I did take a bath last night and use my fancy bath cap. I kept it on while I snuggled into my pink jammies as well, and curled up in my Woman's Blankie, and listened to an audiobook.
I think about luxury a lot. How I have a very difficult time understanding a $300 pair of jeans or $1000 pair of shoes. How, instead, I prefer "cheap and cheerful."
We so often think of luxury as something rare or pricey, something others might covet because of its expense or exclusivity. Sure, many of those things are luxurious. But I can never really get behind that definition.
I feel like luxury is really about the things small and large that delight us without having to try. The things we gravitate to and smile secret, enigmatic smiles about. I don't even think they have to be particularly rare.
For example, I can afford to keep five kinds of chai handy for ready drinking. A cup of tea requires a choice. Every time I make a cup, especially if I've made it in the microwave and am lifting it down, I hold the cup to my nose, usually before I have even put sugar in it. Sure, I make some just about every day. But it's a luxury, nevertheless, because it will never fail to inspire a little twist of my heart, a little ritual of calm, and the luxury of decision.
Don't we, after all, overestimate what is normal? I find myself making that mistake all the time, forgetting that what I might take for granted is actually extraordinary. I remember when MSU had a bunch of fabric that was printed incorrectly. They sent it to a poor African nation to be cut up and used as blankets, as so many didn't have anything through the surprisingly cold nights. Every night, as I sink onto my mattress, enveloped in layers of sheets and blankets, I have that same little ritual of calm, that little acknowledgement of gratitude for something extra. It's a bed. Nothing could be simpler. But I treat it like a luxury and I keep it the way I like it (seldom making it, for instance) because I can.
This isn't a post about being grateful for what we have, or helping those in need. Those things are important, but this is about acknowledging that luxuries don't have to be things others would view as unreachable, or things we have to save up for. We are just as capable of making luxury as having it handed to us on golden salvers. It's nice to have nice things. It's nice to be able to afford something you usually can't, or receive something you might not buy for yourself because it is not "necessary" for life (I'm looking at you, delicious salted caramel chocolates, of which I ate two yesterday!).
But isn't it also nice, and luxurious, to put on a girly bathing cap, run a tub full of hot water with bubbles and herbs, put on an audiobook read by Rene Auberjonois, checked out from a library, and opt to just sit for a half hour? Isn't that, really, the biggest luxury of all?