your shallow wish list

March 13, 2012

my lists

It’s important to daydream. To have some sense of a vision, no matter how shallow. I had one once upon a long time ago, and remarkably enough, it all came true. So, why not put it out there? Everyone should put her wish list out there. Now. Not when you get to it, but now. Give yourself the luxury of time (it takes all of ten minutes really) and dream up a wish storm. You need to put it out there, so you can see it. So you know it’s there. So you know what’s really in there. And, so you know one day when you start to get there. Go.

I wish I could go to the Museum of Art, alone wearing myPod again.

I wish I could bicycle through Paris. Though I wouldn’t want to be near motorists, so perhaps I’d prefer to bicycle through Venice. Though I’m sure there are motorists there too.

I wish I had a sculpted body, efficient and lean, strong, fit and healthy, no abnormal test results. Just good news.

I wish I had a huge floor to ceiling wall of books in my own library with a cozy chaise, a table nearby for tea and fresh flowers. A library with a ladder. Pieces of art that stir emotion.

I wish I could photograph Burma/Myanmar and Sapa, Vietnam.

I wish I could take a food photography class and learn how/ have someone help me/ set up a permanent food photography setup—I’ve been wishing for this for years.

I wish I could plan menus for a living.

I wish I could write selective food reviews again? I’m actually on the fence about this… closest to the side that says, “meh.” Yeah, I don’t wish this at all anymore.

I wish I had a line editor.

I wish I had a Montessori classroom as the playroom in my house that would automatically clear itself of toys they’d outgrown, keeping up to challenge and stimulate them at any age.

I wish I lived in a home that was cold in the summer and toasty in the winters.

I wish I could eat farina in restaurants like Balthazar every day. Nearly. Because if it was every day, I’d wish for somewhere new.

I wish I could become a regular at a bistro like Balthazar, a folded paper, listening to conversations, dipping buttered soldiers in soft-boiled eggs.

I wish I could go on safari, for a kill, and take photography classes and workshops while I’m there.

I wish I could cook and bake without becoming exhausted.

I especially wish I could create, design, choose and afford my dream kitchen, a place where I could entertain and invite people over to tell their stories and drink wine and listen to music.

I wish I had a personal stylist who found me the perfect clothes to suit my body and coloring.

I wish my book were on the New York Times Best Seller list as #1 for 19 weeks straight.

I wish I could write movies the way Nancy Myers can, like my perhaps all-time favorite: Diane Keaton and Amanda Peet are sitting at the bottom of steps on the beach and Diane Keaton’s character is absolutely heartbroken, undone, a brilliant mess, and her daughter comes to her to say, See, you need to close yourself off to this. And Diane’s character says, Do you seriously think you can outsmart getting hurt? You’re more like me than you know. And I’m telling you, I’ve had the time of my life. And her daughter says, almost in tears for herself, I’ve never had the time of my life. Diane’s character says, I know sweetie. And I say this from the deepest part of my heart: What. Are. You. Waiting. For? I love it because at her all-time low, she’s advising her own daughter to do exactly as she’s done. It’s wonderful. And that, right there, that’s what I do well in my writing. I get that part down. It’s when people want me to “be funny” that it stops being fun for me. As much as people categorize me as a “funny writer,” I don’t think that’s what connects people to my work. Not at all. There certainly doesn’t need to be a winner in the debate; plenty of creators straddle both equally. I’d just rather always feel than laugh. I’d take a new wisdom over hilarity every time. I don’t know why I feel the need to defend a side instead of aiming for both. I wish I didn’t do *this* to myself.

A sand wall of memory from Living Magazine
Pin It

I wish I had my act together enough that I could archive sand from the beaches I’ve visited, displaying them in labeled apothecary jars on a narrow shelf running beneath framed photos from each trip. I love a wall of that kind of history, a wall of memories, not a display of who. Who this is, who that is–no. Memories linked to the most random moments, to the image of a wire beater, wobbly batter, or flour rising in the air, Cheerios and milk spilled all over the floor.

20 Responses to “your shallow wish list”

  1. my honest answer Says:

    Ah, memories aren’t made of sand. You don’t need a physical reminder. That’s what makes experiences so special – you can’t hold on to them, however hard you try.

    Reply

  2. Kimberly Says:

    This is such an interesting post!

    And I agree with you about your writing. While I find you very funny, that is not the first work I would use to describe you as a writer. I relate to much of your writing so well because you are, well, honest. You say what we all feel but do not have the courage to say.

