Join the Conversation: Life’s Luxuries (These were your favourites!)

Lemon Tart is (very!) Lemon Tardy summing up the March Salon Question: What is the luxury you cannot do without and why is it indispensable to you? You all had delicious things to say. In fact, if I strung all of them together it sounds like the kind of day or weekend that would be hard to resist. Imagine 48 hours of this:

  • Books
  • Music
  • Fresh cut flowers
  • Taking photos
  • Lip balm
  • Yoga
  • Meditating
  • Handbags
  • Chocolate
  • Travel
  • Skype
  • Baguettes
  • Well-made cocktails
  • Good sheets
  • Hair cuts
  • … while wearing a great bra

 Yes, please!!!

What I most appreciated about your replies though – as delightful and inspiring as this list is – was hearing why we choose the luxuries we do. What we are getting in exchange and why that is so very important to us.

Stephanie and Bitter en Zoet both love fresh flowers for the happiness they bring into their homes. And really, who hasn’t been lifted by fresh blooms? It is a pleasure to come home to leafy greens that are not part of a disciplined approach to healthy eating.

Bitter en Zoet also enjoys very fine chocolate and handbags, which I heartily second. Chocolate is the only thing I consume daily aside from water. A good handbag can balance quality, practicality, luxury and personality. Finding something that does all that is a bit like striking a perfect harmony.

Then there are things that no one else need know about. Like Emily pointed out, for example, a really outstanding bra. I think we’ve all at one time or another felt a bit like Clark Kent hiding his Superman costume under staid suit and tie. While few of us would willingly tear our clothes off in a phone booth and leap forth in our skinnies to save the world, a great bra is sometimes all you need to feel that you too have your own inexplicable and undeniable power.

Mimijk’s pleasures were books and music. She said, “They both transport me and ground me; make me think and allow my mind to go blank; they nourish me and inspire my hunger.” I completely identify with that craving for the point at which the mind and the spirit intersect – calming, nourishing, but stoking the inner fire at the same time.

For me and perhaps for Bitter en Zoet, this is also why travel is on the list. It is soul-nourishing (and on the best of occasions physically nourishing too!) Travel is, without question, the luxury I personally cannot do without. I watch the world through the news. I read. I love Google Streetview. I use Twitter almost solely to collect science and archaeology news. My favourite journeys take me to places where the past is part of the present. They make me feel I am learning about the human experience, where we’ve come from, where we are going, our marked differences, and also the wordless experiences that tie us together across languages, religions, political beliefs, and even time. I feel at home and most myself when I am, for a brief moment, a citizen of the world.

Another great response came from Thekamster who sited her DSLR camera as her favorite luxury. She said, “It gives me an outlet, a way to be me, not just a mom to my amazing girls, but ME.”

Yes! There are some luxuries that create space for us to be and remember who we are or once imagined ourselves to be. Like Flapper Pie’s Alter Ego, or Matthew Arnold’s The Buried Life we revisit our buried selves. The pieces that have been subjugated to the everyday trade-offs of living in relationship with others – be it our husbands or partners, our children, our siblings, our parents, our workplaces, or simply our own tyrannical expectations of ourselves. Those trade-offs make us into good people, successful people, responsible people, frequently very contented people and sometimes soul-hungry people.

For this insight into the luxuries that help us find ourselves – and for creatively finding a way to do that in the midst of the chaos of everyday life – Thekamster wins this month’s Mother Sugar draw prize. Message me your address at and I shall wing a little piece of sweet sugary joy your way!


One thought on “Join the Conversation: Life’s Luxuries (These were your favourites!)

  1. I missed this lovely conversation (and great idea! when’s the next one and what’s the topic?!) but am going to barge on in with my own… bright red nails.

    You see I bite my real nails… always have, probably always will — and so the idea of having well kept nails was only something reserved for “proppah sofistikates, wot” (said in best Pygmalion voice, or so I thought.

    Then I moved to Manhattan and discovered that nail paraphernalia and grooming was well, kind of mandatory. And a manicure cost $11. Ohhh how I loved to have little dainty red things on the end of my fingers. Only thing was, for me because of the terrible state of my nails, that usually involved some kind of mass chemical process not akin to making methamphetamine (incuding the smell) poured on to my fingers and filed in to shape. Every. Single. Week.

    But, I have found the answer!! Yes, ladies, for $1.99 at Amazon, I buy little plastic fingernails and the strongest glue known to man (I am not gentle on my fingers, despite asking them to look genteel in the process), and then cut and file these little buggers in to submission. Ta da! $60 manicure for $1,99 plus shipping and handling.

    Yep, that’s a luxury I CAN afford…

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