What do you miss most right now?

 

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By Caitlin Kelly

I woke up one morning this week and said…I miss antiquing.

How weird is that?

In our one-bedroom apartment, we certainly have no need for another item! We try to purge on a regular basis, donating to our local thrift shop or to Goodwill.

What I miss, really, is the distinct pleasure of a long, lazy afternoon wandering a flea market or indoor antiques mall — which two French verbs describe beautifully: fouiner (to nose about) and chiner (same, for old stuff).

Also — French again! — flaner, to wander without specific purpose. (Couldn’t find the circonflex symbol!)

I lived in Paris when I was 25, and every weekend I happily rummaged through piles of old lace and grimy bits and bobs at various flea markets. I have the happiest memories of looking for 1960s girl group records with my friend Claes, a gay Swedish journalist who was another of 28 foreign journalists spending an amazing eight months together in that city on an EU-sponsored journalism fellowship, Journalistes en Europe.

Claes died later of AIDS.

I still treasure the mix-tape he made for me.

 

 

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A friend’s decanter…I love cut crystal!

 

Today I follow a number of vintage clothing and item-sellers on Instagram, like Ruth Ribeaucourt, an Irishwoman who married into a French ribbon-manufacturing family, and who is passionate about lovely old things, some of which she sells through her online Instagram shop, @the_bouquiniste.

As I’ve blogged here before, I really appreciate old things in good condition, items well-used and cared-for and which offer me — sometimes centuries later — more utility and esthetic pleasure.

I write this atop an oak gate-leg table my father gave us, likely made in the late 18th century; ours is a dead-ringer for this one (circa 1780.)

So many questions arrive with antiques, an attachment from history.

 

Who sat here before us?

What did they eat?

What did they wear?

 

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Didn’t buy them…but, as always, just enjoyed their beauty en passant

 

Love this recent blog post from London-based friend Small Dog Syndrome blog, who misses, of all things, her daily commute:

We are lucky to live in central London and on a normal day I can get from my front door to the office in about thirty minutes if I catch the right train, perhaps slightly more if I don’t. I tend to give myself 45 so that I can walk at a leisurely pace to the train station and pick up a nice coffee if I feel so inclined. I pass a historic churchyard that’s typically filled with dogs on their first walk of the day, and a famed antiques market every Friday.

My transit time tallies to between an hour and an hour and a half a day. It’s exercise, fresh air, and usually I get an episode or two of a podcast in or a chunk of time on my current audiobook (which I listen to at at least 1.5x normal speed so this can really add up in a work week).

I miss it. Genuinely. This was prime “me time” and I miss the start of my morning that got my bloody moving and switched my brain on.

What are you missing most right now?

 

53 thoughts on “What do you miss most right now?

      1. I am a terrible sleeper anyway.. but now, when I wake up..it’s like my mind starts churning and I just cannot get back to sleep. It sucks, but there’s worse, right? You are in NYC? How are things there? ..signs of hope? signs of Spring? Are you able to take walks?

      2. I guess I just block it out…

        it’s an absolute nightmare in NYC…morgue trucks layered 3 high already. We are still healthy and are very lucky to be able to get out for walks and to toss the softball and just, when it’s a decent day, sit in our canvas folding chairs in the parking lot savoring the sun and birdsong.

        Financially? This is terrifying. I have almost no work and our costs can’t be cut anywhere.

      3. Has the sun EVER felt this good??? I hear ya on the financial aspect..scary for sure..but if my kids are any indicator, there’s a racehorse chompin’ on the bit to get back on track.. that’s a good sign for when the gates finally open again. I need to have hope ..I think we all do.

      4. We live down here in Fl..so I’d never dare complain about feeling cooped up. It’s very warm, the sky is blue, we can still walk our dog in the morning and take out our bikes when it’s cooler in the evenings. I mean I’d love to be able to “do more” of the normal stuff..like take a stroll downtown and get an ice-cream..but I know full-well that so many have it SO much tougher than we do…Sometimes I do spend way too many minutes fantasizing about that big frozen ball of coffee ice-cream though… with jagged, oversized, broken chunks of chocolate covered pretzels embedded in it..the huge scoop..not even the kiddie cup..😩..it’s like next level food fantasy.. The first level was obsessing over spaghetti and meatballs, two.. massive ones, capped with parmesan, easy on the sauce, regular (not thin) noodles.. a tower of warm bread, all cottony and buttery and garlicky on the inside with a nice, crunchy crust, a huge-ass Caesar salad with a glass of red wine… 😛..But the spaghetti obsession was last week- I’ve moved on to coffee ice-cream.

      5. Oh yeah they are.. Probably doesn’t help that my husband and I entered this stay at home phase as fledgling (semi) vegetarians.. so meat is not an option available in this house right now. My meatball and bar b q food dreams have a “relapse” quality to them..clearly! 😂

  1. For the Eastern Orthodox, Holy Week starts Sunday, with around 24-hours of services (more, if the evening services are repeated the next morning) in eight days. It’s quite an experience, one that loses so much in being translated to an online stream. For many of the Orthodox, choosing to stay at home is also heartbreaking. I’m already missing the connection.

  2. I miss going to the movies to see the latest blockbuster superhero film or the latest horror film. The anticipation was always as wonderful as the movie (or better, if the movie sucked). I also miss going to the theater to see a ballet or a musical. Already one ballet I had tickets to see has been moved to next season, and there’s a good chance a musical I was going to see next month is going to be canceled.
    And I miss being around people without worrying of catching something. I miss hugging friends. I miss genuine human contact. As much as we like to flaunt our independence, we do need the touch of another human to some degree, and i miss that. And I doubt I’m alone. In fact, I have a feeling that after this pandemic runs its course and people can go out again, we’ll see an upswing in the demand for professional cuddlers (I’ve been to one before. Believe me, it’s wonderful).

