Reeling in. March 28, 2009Posted by ourfriendben in wit and wisdom.
Tags: antiques, collecting, Longwood orchid show, marbles, stamps
Our friend Ben and Silence Dogood are feeling sorry for ourselves. There are four, count them four, things happening this weekend that we’ve wanted to attend for months or even a year, and we’re both trapped here frantically working on deadlines.
First is the Longwood Gardens orchid show and sale, sponsored by the Southeastern Pennsylvania Orchid Society (SEPOS). This is a simply fabulous show, at one of America’s great gardens, and continues through tomorrow (Sunday), should you happen to be within driving distance. As it happens, we have more than a passing connection to this show: Silence’s ex is a distinguished orchid judge for SEPOS; our good friend Rudy is a SEPOS clerk, assisting the judges; and our friends Delilah and Chaz were going to the show today and invited us to come with them. It killed us to have to say no.
Then there’s the Greater Baltimore-Washington Marble Show, also happening today a mere 2 1/2 hours from here. Our friend Ben, an impassioned collector in any case, has become obsessed with marbles and would have loved to hop in the car and head on down.
Silence and OFB both love antiques, and there’s a big antiques show in nearby Allentown, PA this weekend that we’d had on our calendar for many months. And to top it off, tomorrow there’s a local stamp show. OFB has stamps in the blood—my father, his father, and our beloved Mr. Hays have (or had) extensive collections.
Scream and scream again. We knew we couldn’t go to any of these long-anticipated events. The life of a freelancer means giving up personal time when an assignment hits, but in return, you have the privilege of working from home rather than reporting to an office. Usually, we feel the trade-off is so worth it. But this weekend has been tough: We’ve been looking glum, not talking about it, soldiering on. It’s hard when you’ve really, really been looking forward to something and it’s snatched away.
Finally, we decided to face the issue and talk it through. Reading a post on Cinj’s Chat Room (http://cbmvwag.blogspot.com), about her “brown thumb” with houseplants reminded us that it was time to count our blessings. Yes, we’re missing the orchid show. We won’t have the chance to see great plants in bloom and buy some for our own collection. But we can picture the plants and displays, having been there in the past. Even now, some of our orchids are in bloom. Mr. Hays, who has a soft spot for Silence, has gotten her orchid-of-the-month subscriptions for Christmas for the past few years, and her Paphiopedilum ‘Pinocchio’ is blooming cheerfully in the kitchen as we speak. Surely we can survive until next year’s show, and hopefully we won’t be facing this deadline pressure then. And meanwhile, we have lots of thriving, gorgeous houseplants to enjoy “free” since we already own them.
As for marbles, stamps, and antiques, yes, it would be great to see them. We would love that. But frankly, we already have some. We have more of all of them than most people could ever imagine. And hey, there are antiques stores within driving distance once we’re past our deadlines, and eBay is always waiting.
Yes, we confessed, we’re really sorry to miss these much-anticipated treats. But let’s look at what we have now: We can take care of our houseplants and pet birds and aquaria and enrich our living space while appreciating them. We can enjoy the good company of our golden retriever, Molly, and our cats Linus, Layla and Athena. We can revisit our collections and enjoy what we already have, while feeling relief that, in an uncertain economy, we aren’t pouring our hard-earned money into new plants, marbles, stamps, and the like. We can, in short, focus on our pluses: our friends, our families, each other. Our wonderful pets and property and carefully chosen, cherished posessions. We can get past this, get over it, get on with it.
Anticipation is what it is: the looking forward to future delights. And the upside of this is that the future is ongoing, so the anticipation stretches out to infinity. If present realities intrude on future happiness, merge the two: grab happiness and drag it into the present. The future will always be waiting.