The Three Year Vacation

Victoria Baths via Wikimedia, by GBPhoto27

I feel as though I’m walking into a large, empty foyer with a lantern, and that what I write here will echo blankly across the walls, bouncing back at me to confirm what I already feel: that nobody’s left here to listen to my timid greeting. Which is to be expected; it’s been two and a half years.

I feel as though I am walking into a mansion where fabulous parties once took place and some of the best conversations happened and some of the best meals were served and some of the best guests attended.

It’s been a three year hiatus, I think to myself as I turn on the old gas stove and start looking through the cupboards for canned foods. I see a loaf of bread so covered in mold the only recognizable feature is its shape, and next to that there’s a jar of peanut butter that was left open and was so chemical-ridden it has somehow resisted decomposition. As I start to heat up some Campbell’s soup, I warm my hands over the stove top, listening to the crack of expanding metal, and glance at the photographs hanging on the walls of the guests who used to attend those parties, and realize how much I miss the constant exchange of ideas and experiences.

Taking my warm cup of soup I dampen a washcloth, then move to the kitchen table and wipe off three years’ worth of dust. The last time I sat here thinking up stuff to write was in 2013, June, when I wrote about Introverts and Extroverts. That was a long time ago. I find, though, that there’s still a notebook here, with a pen sitting there next to it wrapped in a cobweb. I brush it off, click it open, and start writing a list of things that have happened between then and now.

Ran a restaurant. Went to China. Finished college.

For a year, I worked at a bank. Then I was an accountant at a seafood distribution company. Then I did archival work at a TV station. Now I’ve been a receptionist at different places, on and off since before Christmas.

Grew a mustache. Moved away from home. Lost most of my plants to weather. Lost dear friends. Made new ones. Learned a language. Got cultured and became disillusioned with it at the same time.

I started a couple new blogs, but it just hasn’t been the same. Frankly, I miss all of you, and I miss the freedom of expression I had on this particularly themeless blog, this particular House of Happy which is now whirring as the boiler in the basement kicks on. I turn on lights in the different rooms and find half-read books on sofas, unwashed coffee cups on side tables, sheet music still open at the piano, the paper yellowed with age and the notes all but faded away.

Gosh, I’ve missed this place.

an update on sephy

hey everyone 🙂

its planty here. i just writing to say, that seph is taking good care of gershwin and i. gershy looked a little wilty about a week ago, seph even thought he might die. he didn’t know what he’d tell you all if that had happened.

but gershwin pulled through, after seph took a little care. also recently, he gave him some green tea and that seemed to help him. he thought about giving some to me but didnt know if i would like it and i didn’t either. gershwin says hi.

seph commissioned me to write this post today. is not quite so busy as he makes himself out to seem, but the fact is, he doesn’t have too much time on his hands lately to himself, so he’d rather be working on his “real” writing than bloggin. i said that its the same thing, but he says that what he writes on the blog can’t get published elsewhere, and if he’s going to be writing, he’d rather be writing something that he can eventually get published and get paid for, i said that it’s worth something to all his bloggy friends, and he said he knows. but still, blogging is like an online diary, whereas he says that his real writing is more “real.” i still dont get it but okay. lol

in other news, he’s moved me & gershwin to the kitchen window sill, and we’ve been hanging out here.

all is well at sephy’s pad. he says hi.

love
planty

Materialism and Friendships — When Stuff Is Better Than People

We all probably know those people whose jobs take them away. And I don’t mean, they moved to the next city over. I mean they literally, moved AWAY, to like Timbuktu or someplace. I, for one, used to be baffled by this. Why would somebody give up their home and their friends to move someplace where they didn’t know anybody, just for a better job?

I understand that when it comes to supporting yourself/your family, you do what you have to. Better to be happy in another land than to be starving at home. But that aside, the whole idea of “Striving” for a better job, in some situations, could be a helpful insight—value of materialism over relationships.

It is said that no man, on his deathbed, looks up at the cracked plaster of the ceiling and says, “Wowzers, I wish I had made more money. I wish’d I’d gone to a couple more of those board meetings. I wish’d I’d have sold a few more vacuum cleaners, and written more instruction manuals. Yes, I think then I’d be ready to go.”

Zig Ziglar once said, “Money won’t make you happy…but everybody wants to find out for themselves.” 😀

So what place does materialism play in friendships?

A study was done in which it was discovered that people who talked about their stuff were more liked that people who talked about experience.

Quoted from the article (I added the bold):

Findings from a 2009 study at San Francisco State University, reported at a Society for Personality and Social Psychology meeting late in the year, showed that since experiences tend to include other people, the memory of that experience and the time spent together brings the participants closer together – the bond formed over the shared experience tends to be lasting.

On the contrary, purchases are usually made alone, and with no one to share the joy, the excitement of a new purchase is much more short-lived than the excitement of an experience, which can remain in one’s mind for a long time.

You can read the full article here.

So what is this all getting at?

The American Dream. Owning a car. A house. Having those three acres of land. Neighbors? The neighbors have their own lives to live!!! Happiness comes from owning that Mustang you’ve always dreamed about, and going to college so you can make more money. Happiness is about your 42″ television, your iPhone, your Ray-Ban sunglasses, your bright red Chuck Taylors. Home is where the heart is, and so is the bank. Friends? Ehhh…they’re nice. But—to quote the barnyard animals from Garfield & Friends: “Friends are there to help you get started…but when you’re already started, who needs ’em?”

Tongue-in-cheek? I’ll let you deduce that. 😉

Written in good humor,

-Seph

 

 

 

 

To Planty

Planty
Seph’s House
Somewheretown, U.S.A.

 

Dear Planty—

Seven years ago, you went to live at Seph’s house. And seven years ago, you were about 2 and a half inches tall.

Today, you are still at his house, sitting in his bedroom in a little green pot. And today, you are about five inches tall.

I wanted to say how sorry I am to hear that Seph’s been neglecting you. Aunt Rose tells me that you go for weeks (& months!) on end sometimes without getting watered? Tsk, tsk! Seph doesn’t seem to have been the best owner—we had doubts about him when you went to go live there, we tried to tell you. But you wouldn’t listen. Not that I’m trying to make you feel guilty…

But, I must also commend your efforts. For I know that you are the most forgiving of plants. Cause you’re still around, even if you don’t get watered. We’re very proud of how you’re taking life.

I hope Seph will be watering you more often now.

Stay strong. Stay green. Please reply soon to tell us how you’re faring.

Your cousin,
—Rhododendron