An Elegant Essay|
When I was a teenager, I always secretly despised the people who had class. </p>
Because class always seemed to stand out amidst a sea of averageness. Yeah, okay - you had the tattered futon picked up off of a sidewalk, you had the filthy laundry all over the floor, you had the books scattered about in a bookshelf, you had a grimy sink stacked with soaking pots with flecks of rubbery, bloated pasta floating in it like dead men, and you had fifteen thousand cheap plastic knickknacks from Disneyland...
And then, in the middle of all of this chaos, you had your Mozart print.
Some sort of reminder that classical elegance was worth it.
I always thought that was silly, striving for something you evidently didn't have. I always knew people who had apartments that were godawful, filthy messes, but they had a bookshelf full of classical music, displayed prominently.
And these apartments were all filthy holes that were as far from clean elegance as one could get.
Buffy even made fun of this at the beginning of the fourth season, when they had a bunch of vampires killing freshmen, and they kept a tally of confiscated Klimt prints vs. Monet prints.
But I never said anything despite my secret snickers, mainly because I guess I didn't have it in me to make fun of any attempt at transcending ones' depth, as pathetic as the attempt may have been.
I'l glad I didn't. Because they were right.
Recently, it occurred to me that I was living the Good Life. Gini and I just paid $500 to have two art pieces framed - which may sound ridiculous, but I've never actually had an art piece that cost less to frame than to buy - and as I was looking at them today, I saw the faint echo of all those $17 Officemax plastic frames stuffed with art prints.
This is what they were working for.
The art is breathtaking. One is an original Planescape art piece by Tony DiTerlizzi - and you know it if you're familiar with AD&D Planescape at all, since it's a piece that was used, modified, in most of TSR's promotional material for Planescape. We set it in a glorious gold frame and a deep green suede background that just makes it come alive. I hope to have pictures soon.
The other was a faerie print that Tony threw in for free because, well, we'd just spent $300 on a piece of art (that was really worth $500) - and we lucked out. Honestly, it's an average print, but we got a frame and a matte that brought all the colors out perfectly - I could not ask for more. It's a pristine and shining example of what solid framing can do for an otherwise-unremarkable piece.
The people at the frame shop were jealous. They said so.
Add that to the fact that we just bought a stained glass-and-copper "green man" sundial that is now hanging in our window, making the room look beautiful, and I feel bathed in art, awash in elegance... And it feels good.
Furthermore, since I've started cooking, the quality of my life has skyrocketed. Sure, I could have whipped out some pasta before I began to cook seriously.... But it would have been dry pasta, with fatty hamburger and no tricks as I flailed my way about the kitchen. Now I know all the little tricks: Get the water boiling before you throw the pasta in. Put a little olive oil in so the pasta doesn't stick together. Drain the hamburger meat so the sauce is more cohesive.
And for God's sake, use fresh pasta. It's become an obsession.
Whereas before I would have just tossed everything together and hoped for the best, now I can make a passable meal out of household goods quickly, with a minimum of fuss and a maximum of results - well, for me, anyway. I threw together some spaghetti the other day (well, we only had fettucini pasta, so it was spaghini), and it was only afterwards that I realized I could have thrown in some garlic and some onions to make it really pop....
That sort of zest is what makes my life better.
So here's to elegance. To all of your crazy college students, drifting away with a poster stuck half-crazed in the middle of the room. Maybe it wasn't the Mona Lisa, but you were trying. (Pictures of the art, hopefully, will be forthcoming.)
Current Mood: artistic
Current Music: Damn It Feels Good To Be A Gangsta - The Ghetto Boyz