Monday, April 20, 2009

Worthless Wealth

Things got out of hand this Saturday – what started as a simple attempt to move my winter snow boots out of the kitchen and into summer storage turned into a full-blown spring-cleaning orgy, which is like a regular orgy except it’s a) not sexy; b) not decadent; and c) not cocaine snorted off somebody’s hot ass in the back room of Studio 54 that’s making your nose run, but the common household dust you inhaled while moving storage boxes that had lain undisturbed for years.

Achoo. But I digress. When I finished stashing my winter gear in an out-of-the-way closet, I counted no less than 15 winter coats and capes in my collection.

One woman owning 15 coats sounds like a ridiculous extravagance, and perhaps it is. In medieval times, and up through the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, I could sell fifteen coats and make enough money to retire. (True anecdote: in medieval days, a single velvet cloak of the sort you might find in the modern closet of a former Goth chick cost seven years’ wages for an ordinary servant.)

So my winter wardrobe would’ve made me wildly wealthy, once upon a time. But that time’s not today. As I’ve mentioned before, I bought the coats at various thrift shops and secondhand stores, for as little as $5. Altogether, those 15 coats cost me about $110, spread out over eight or nine years.

They’re not so extravagant after all. And they’re certainly useful here in my corner of New England, if you want to avoid winter hypothermia. I can handle a wide variety of temperatures and levels of dressiness, though the coats don’t make me “wealthy” in any contemporary sense of the word (though they help me dress well enough to maybe pass for rich, before people who don’t know any better).

I have no idea where I’m going with this, except to say that if anyone out there has invented a time machine and plans to visit the Middle Ages please let me know, because I own several nice coats and nearly half a pound of whole black peppercorns, and if I could just trade it all for gold in an ancient Florentine market, I could retire.


Anonymous smartass sob said...

...if I could just trade it all for gold in an ancient Florentine market, I could retire.

And after you retired, then what would you do - write a blog? ;-)

nearly half a pound of whole black peppercorns

Far enough back those alone would have been worth a king's ransome. You should obtain a pepper mill and consume the things. Fresh-ground black pepper is a treat on salads and other dishes - although you probably already know that, since you have a half pound of the things.

5:27 AM  

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