Today Gabe is wearing a brown sweatshirt, a green jacket, khaki pants, and outdoor slippers.
So here’s a thing: as a rule I don’t drink; but if I’m in France and if a glass of wine would go perfectly with a meal or an atmosphere, I’ll have a special treat. As a rule I don’t stay up late; but if friends I don’t see very often are in town and if they want to go somewhere really fun that happens to require staying up late, I’ll have a special treat.
I am someone who quits a lot of things, and I’ve always found the best way to do quit something and make it stick is to make a decision about it and then be firm — with a special allowances for a rare special treat.
For example, I don’t shop. I like having a clean, bare, organized closet more than I like having a variety of beautiful clothes, and so I don’t shop.
And it’s not that I don’t like new clothes — in fact, I love getting new clothes as gifts and I love going shopping when I really need something — but now I don’t buy new clothes “just because” or because “maybe I’ll need it”.
I just know that in my day-to-day life, acquiring lots of new clothes would make me an unhappier Kate than the Kate who can look in her closet and know exactly what is in there and that the number of things in there is small.
And I know that constantly having to decide “is this sweater worth it” and be debating in my head if I could or could not have/afford/deserve something, would make me unhappier than having a blanket rule of “I don’t shop”.
To me these kinds of decisions have become like a math equation: do you like fun drinking times more or do you hate days lost to hangovers more? I hate hangovers more, so I don’t drink.
It makes decision-making easy, and I rarely agonize over a choice. I just put it on the scale.
However, I’m also willing to accept that life isn’t always that black and white, and so for my own sanity and to have the ability to go with the nuances of “things that happen”, occasionally a special treat happens.
Another great example of this: I don’t eat meat.
But if it is crab season and if I live in Humboldt County where the crab is delivered straight from the ocean in the back of a truck, up the hill to the grocery store, and if Gabe’s parents are cooking two whole crabs for a special dinner, then yes, I will have a special treat and eat crab until the sun comes up for one night only.
And so I did.
After Gabe finished playing with the crab, we got down to business.
Gabe helped prepare the crab, along with his dad, who insisted a crab dinner couldn’t happen without a good bottle of champagne left over from New Years. We popped the cork outside; Gabe aimed for the moon, but I don’t think he hit it.
And then — oh boy, did we eat that crab. We did a cheers and clinked our glasses, and then a hush fell over the table as we focused on the task at hand.
I’m not great at cracking the crab and eating it. Even though I’m having a special treat, I still do get freaked out about ripping something apart and eating whatever is inside, but still — crab is delicious and it is a great special treat.
Of course, whenever I go to Gabe’s parents’ house I do have to spend a large percentage of my time doing my (and everyone’s) favorite activity. Holding Romeo and reveling in his fluff, which is the greatest special treat of all.