Category Archives: Things I Want

The brighter side of anticipation

For my birthday, this past weekend, I received from my wife the St. Moritz Titan II watch. I say that with the same sort of glee with Ralphie would take in saying each part of “official Red Ryder, carbine action, two-hundred shot range model air rifle.” The watch is beautiful and functional and manly and rugged and sophisticated and light, and everything I hoped it would be. So that’s good.

What surprises me about all of it, and by that I mean the whole process of receiving it, is how much joy it has brought me. Not since I was a child can I remember being this excited about a gift, and I think I know why. Because not since I was a child have I known exactly what I wanted, and then had to wait for it.

I’m not sure how old I was when my parents first started the “reasonable negotiation” method of gift giving. That’s where I would come to them with something I wanted, and we would discuss it, me explaining why it was a “good” purchase and something my parents should support, and them considering and then deciding that either yes, they would, or no they would not purchase the gift. And then it was done. There was no waiting, really. Gifts didn’t come like opportunities around birthday or holiday times. I sort of banked them, for a while, and then they came sporadically when the time was right. The whole thing was very enlightened and progressive, but took a lot of the thrill out of birthdays and holidays.

Most of my toys in modern days have been self purchased, or the product of some negotiation, so there was never the wondering. If I wanted something, I bought it. In this case, though, there was the waiting, the anticipation, the desire, the fulmination of the need (real or imagined) and then the satisfaction. And the result? It is more thrilling to satisfy a need than a whim. That should be obvious, and of course it is, but in this age of consumer frenzy, I had forgotten that joy of waiting.

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Things I Want: All-Clad 12-inch Stainless Steel Fry Pan

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Gee golly, that’s a nice pan. The All-Clad 12-inch Stainless Steel Fry Pan has been on my mind. My thriftiness has always been at odds with my snobbishness when it comes to pans. A couple of years ago I bought some new pans on a particularly good deal, and went a little overboard. I bought more pots and pans than I needed, and while they are all serviceable, they are not exceptional. I guess I’d just rather have a couple of exceptional pans than a dozen serviceable ones.

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Thing I want #1: St Moritz Titan II watch

St. Moritz Titan II
St. Moritz Titan II

For the majority of my life I have been philosophically opposed to wearing a watch. Any lifestyle choice that forced me to manage my time with such precision that I should need a clock strapped to my person seemed ill suited to my temperament. It may have started with the love-hate relationship I had with my first timepiece, a classic mickey mouse watch. I must have been four or five years old at the time. It was a Christmas present under the tree in a box too small to be an action figure and my mother probably told me not to shake it. When I opened it, I remember being amused by his spinning arms, and utterly confused as to why I should need a watch. I wasn’t in a position to be on time or late for anything in particular, and there was a gigantic clock on the wall in the kitchen. At the time, I was also concerned with little baby/big boy transition, and a Mickey Mouse watch seemed a sure sign of baby-ness to me, though a watch was certainly big-boyish, so there was a degree of confusion surrounding the item. I wore it, because I got the definite sense that my parents were both really into it. At some point the strap broke and if fell of my wrist and the watch broke and that was the end of it, and I think I was just kind of relieved.

A couple of years later my uncle gave my a digital watch, which was quite revolutionary at the time (1982), but again, knowing the time didn’t really interest me so much, and I think it ended up at the bottom of my Lego box, with every other cracker jack prize of my youth.

In middle school I got a hand me down swatch from my step-sister, which was just about the height of accessorization, and there was the summer that I first learned what about watch-tans. Through high school and college, a handful of watches floated into my life and eventually settled to the bottom of a little leather man-jewelry box that had belonged to my grandfather. But still, I wasn’t buying into the whole time-sensitive lifestyle.

It wasn’t until a couple of years ago that I decided to buck up and join the adults of this world who make it their responsibility to know how late they are. My transition watch: the Swiss Army Officer’s watch, a hulking piece of stainless steel man-metal, that despite it’s size (a husky 150 grams) sits comfortably on my wrist. It is the masculine model of my wife’s very practical watch, though in reality I copped the style from the friend who married us. It’s classic, it’s functional, but it doesn’t have a stop watch, I do tend to take it off a lot because of it’s weight.

So, the new apple of my watchful eye [sardonic caesura for the pun to sink in] is the St Moritz Titan II, a titanium paramour of function and style. It’s got a stopwatch, an alarm, is fairly light, and damn sexy looking. It is a watch that screams, “I can do anything, without spilling my drink.”

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Things I Want

There are things that I think are important in life, things I value, and things I care about. These are special, unique, priceless, and indeed unpurchasable things. And there there are the toys. One of the problems that I have had in the age of online shopping is that the natural barriers to impulse buying–having to get up and go to the store–are almost completely removed. So, when something tickles the fancy, it is just a hop skip and a click away. And if, with properly vetted online research it becomes increasing clear that yes, it really is the perfect thing and there is no conscionable reason to delay getting it, even till dawn, then click there it is (I’m paraphrasing Tag Team here).

So, as a means of exercising my consumer demons, or more likely as an exercise in frustration, I am going to attempt to codify my wants in writing. The hope here is threefold: first, that by compiling a written record of my material desires I will be better able to gain perspective, and perhaps a handle, on my insatiable cravings for toys, secondly, that the production and existence of a written record will serve to undercut the immediacy of my urges, and thirdly that a generous and anonymous benefactor may attempt, on their death bed, to assuage their guilty conscience by purchasing the happiness of others (ah, Dickensian dreams). Mostly the first two though.

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