    1. I really miss movies! and theater…

      It’s been a bit shocking to me that I don’t miss other people more. I guess working alone at home for 14 years has me very used to solitude.

  3. Dale Moore

    I miss the time with fellow musicians. Since retirement, at least three nights a week have been spent with a band, jazz combo or worship group. It’s not just the playing, but the players from diverse backgrounds, cultures and socioeconomic levels. We meet, and all differences, political or social, cease to exist. We are connected through one thought and purpose. It’s like a warm blanket on a cold night.

      1. Dale Moore

        I play tuba in band / orchestra, and electric bass in jazz combo, big band and worship groups. Jose and I played together in high school. Go Demons!

    1. I feel you, @Dale Moore. Same for me. Music is the most social of the arts and great as recordings are, it’s not the same as the in-person moment-to-moment experience.

  4. Aha, now I see that the replies don’t go where you aim them! I was trying to go down the list of comments before posting my own. Oh well…

    Caitlin, I know you value exercise as I do. I miss teaching my water fitness classes sooo much! made a couple of videos to try to help members keep moving even while at home. (Many of our members have previous injuries or conditions that make it challenging for them to work out on land, so I tried to make routines that will work at home.)
    Gentle At Home Strength and Stretch with Ginny
    Gentle At Home Strength and Stretch with Ginny 2

    1. Good for you!

      I soooo miss spin class. I have done it a few times for 40 minutes on my bike/trainer on the balcony. It’s very tough to feel as motivated and the spin bike is slightly more comfortable — but it’s a good addition to walks. Getting outdoors is key for me.

  5. Jan Jasper

    Most of all, I miss volunteering at the local animal shelter. And when people lose their jobs, they often bring their pets to shelters because they can no longer afford to feed them. I know the shelter needs volunteers, probably more than ever, and it’s so frustrating that I can’t help. Also, I miss my regular MeetUps. They meet online now, via Zoom – it’s better than nothing.

  6. I’m missing my freedom and liberty, most of all. It’s scary to think that there are things I simply can’t do, and to not know when I’ll be able to do them again. I know it’s necessary and I’m adhering strictly to the isolation measures. But it’s still so scary when I think about everything that it means, not only now but for the future.

    Sorry for the melancholy comment. I’ve been staying positive, most of the time, and keeping busy. But sometimes reality hits me!

      1. Absolutely. I’m horrified by the government’s reaction to this. And in early March, they squandered precious time that could have been used to slow the pandemic by talking about their crazy ‘herd immunity’ strategy — how they would plan for 60% of the population to catch the virus.

        Now, there are reports that healthcare workers are being told to keep quiet and threatened with losing their jobs (I think some already have in the US) if they talk publicly about the virus.

      2. Same here.

        Americans, typically, place much less faith in their governments to take care of them (no “nanny state”) — and this has for sure lessened any confidence that so-called political “leaders” have much intelligence, empathy or guts.

        He screwed up as well, but we are fortunate that NY state governor Cuomo is doing a decent job. We watch his daily press conferences (11:00, 11:30 or noon EDT) where he is both no-bullshit AND shows compassion and empathy.

        The piece of garbage in the White House, being a narcissist and sociopath, drones through this national horror — withholding (!????) PPE from states whose governors refuse to suck up to him — yammering out horrific data like a bored and sullen five-year-old —- then wastes time attacking everyone else, from the WHO to reporters who dare to challenge his lies.

        It is such a disaster. I truly don’t know how any nation will survive this. We have to, somehow, obviously.

        No wonder I keep watching TV shows and movies of WWII and the Resistance and Churchill…

  7. I miss going to restaurants with friends. Many are delivering, but eating alone in the kitchen, dining room, even on the terrace is not the same. I miss hugging my grandchildren. I miss my motivation and focus, two characteristics that seem to have deserted me as I must self-isolate with all the time in the world. I miss the feeling of hopefulness, which seems to have deserted me.

    1. Thanks…and sorry to read this.

      I don’t know if I feel hopeless. I feel scared financially, for sure. I have only one more assignment, so will be boooored without work and fearful without ongoing income for sure.

      Trying to stay motivated on two potential book projects.

      Being alone must be very rough. Luckily, Jose and I have one another’s company — although we each have to FLEE the apartment for a few hours each day, or else.

      I also think the “no idea when this will end” carries its own weight — and the appalling NYC death toll.

  8. i miss the freedom of seeing people i miss, i miss interacting with my kinder class in person, i miss going to movies, bookstores, live theater, and live music.

      1. On the last day of my two weeks, I had “potential” contact and am now isolating for another two weeks. Sigh. I am grateful that I’m fine and so is my M, but also starting to feel very cooped up.

      2. Oh no!

        A dear friend here just called — she had just finished HER 2 weeks’ isolation after exposure to our minister (who did not need hospitalization and is recovering) — and now her husband looks like he he has it. And they are both self-employed.

      3. I’m glad she is OK.

        L and her husband should be OK. She has good friends and neighbors to bring her food and necessities. What’s most instructive now is how much we really rely on others’ goodwill.

        Here’s a NYT column by a former NYT colleague of Jose’s, on that point…

      4. This is such a foundational American belief– independence.

        I find it in some ways admirable — yes, be resilient and resourceful — but also weird, like there is some shame or moral failing in asking anyone for help.

        The only way I could handle the stupid stress of my breast cancer tests and some of the treatment was by asking two good friends to come with me, and they did, sitting for hours in a hospital waiting room. Moral support means as much sometimes as physical help.

  9. Thank you for this article. Like many others I’m missing my freedom most of all…What I find most depressing is the lack of horizons in terms of ending this pandemic. I miss the vast beaches from Portugal….

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