Saturday, April 16, 2011

Meditation on a Pillow

So yesterday UPS delivered my new pillow, a new goose down pillow I'd ordered online. It replaces my old goose down pillow, however many years old, which had gotten decidedly grungy and dingy and unsightly.

I suppose I could've grabbed any old random pillow off the shelf at the discount store next time I went to town. But these days I don't make it to town that often; and finding a goose down pillow, and not just any old foam rubber contrivance, would probably have meant making the long drive (several hours) to the city. Gas and time add up to money, too: factor that in, and I'm probably further ahead to order online, and have the pillow delivered to me, out here on a gravel road far into deep rural America. Such are the realities of purchases, "mail order" or otherwise, in this cyber era.

And the pillow I ordered was made in the USA, unlike most pillows I'd be likely to find at WalMart.

Too, the older I get, the less inclined I am to settle for any cheap-ass item I stumble across, simply because I'm in town and there it is in front of me on the shelf. Quality counts. This pillow joins flannel sheets with old-fashioned ticking, and a 100% wool Hudson Bay blanket on my bed. Quality counts.

I was brought up to believe that I should just settle for whatever was on the shelf, as long as it was cheap and in front of me, and never even consult my own likings or preferences. Pillows, shirts, shoes, dishes, kitchen appliances: it was considered "smart" to be penny wise and pound foolish, and decadent even to ask myself if I might like something else only a little more expensive better. I am appalled, looking back, at how many years it took me to throw off this bit of Depression-era "wisdom" my folks instilled in me.

No, quality counts. That blanket will last a lifetime. That pillow will last longer than the cheap foam rubber edition, which actually these days isn't so cheap any more. In the long run I'll probably save money, and in the meantime I'll certainly enjoy them a lot more than some shoddily-made something snatched from the bargain bin.

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