2LWA Flash Lit Challenge #2, October 2021
I had held on to those Börn ballet flats for years, long beyond when they were presentable in a professional setting. They were just perfect, though, with the sensible elastic strap that went across the top of my foot and plenty of support for my high arch. The color, a pearlescent black reminiscent of a faintly oil-slicked puddle after the rain, had begun to look a bit tired, but I kept them “just until I could find a suitable replacement.” This is the story I told myself. They gathered dust on the shoe rack; I grew complacent. I had something and that was good enough for now.
Then there’s the matter of the coffee grinder. Years ago the lid clattered onto the kitchen floor and the button that controls the motor shattered. I still use it, but I have to cover the lid with a cloth to depress the jagged button with the handle of a screw driver. It’s all very high tech. It works. I live with it. The coffee gets made. I could buy a new one, but I haven’t.
I am notorious for keeping things beyond their proverbial expiration date. Maybe due to an ingrained family habit of making-do with what one has. Or maybe I just hate shopping. But this can also be about an unconscious belief that one’s lot in life is merely to survive instead of thrive and to not expect too much. It can be about resistance to feeling deserving of something better, and that can find expression in seemingly innocuous examples like worn out shoes and broken coffee grinders.
It calls into question the wisdom of the old saying, “A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.” Is it nothing more than a poetic packaging of fear passed off as prudence? Does it suggest that it is better to accept the safe zone of mediocrity over true fulfillment and living large? It’s worth pondering.
I finally threw out my Börn shoes last week. Now it’s time for a new coffee grinder.