I know what I’m doing. When I drift through the housewares section of the department store (or more likely the discount shop, let’s be honest) gazing wistfully at brightly coloured dishes, elegant serving trays, and the assorted lovely sundries of entertaining and homemaking.

When I go into the local equivalent of the dollar store and sigh over how many different designs of chopsticks they have. When I buy purposefully unmatched mugs, because I want every one of them to be interesting in its own unique way (I am almost always the girl with the hilariously eclectic dishes).

I know what I’m doing when I buy things for a house I’ll likely only live in for a year. When I buy more pens of various colours (usually green and purple).

I’m nesting. Birds do it with shredded natural fibers, I do it with housewares and office supplies. I’m anchoring myself to this place. For someone so obsessed with the idea of traveling light, leaf in the wind style, I buy a lot of crap. I’ve made the joke (and had the joke made about me) that I was put on this earth to keep pen manufacturers in business.

Admittedly, it’s probably not the healthiest thing in the world. But there are certainly worse vices, given that everybody’s gotta have one and all. In the grand scheme of things, when you consider that I could be using food, alcohol, or antisocial behaviour as a crutch to maintain an emotional connection to a place in spite of spending most of my working life feeling life a failure and a fraud in equal measure, when said work environment is the reason I wound up here, it’s not so bad.

Suddenly going out shopping for dish soap and coming home with three new teacups, two too-cute coasters, a box of cinnamon scented incense and a pen with a cartoon character on it doesn’t seem nearly the extravagance or indication of insanity that it did before. As long as I managed to remember the dish soap (which I did).


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