My Favorite Things

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I spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about myself. Call me self-centered, egocentric, vain, but not conceited. Generally, “thinking of oneself” means that one does not take into account other people’s feelings or interests. That is not my case. By “thinking of myself”, I mean that I am constanly contemplating my “self” and engaging in self-psychoanalysis. I analyze why I think a certain way, what makes me happy or sad, and why something upsets me. It is a process that is automatic, like a reflex that I cannot control. It is an ongoing internal dialogue, often times an absurd debate.

Last night prior to falling asleep, I was listing those subtle and less obvious things, the simple pleasures, that I most enjoy in life. These are a few of the “My Favorite Things” (other than WiFi everywhere) that I came up with:

  • Long, hot showers.
  • Brushing my teeth with a brand new toothbrush.
  • Soap. Clean, fresh scents.
  • Cookies.
  • Sandwiches and saying sandwiches.
  • A laugh or a smile in reaction to something I have said or done.
  • Not just holding the door for someone, but going out of my way to hold the door open for someone I do not know.
  • Meandering, taking my time with the most irrelevant of things.
  • Intensity, being rushed to finish the most complex of tasks.
  • Proactive inaction.
  • Opening the door to enter my apartment.
  • Entering my aparment.
  • Singing to myself “I’ll be home for Christmas” and “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” on the airplane on my way home.
  • Defending the indefensible for sake of argument.
  • Overdrawn, contrived generalizations for the sake of annoying my brother and others.
  • Defending my country abroad and criticizing it at home.
  • Repeating myself and watching my friends go from being annoyed to finding it funny.
  • Children laughing hysterically, at least until I get bored of repeating the same joke over and over again.
  • Babies crying, simply because it is what they do.
  • Bluebells.
  • Learning something new that the great majority of people couldn’t care less about, and then trying to sneak it into a conversation on an unrelated matter.
  • Being recommended music or literature and discovering something wonderful.
  • Innocently using words like bufas or coquitos.
  • Saying “unnerbrookies”.
  • Being an immigrant to identify with the underdog.
  • Getting a haircut.
  • Replaying the sound of my maternal grandmother’s laugh, the smell of my maternal grandfather’s Manhattan, the legacy of my paternal grandfather’s handshake.
  • Grandparents and grandchildren.
  • Mothers.
  • Fiddling with my sister’s childrearing by letting her kids break some of the rules and seeing that my sister really doesn’t mind.
  • Public speaking.
  • Making someone smile.
  • Comforting other people’s shyness.
  • Being an unwanted misfit in a Lesbian bar.
  • My friends’ successes.
  • Other people’s adventures.
  • A surplus of clean underwear.
  • Pretending and make-believe.
  • My personal, internal dialogue while Neska and Berga are talking.
  • Getting into a car that has been heated by the sun (other than in summertime).
  • Lying on the carpet.
  • Occupying only one corner of a large bed, always the same corner.
  • Scarves.
  • Infatuation in general.
  • Infatuation with something that no one else finds interesting.
  • The anxiety of capricious, impulse purchasing.
  • Music and literature, but never at the same time.
  • Talking to strangers and store attendants.
  • Justifying my purchase to the pharmacist as not being a warning sign of hypochondria.
  • Learning about human migration and diasporas.
  • Contradicting the most common beliefs.
  • The joy of quitting a job.
  • Curing nausea by breaking up.
  • Recommending that my friends should break up with their respective boyfriends and girlfriends.
  • Sharing when it feels natural.
  • Love stories disguised as something else.
  • Water, the sun, the rain.
  • September.
  • Missing the characters from a novel.
  • Evening cañas in Madrid in a neighborhood terraza.
  • Thinking that I will enjoy eating dinner “out back” before I take into account the mosquitos.
  • Getting to the beach early.
  • Canal road, River Road, Kendale Road.
  • Tall trees, barren trees, lush green trees.
  • My goddaughter pronouncing flowers as “faffos”.
  • Imitating my friends in their presence only if they think it is funny.
  • Hearing someone’s voice over the phone that I don’t often speak to and recognizing how much I love its sound and familiarity.
  • When my friends visit my blog for the first time, search desperately for their name, and then ask why I haven’t written about them.
  • The unhindered view from a window.
  • Immense skies and an open horizon.
  • Goldfinches.
  • Easements.
  • Streams and creaks.
  • Foreign accents, vernaculars and dialects.
  • Thinking about the separation of powers, constitutional law, and political theory.
  • Describing US federalism to non Americans.
  • Cultures that are not principally based on Greek and Roman civilization.
  • Words that are not “Greek words”.
  • Peeled tomatoes.
  • Basil.
  • A garden path.
  • A ball at my feet, and the feeling after having enjoyed playing soccer.
  • Having fun, but not too much fun.
  • Hope.
  • Beauty before it knows it is beautiful.
  • The lines that trace a woman’s form.
  • Becoming.
  • Words.
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