If people in New York can agree on liking one thing, that thing is complaining. While I know that sounds wildly unbecoming, those living in this fine city have mastered a type of whining that comes off more as commiseration than misery. “Can you believe how long this line is?” you might ask the person behind you in the line at Starbucks on 6th Avenue. What you really mean is, “I’m seriously about to shit myself and the pain in my stomach right now is totally unbearable and my life is awful and I think I might lay down and die please pity me.” But phrased as a question, said person might respond with something like “I know, it’s totally unreasonable,” or “the management here is atrocious,” or “and my coffee tastes burned.” Maybe they mean “Oh, I hadn’t really noticed but I’ll humor you,” or “I agree, this is the worst thing that’s ever happened to either one of us!” or “my girlfriend is in love with someone else.” But the point is, you’re talking to this person now, and therefore, you are community-building. You’re making friends.
The importance of the communal-kvetch cannot be understated. It is our lifeblood. I literally cannot think of a single more noble cause than perpetuating it. Aside from, like, ending hunger and homelessness and making sure that two beautiful Fort Lauderdale drag queens can marry and adopt a beautiful drag-baby. I want all of that for the world, but I also want more constructive kvetching.
While the beauty of the communal-kvetch is that it can unfold on any day, at any time, in any location, throw a little inclement weather into the mix and you’ve really got something. Weather is just such an easy target, and it’s good almost year-round. It’s as though we’ve never experienced anything outside of 70 and sunny. But we don’t live in LA, we live in New York, and therefore every year we experience a bout of frigid temperature instead of a bout of collagen injections. In the spring months, we wax poetic about choosing this coast because we “just love having seasons!” but really, we just like to complain about the seasons. “How are you today?” a shopkeeper asks. “Cold as tits!” you respond. “I know, it’s horrendous outside!” And you’ve got a kvetch on your hands. Your toes may be full of frostbite, but your heart will be warmed, and that’s all that matters.
The point is this: isn’t it so cold and miserable outside? Don’t you dread walking your dogs and facing this wall of icy terror waiting for you? Don’t you wish you owned a better jacket and a decent pair of thick socks? Can we please be friends I’m so lonely?
I don’t know what’s happened this winter, but I’ve become obsessed with having candles lit all the time as soon as it gets dark out. Candles in the fireplace. Candles on the coffee table. Candles on the credenza and on the kitchen counters and…I love fire. I’m finding that it’s making this weather way more bearable and way prettier, which is why I bring it up.
Candles are so warm and pretty and cheap. I exclusively buy IKEA brand candles, so each one is like 2.4 cents for hours of merriment and enjoyment and feeling less like I live in a tundra post-apocalypse wasteland and more like a cozy yurt that also gets cable? Yeah, I dig winter this year. And candles are my secret. (also, television.) (and warm dogs.)
The main impetus of this post (before I got sidetracked) was really just to make note of these wonderful little candlesticks I picked up at CB2 yesterday. They are deliciously simple and deliciously brassy and deliciously adorable and deliciously only $5. Delicious.
They’re also a really nice substantial weight and seem like great quality. Also, they’re so cute! And so cheap! And I want to buy 4,000 of them! For no reason! I’m also seriously regretting not buying a couple of the black ones and a couple of the tiny acid-yellow version (they were greener IRL than they look in that picture, but still cute). You know, to round out the hoard. I mean why not. They’re so small.
The other candleholders that have been making the winter days better are these Nappula candlesticks by Matti Klenell from iittala! These were sent to me as a lovely Christmas present from the Finnish Design Shop, all the way from Finland! I swear I’m not, like, rolling in swag over here, but the very kind folks at the Finnish Design Shop emailed me in December asking for my address because they wanted to send me a little something to show their appreciation for the blog, and who was I to refuse that? So I sent it, thinking maybe this was just spam or maybe this was a serial killer who knew my weakness for all things Scandinavian, but in fact it was beautiful candlesticks! I really love them and I’m honest-t0-goodness very touched that they contacted me at all, not to mention sent me something so great.
(note: Finnish Design Shop did not ask for anything in exchange for the candleholders. They’re just super nice people!)
IKEA PS Tealight Holder is still going strong, although I moved it out of the fireplace after everyone who reads my blog told me how bad they looked in there. Thanks for keeping me on the straight and narrow, you guys.
Brass, teak, marble, cork, white ceramic, vintage rug. Feelin’ it. Winter, yo.
PS- I keep forgetting to mention (doh!) that I’ve been writing a little Before & After cleaning-focused column over at Design*Sponge! It’s been a blast writing for Grace and the team, so if you feel like it, go check out the posts!