I realize that I've reached that point in my life where I have a lot of stuff. I do not need another gadget from The Pampered Chef. I have enough Longaberger baskets to carry six months' worth of supplies over to our soldiers in the middle east. There is not room for one more stick of furniture or decorative item in our house, unless I decide to get rid of something which I don't want to do because I like the stuff I have. Books are a problem around here because we have six bookcases that are all packed as full as they can get, which is why I am such an ardent supporter of our public library: for me to buy a book these days requires that it be one that I feel I simply can't live without and if I'm going to live with it, there's going to have to be a place on a shelf somewhere to squeeze it in. So I'm choosy.
However, there are some small pleasures in life that are transitory in nature, like slippers. Slippers can only be worn for so long before they become biohazards. Or else the dogs sneak off with them and hide them. Or they get to the point of being so tattered, the family protests whenever I prop my feet up on my favorite ottoman.
This is the case with my warm and fuzzy slippers, the bright blue ones that have kept my chilly feet so cozy warm for the past three....no, it must be four. Five? FIVE winters. Those slippers, I have been informed, are over. Done with. Finito. They are garbage-bound, never to be worn again. I protest feebly that they're just now broken in, so comfortable, so fitting of my feet...
Meelyn gave a disdainful sniff. "Next thing you know, you're going to be clutching those horrible things to your chest and petting them and calling them 'my preccccccciouuussss.'"
"They have to go," Aisling added firmly. "They look like roadkill."
In a lame attempt to defend my prec.....I mean, my SLIPPERS, I said, "They are blue and there has never been an animal that color before, so they don't look like roadkill. They're warm and furry and....."
"IN. THE. TRASH."
"Fine," I muttered. "I hope you're both happy when I catch pneumonia because my poor feet got so cold."
I'd been shuffling disconsolately around the house these past few days in a pair of Aisling's cast-off slippers - she got herself a new pair of clog-type slippers in grey knit, lined with shearling fleece -- when I realized that I could get a new pair of slippers for Christmas. What a great gift idea! Slippers are not something I'd ever really buy for myself because I am a big cheapo who would snitch some from my child's closet before I'd voluntarily spend money on indoor footwear, so, slippers!
I was terribly pleased with myself and called my husband's cell phone to tell him what Item #1 on my Christmas list was.
"Slippers," he said incredulously. "You want slippers?"
"Yes," I said excitedly. "Nice warm ones. Maybe with some of that fleecy stuff inside them. And an actual sole so that I can wear them out on the front porch to get the mail."
"Yes, comfy slippers."
"Not....perfume? No earrings? There's no hard cover book you'd like to have? None of the other stuff you usually want?"
"Nope. Slippers. That's my first request."
"What's wrong?" I asked. "The girls can help you. They know just what kind I want. And I'd kind of like to have a new bathrobe to go with them." He groaned loudly. "WHAT? What is the problem? I thought you liked it when I gave you ideas for what I want for Christmas?"
"Oh, it's nothing....I guess. I just thought....I mean.....I figured that we were at least twenty years away from Christmas requests for.....slippers. And bathrobes, for pete's sake. I can't wrap my brain around the fact that you want a BATHROBE for Christmas."
"I like being warm," I said sulkily. "When you're OLD, after all, staying warm is more of an EFFORT." I pressed the button to end the call and went off to have a look at my droopy old burgundy polar fleece bathrobe, the one that can be buttoned right up to my chin so that the back of my neck doesn't get cold, because when that happens, it is hard to turn my head.
And that's when I truly realized that I have made the transition from a person who wanted cool gifts for Christmas into a person who prefers the practical. And warm. I am now officially old.
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