    Reply

  3. Widelawns Says:

    I wish I could see a movie in the theater again. I wish I could do something with my hair and that the clothes in the J Crew catalog looked as good on me as they do in the pictures. I wish my baby slept better at night and that pasta with cream sauce wasn’t so unhealthy. I wish I wasn’t too lazy to roll out homemade pie crusts because I love pie and never make it. I wish I could finish my memoir, because I am best at being funny, at least in writing. I wish it was #1 for 19 weeks straight right after yours was done with its 19 weeks. You know what? You can have #1 even. I’d be thrilled with #2. Then, I wish that my little girl would love books and stories and playing dress up as much as me and that I could afford to take her to all the places she reads about when she’s bigger. I wish that we could go to Prince Edward Island to see Green Gables. And right now, I wish that her nap lasts at least another hour.

    Reply

  4. Mary Says:

    I love this Stephanie! I am going to work on my list right now.

    Reply

  5. Robyn Says:

    LOVE this post.
    I won’t write my list even though I will tell myself to find the time.

    Reply

  6. Rory Says:

    I wish I were finished with my dissertation. I wish I could hire domestic help without feeling guilty. I wish my daughter who is adopted didn’t have reactive attachment disorder. I wish that I had my ideal table service for my entire family (siblings, their families, et.al. – impractical, huge, and ridiculous). I wish my husband would concede so that we had the perfect comfy bed and sleeping environment for me (we have different preferences and compromise). I wish we could build a cabin on our land that is on a river and spend summers there. I wish my mother’s photo album from childhood would reappear. I wish I had straight hair like I used to. I wish I were as physically fit as I was when I played basketball 3 to 4 hours a day. I wish my husband would go cycling with me and my daughter. I wish I looked at the future with the same yearning and hopeful aspect that I had when I was young. I wish I always had fail proof recipes of our favorite dishes to work from and never had to adapt them to “fix” them, but only adapted them when so compelled for fun. I wish I never had insomnia AND I wish I could sleep in once a week.

    Reply

    • Rory Says:

      One wish from my list came unexpectedly true. My husband planned a Saturday of cycling on a nearby island with my daughter and me (which he NEVER does). As I was speeding down a hill with my daughter perched behind me, I felt free. It made me smile to remember that I had put it on a wish list. Thanks for the great idea Stephanie.

      Reply

  7. erose Says:

    I wish I could learn to enjoy cooking. Maybe I would be better at it if I didn’t see it as a chore. I wish I could spend a month in Paris to perfect my very rusty French. I wish I could take my daughter to France, Italy, Greece, and a million other places. I wish my business would stop being “on the verge” and finally become hugely successful (so I could afford the travel above). I wish we could move into a nice, big house with room for everyone, a yard for the baby and dog, movie room for my husband, and a library for me. I wish to have a second baby. I wish I could get my condo organized so I can stop waiting for the Hoarders crew to show up at my door. I wish I could finally get my act together and improve my diet and start exercising. I wish I were at a healthy weight.

    Reply

  8. Sally Peters Says:

    Did it read this right?? You want to go on safari and kill something?

    Reply

    • Wendy Says:

      Yeah, I was stunned by this too. Sorry but it really pisses me off when wealthy westerners pay money for canned hunting expeditions in Africa to kill defenseless animals. I usually don’t check the TMZ website but there was a link on Gawker today about Donald Trups two sons killing elephants in Africa. Absolute bullshit!

      Reply

      • Stephanie Klein Says:

        No, I have no intention of killing anything. I would want to be on an African safari to witness the nature of animals, the circle of life, watching a lion hunt and take down its dinner. Nothing orchestrated, no show. Just what happens naturally.

        Reply

        • Lisa Says:

          I grew up in South Africa and we went to the Kruger National Park several times on school trips. We saw a kill once (it’s very rare to actually witness one). I think I was about 10 or 11. It’s hard to describe what it was like to see those lions take down the giraffe; it was horrible and sad and exciting and terrifying. And it was a powerful lesson about nature and how cruel the cycle of life can be.

