Every now and then I come across something that I think makes my life significantly better. My parents were art majors down at U of I and despite being talented, were poor as church mice when I was growing up. My mom made all our clothes and the money I made in summer jobs all went to the family. (I paid for my education with scholarships, teaching and student loans). So it was always hard to convince my parents we needed something non-essential. The irony is that my grandmother passed away when I was eight, and my mother took all of the money she inherited to put a down-payment on a little house in Northbrook, a very affluent suburb. So my sisters and I went to school with wealthy kids. I've never cared about keeping up with the rich popular kids, but my sisters were less socially awkward than I was, and they felt deprived compared to their friends.
I have a motto: "I don't mind spending money, but I hate wasting money."
Okay, so like designer purses seem like a waste of money to me. I think they're important in much of the corporate and financial world and I guess Hollywood? They also seem to be really important to the legions of nouveau riche 30-to-50-year-old women on the North Shore of Chicago who power walk in herds all wearing the same expensive workout clothing with their identical long straight hair in a ponytail, exercising their identical bodies and smiling with their identical faces (I'm pretty sure one plastic surgeon is responsible for all of the North Shore), later grabbing their designer bags to go grocery shopping at Whole Foods so they can brag to each other how they buy organic food for their shelter dog because they care so much. As a card-carrying member of the ACLU, I absolutely support anyone's right to completely conform with the people around them so they can have friends that they think will make them happy. But I always feel a little sorry for people that clearly spent more than they could afford for a Louis Vuitton bag in the pathetically vain hopes of impressing the legions of Stepford Wives...
...okay, I've gotten horribly off-topic. Jeez, I have a lot of simmering animosity for my probably-very-nice neighbors and their probably very nice dogs. I probably need to explore that with some sort of mental health professional. Or a reddit forum.
What was I planning to write here? Oh, right, things I never needed but I wish I'd known about before. I figure I'll start a list here and then at some point I will give the list to my son so he'll know.
Item 1: A bread box. OMG why did no one tell me about bread boxes? We didn't have one when I was a kid and I cringe at the thought of all the bread that went stale that I had to throw away. Right now I have a Jewel-Osco baguette I bought three days ago that is STILL SOFT. No mold! It's like magic! I bought it because I thought it would hide some groceries in my teeny kitchen. Little did I know I would be so happy with it!
Item 2: One of those handled things you use to open pickle jars.
Item 3: A power screwdriver. Cordless is extra awesome. I've built a LOT of flatpack furniture in my life, mostly from IKEA, and I always have dreaded it because of the sore wrist I'd have the next day. I built a little bookcase thing this morning and it was actually fun. I wish I'd bought one of these twenty years ago!
Item 4. A washcloth. Growing up I took showers with a bar of soap and water. No washcloth. I heard a comedian making fun of people that mysteriously bathed without a washcloth. The audience found this hilarious. So I tried bringing one in the shower. Cue the heavenly choir.
Item 5. Parchment paper. When I cook on aluminum foil the food sticks. With parchment paper, nothing sticks. And I've only ever caught the parchment paper on fire once!
That's all I can think of right now. Now I'm going to go out and talk to this woman coming down the sidewalk with her dog. I need to change my attitude... first impressions can be deceiving. :-)
Exercise: Use "skrutrekker" in a sentence:
Example: Jeg trenger en skrutrekker; jeg vil bygge et IKEA bord." (I need a screwdriver; I want to build an IKEA table."