Things I Want

We are, on occasion, inundated with catalogs: American Girl, Lego, Disney. The kids flip through these with lusty eyes, each repeatedly calling out the things they want. “I want this? Can we get it?” Over and over. When I was a kid, Saturday morning cartoons provided a visual catalog of goodies and I can remember doing much of the same, begging, pleading, and negotiated for an Incredible Hulk action figure or a Batman Utility Belt.

It’s funny how the things I want have changed over time. I was thinking about this and attempted to make a list of things that I want today to see how my desires have changed over the last four decades. Here are six of them.

I want a classic barometer that I can refer to for changes in the weather. I have three different weather apps on my phone, none of which agree with one another, nor with what I can see outside my window on a typical day.

I want a small nearby restaurant that sells nothing but homemade pie and coffee. I don’t drink coffee but I eat pie, or would if there was a small restaurant nearby serving the homemade variety. Apple would be fine. Pecan would be particularly nice.

I was going to say that I want a good pair of binoculars but I realized I already had one. What I want is something natural to observe using those binoculars. The stars are out since I live in a area where light pollution outdoes all other forms of pollution combined. Birds might work, but we live in such a dense area that any attempt at poking around with binoculars might raise suspicions in the neighbors.

I want to visit E. B. White’s grave in Brooklin, Maine. This summer we plan on resuming our annual summer trip to Maine (postponed these past two years for other activities). We usually stay in Castine which is less than an hour’s drive from Brooklin, making such a visit a real possibility.

I want some wood to split. These days I hate the idea of going to a gym to get into (and stay in) shape. I want a practical purpose for exercise. Splitting wood seems just the ticket for this. It has the added bonus of allowing me something to clear my head, to say nothing of providing fuel for the fireplace to keep the house warm in winter.

I want an old-fashioned address book. Each year, come the holiday season, it seems that my Contacts are always missing information. I diligently update them each season, and yet, information still goes missing. Perhaps there is a leak somewhere and the information seeps through a crack in the foundation. Good old fashioned address books don’t have this problem.

Published by Jamie Todd Rubin

Jamie Todd Rubin writes fiction and nonfiction for a variety of publications including Analog, Clarkesworld, The Daily Beast, 99U, Daily Science Fiction, Lightspeed, InterGalactic Medicine Show, and several anthologies. He was featured in Lifehacker’s How I Work series. He has been blogging since 2005. By day, he manages software projects and occasionally writes code. He lives in Falls Church, Virginia with his wife and three children. Find him on Twitter at @jamietr.

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2 Comments

  1. I’m a 90s kid and despite the fact that I use technology for most things nowadays, there are some things that were so good in analogue they need to come back. It’s like the old fashion address book. Now there’s apps coming out reproducing the exact thing with its limitations and look and all I can think is: why fix it when it wasn’t broken.

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