          Reply

          • Stephanie Klein Says:

            I’m so glad you shared this. It made me realize that while I might find it life-altering, I think it’s a decision we should each, if possible, get to choose on our own, whether or not we want to experience such a thing. I can tell you, at least %75 of Texans take their young children hunting, teaching them to be responsible, to eat the game hunted. And I have to believe, as anti-guns, anti-hunting as I am, that these children weren’t traumatized. Startled, probably. Shaken up at first, sure. But then, learning about eating from the land, the circle of life, it is a valuable lesson. One my children will learn from WATCHING Disney’s The Lion King.

            Reply

            • Lisa Says:

              That last sentence made me chuckle :-)
              Like I said, it was an intense experience, but I don’t think I was all that traumatized by it (and I’m pretty sensitive). I’m don’t think it’s a bad thing to witness, but like you said it’s certainly not trivial.

              Reply

  9. RPA Says:

    I wish to never have a list as cliched and faux-stylized as this one.

    Reply

  10. Josephine Says:

    I wish for a room of my own. A house in the city, not an apartment so I can jump and dance without bothering my downstairs neighbor. I wish I had long wavy non-frizzy hair. I wish I had a beautiful voice.
    I’d like a dog again, a king sized bed.
    A cleaning lady!
    A bigger kitchen.
    Imagination for cooking.
    A country cottage in front of a lake. A job as a visual researcher. A group of close female friends.
    Money to take a thousand classes that are offered all over the place.
    I wish I could kill my horrible accent when I speak French.
    I’d like to sing with a guitar.
    I wish music was free.
    A basement for movie night. A big screen.
    I wish I could go out for brunch every Saturday or Sunday.
    I would also love a makeover, a shopping spree with the help of a stylist.
    I want time.

    wow, it does feel good!

    Reply

  11. Sally Peters Says:

    Sorry for the typing mistake in my first post.
    I’ve been reading your blog for a long time and the thought of you killing something or wanting to kill something seemed out of place for me. I’m sorry I read it wrong and appreciate you clearing it up for me.
    Thank you!

    Reply

  12. 3 teens' mom Says:

    Thank you for the invitation to write…I always welcome that. This prompt has inspired hours of writing…most of which have been lost to computer land. It would be swell if I got it back, but the end-result is that I’ve had time to condense my thoughts.

    My wish list has changed…well – not changed, exactly, but has been refined, in the last 37 hours. The wish list of 38 hours ago was far more focused on the pretty and shallow. Since then – my sweet mom has entered into a crisis of life. A hip replacement gone bad. A life-change of monumental proportion.

    Two nights ago in the wee hours, dad, middle daughter and I were there at the hospital as mom fought ferociously for breath and life. We held her hands, rubbed her feet, spoke soothingly, lovingly and supportively as the demons of pain tore at her.

    We cried. She cried. Dad cried. We have grown so intimately connected that ones’ pain radiates throughout the others. Morphine dripped. We gave thanks. Things started moving….hope…hope? Hope.

    Tonight – we’re hoping we’re on the other end of this crisis. I’m fragile and tired. Dad is one million times that. We have a tightly knit village and we support one another…

    A wish list right now?

    * To never see the one you love in life-altering pain
    ” To never, ever see a tube go from your mom’s nose to her stomach
    * To never get a call from the ER nurse at 11 at night requiring your immediate attention

    Okay – enough of that. A wish list looking forward.

    * Let us enjoy good health
    * Let us give thanks for joy, love, peace and contentment
    * Every moment of every day – appreciate, acknowledge and affirm every good thing.

    Courage and strength to us all.

    Reply

  13. Audrey Says:

    I wish I could find inner peace and have less expectations. I wish I had a man who loved me for who I am, and who I loved for who he is. I wish I had the time and money to go back to college. I want to go see more live music. I want to make a short film. I want my dog to live forever. I want to be a full time caterer. I want a bathtub that is so deep I could drown in it. I want to plant a lot of trees. I want to be a mom before my eggs dry up. I want my kids to grow up in the country and get dirty every day and I will let them have as many kitties as they want. I want to learn the difference between and want and a need. I want Sarah Palin and Ann Coulter to beat each other to death.

    Reply

  14. Madeleine Says:

    Love your list and it has inspired me to create my own. Incidentally, I was just in Sapa, Vietnam last week (as part of a year-long trip around the world) and it is definitely worth keeping on your “must sees.” While I’m not the photographer you are, I will say that you can’t take a bad picture there.

    http://freindinfarplaces.posterous.com/northern-vietnam-in-the-sea-and-in-the-mounta

    Best of luck making your wishes come true!

    Reply

Leave a Reply