Whenever my parents come to visit, they like to check out estate sales. My dad scours the classifieds and then maps out a route leading to what he hopes is gold. I tag along, mostly because it amuses me to see what treasures he finds and just how much stuff he can fit into the back of his Buick. (So far I’ve seen him stuff a bookshelf, a chainsaw, and a pressure washer in all at once.)
The moral of this story is not that Buick’s have impeccable storage, but to say that life is simply too short to save your good perfume. Here’s why.
Life’s Too Short To Save Your Good Perfume
On this particular day, my dad mapped out what he proclaimed was the perfect route. We’d start at a garage sale that promised plenty of tools, hit an estate sale around the corner, and then end at a multi-family yard sale. Normally my day is too busy to spend with dusty old items, but I couldn’t stifle my dad’s excitement, so along I went.
My favorite thing about estate sales, (besides watching my dad haggle over the price of a VCR) is making up stories about the people who lived there. Who were they? What was their life like?
But this one really got me thinking…
That day when I stepped through the doors of the estate sale, I could immediately tell that the person who’d lived there was very precise. Books were organized by size and color and manicured houseplants lined the windowsill like dogs waiting for their owner to come back.
Estate sales are strange things. You step into the privacy of a stranger’s life and listen for their whispers through the walls.
As my dad bee-lined toward the garage, I wandered into a room with vintage feminine touches—a floral quilt was draped over the bed and lace doilies spread across a beautiful oak dresser. On top of the dresser was the most beautiful collection of designer perfume I had ever seen. Dior, Chanel, and Italian names I couldn’t pronounce. And each bottle was completely full.
These beautiful bottles must have dated back to the 1950s, which meant that they had been sitting here for over 60 years, untouched, unused.
I imagined the woman who owned them, pictured her quiet elegance and her modest restraint. What had kept her from using such exquisite perfume? Had they been a gift she was saving for a special occasion? Did she feel her daily life was too mundane to warrant even a dab of luxury? What was she saving it for?
Seeing those perfume bottles made me sad. It made me think of the things in my life I’m saving for a “better day.”
What are we saving for a “better day?”
What are we saving for a better day? Maybe the expensive shoes you’d hate to get dirty, or a book you don’t dare crack the spine. Maybe it’s the fine china no one can eat off of, or the dress still waiting for the perfect occasion.
Beautiful things, collecting dust.
I left that day with a new resolve. I was going to go home, put on my most expensive perfume, and do the laundry. And after that, I would reach up into tip-top of my closet, put on the designer shoes I’d never worn, and go get milk at Walmart.
Life is too short to wait for a “better day” or a more deserving occasion. Every day that we wake up breathing, our hearts beating, and blood flowing from artery to organ—is a day significant enough to warrant special treatment.
Each day, even the most mundane, is deserving of our good perfume.
(All images via Unsplash.com)