family life

When life’s not like TV

“Let us go to an ordinary street to feel that life is beautiful with all the ordinary things, with cats around, with children playing, with laundries hanged out, with people wandering aimlessly!” Mehmet Murat ildan, Turkish writer

When I’m writing fiction, I purposely include scenes in which the characters are doing laundry or cleaning the oven or having a medical problem of some sort. Why? Because those are the scenes that often don’t get included in TV shows and most books — in spite of their reality. Mundane reality, but reality.

The straw purse lives on to fight another day.

It’s true. Normal Americans — like normal human beings everywhere — especially don’t live like the people on “reality” television. Imagine it. Sitting around, contemplating one’s level of celebrity, plotting to get ahead of the pack. Normal people work, cook, sort socks, contemplate whether their income will cover their expenses in the given month.

And, there’s nothing wrong with that.

I thought of this the other day when I was putting away my straw purse for the fall and winter. Given that this was its fourth summer of use — fourth — I figured it would go in the trash at the end of the summer. Yet, when the time came, it was still in near perfect condition.

The only problem was the straps needed a cleaning after being in contact with my skin for so many warm-weather weeks. So, once again, a dip in a glass of soapy water did the trick. The purse is tucked away for another summer.

There wasn’t an ounce of glamour in the moment. The scene would never make a TV show. But, it made me happy. I like the purse. I enjoyed feeling competent. I liked the everyday beauty of sudsy soap in a glass on a sunny counter. I like not having to spend money for another purse.

It was a small joy, a real-life joy. I’ll take that over fantasy any day.

29 thoughts on “When life’s not like TV”

    1. Sounds like a good idea. You know, I wonder what would happen on gentle if a knit-like straw purse when through the washer in a lingerie bag? Not saying I’m going to try it, but it is an interesting idea. That straw had to get really wet to be woven/knitted in the first place…


      1. Lol, I wouldn’t be game to try it. Let me know how it goes if you do.

        With second hand straw hats I spray inside with personal insecticide, sponge outside, or if too grubby I give them a miss. Straw bags I buy new as they are inexpensive and still a sustainable product.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. You know, I hadn’t really thought about the sustainability side. I’m always drawn to natural products. But, you’re right. What is more sustainable than grass?!


  1. I love this. The thing about our everyday lives that intrigues, is the fact that we all have it in common. When I read about you dipping the handles of a loved summer bag in soapy water, prepared for the next warm season, I am gratified. I love community in its variety, because it unifies us. And the truth of the matter is, it is good stewardship to care for our belongings. Thanks for sharing my fellow sister in joy. ♥

    Liked by 4 people

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