amazing candle burning. I would have bought one, but the store that carried them was closed on Sundays. I haven’t been able to find a candle I like as much since, though a part of me worries that the memory of this candle exceeds the reality. I was pretty excited about the Flora Exotica candle, above, with its alluring packaging of black and gold and floral, but no. It’s scent is primarily honeysuckle, a smell I loathe. And so the memory of the Palm Springs candle glows brightly. To my husband: the only way I could have been less subtle is if I had I printed out this post, wrapped it around an anvil, and dropped it on your head from a second story window. Mother’s Day is in May.
The takeaway from my window shopping, aside from honeysuckle and lilac remaining my least favorite scents, is that our home lacks vignetting. You walk into some of these stores, and you are pulled in by the most interesting displays. They unfold as if the store houses characters in a book. In this corner lives Ruth, who likes to read cookbooks in bed, prefers her hand soap to smell like rosemary, and collects crockery–always in cream. Magda is agnostic but adores religious folk art, Santos dolls, and lights a Saint Jude veladora before her weekend meditations because (1) it reminds her of her grandmother and (2) sometimes she feels her love life is a bit of a desperate case. Across the aisle stands Jane. She likes bright, pure colors (all of them), cooks semi-homemade, and throws the best parties because she never tries to make everything perfect.
It hit me, in that big store full of characters I would like to meet, that decorating is just another form of storytelling.