Kevin and I started looking at houses last night. We're not planning on moving soon -- for one thing, it doesn't make any sense to until we have some idea what's happening with my getting or not getting an academic job. But we figured out that if I didn't get a job, and we just went with his income, we could still afford to move into a slightly bigger place in our area. Three bedrooms instead of two, so I'd have an actual study, and a balcony for plants, maybe a fireplace. Or, if we were willing to move further out (giving him a noticeable commute instead of just walking in to work), we could have four bedrooms, a garden, a basement or attic for storage. Our closets have been overflowing with stuff for some time now -- SH stuff, SLF stuff, old skis and ski boots he hasn't used in years, that kind of thing. Yesterday, reordering the shelves, I moved all his chess books to sit on top of the bookshelves, because there wasn't enough room inside them. Our home is beautiful as it is, but it's a bit of a battle to fit everything in. We're okay right now, but six more months of accumulation will have us bursting at the seams.
So we started looking at some larger condos, some townhouses, some actual houses. And it was hard not to covet those gardens, those beautiful big rooms, those balconies and fireplaces and spiral staircases. Hard not to suddenly feel sharply dissatisfied with what we have. More money would let us have those beautiful spaces, and oh, that would be nice. We would appreciate them. I would take daily pleasure in them, in the same way I take pleasure in our current home, but more so.
So more money equals more beauty, more pleasure, yes? Yet at the very same time, some beautiful things cost next to nothing. I just got up from reading the Elizabeth Moon book, and went to go find a bookmark. I found one that I haven't used yet, a little paper thing that Karina sent me for my birthday. It's bordered in blue, with a lovely little sketch of an Italian palace, and some ornate flower-pattern edging, and in a pretty script, the words here I fell asleep. The bottom is cut into little steps, rather than being a simple rectangle. It's gorgeous, and so pleasing to the eye, and it reminds me of Karina when I use it, which is a different beauty and pleasure altogether.
The moral of this story is, more money equals more beauty, most of the time, but some beauty costs almost no money at all. And I know, I know, you know this. I was just thinking about it today, that's all.