Why don’t you buy environmentally friendly products to soothe your guilty conscious? I’ve never much cared for paper towels, though the convenience is lovely. On a whim, I bought a role of disposable towels that are made from bamboo fibers. They’re perfect for wiping up a spill, but the real thrill is that they’re reusable. You just toss the soiled towel into the wash and it transforms into a lovely soft cloth that you can use dozens of times. When the time comes to dispose of it, the bamboo towel will have truly led a valuable life unlike a paper towel that was just made of freshly-milled lumber. Go green!


Why don’t you put caviar atop a fluffy baked potato that you’ve tenderly smashed? Okay, I realize this is a bit ridiculous, but I’ve been constantly inspired by Martha Stewart’s Instagram account during the pandemic. She cooks gourmet meals for her staff, she makes crude jokes, she attacks, she thrives, she lives her best life. Honestly the posts are thrilling. She takes baked potatoes and smashes them on the counter because it loosens the fibers and then tops that with caviar! I had to do it. It was fine, nothing special, but let me assure you reader, I have rarely felt classier. 


Why don’t you find a copy of the charming memoir Laura Was My Camel by Arthur Weigall? This book has been out of print for probably ninety years, but I finally found one on eBay and, reader, it’s a delight. In the book, Egyptologist Arthur Weigall describes the pets he had in Luxor while he lived there. Each chapter is a hilarious and touching tribute to the camels, donkeys, dogs, and cats that were part of his menagerie. The way he describes a camel brought me rhapsodies of joy because it was so similar to how I feel about the majestic monsters of the desert: “All camels are discontented. They hate being camels, but they would hate to be anything else, because in their opinion all other living creatures are beneath contempt, especially human beings…The fact that a camel has yellow teeth, a harelip, a hump, and corns, and suffers from halitosis, places the poor creature beyond the range of ordinary sympathy: people I mean to say, never put their arms around camels, or stroke or kiss them; and yet their sorrowful eyes, fringed with long, languishing lashes, are beautiful.” This is a masterpiece. 


Why don’t you go thoroughly wash your windows? I knew that mine weren’t pristine, but they weren’t filthy. I’m very particular about smudges and annoyances like that. Yesterday, for reasons I still don’t know, I decided to redo a section of my kitchen that’s been needing a quick cosmetic upgrade. I painted and applied contact paper and swept and scrubbed and polished the glass. It’s so clear right now that it’s alarming. It makes the real world look like a movie. I’m obsessed. If it weren’t so muggy outside I’d be doing the whole house!


Why don’t you cobble together an outdoor room with extra crap you’ve found around the house? While cleaning out my garage — an absolute nightmare — I unexpectedly came across a few nice things. With these treasures and a few additional accoutrements that I purchased, I’ve put together a rather sensational sitting area under my apple tree. I pruned away the boughs and branches and shaped it into something reminiscent of a weeping willow. I’ve decorated with seating and a coffee table and poufs and vases and an elegant basin that can be lit on fire and I wound oodles and oodles of old Christmas lights around a large metal hoop that I hung as a chandelier. It’s a sensation. I think I should have become a designer. I might one of these days.

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