My grandmother is a shop-a-holic. Every Christmas, each child would open boxes upon boxes of sweaters, pants, and sometimes jewelry, all bought on clearance at Macy’s. The store subtracted her senior citizen discount from the sale price, and viola!, Charter Club sweater for $2.99.
These deeply discounted sweaters itched a lot.
One Christmas, as my grandma loves to recount, I finally asked her if she might be able to find softer sweaters. “Ever since,” she says, “I’ve always looked for soft.” True enough: The sweaters from grandma, though they may come in jarringly bold colors, are now luxuriously soft. The lovely white towels she gave us as a wedding present, although they do not dry a drop of water, are exceedingly soft.
Perhaps I’ve appreciated comfort from a young age. I don’t know. I do know that life seems better when some of those little things are arranged nicely. We spent a lot on a good mattress. Our bed is a queen-sized planet of comfort. Last year I advised several friends making their own purchases on the markings of a quality mattress.
I enjoy tea and sunshine, baking bread, naps with cats, iPod living room solo dance parties—pleasant pursuits. Why can’t things be a little more pleasant, a little more comfortable? Italians get this. Perhaps most European cultures understand this. I met a nice fellow at the local hotel’s Jacuzzi recently. He said that he likes to leave a bottle of water in a snowdrift outside the hotel’s door. When he’s done with his soak, the ice-cold water is just perfect. “You know how to live,” I replied. “Because of some water?” he asked.
“No, because you know how to arrange those little details that make life pleasant.”