One of the great mysteries of my life is why, every other week or so, dad Jay tops each grocery list with the following:
Pens. Pens, pens, pens. More than granola, Activia, candy, even — he never needs anything quite as consistently as he “needs” pens. Of course, this recurring anxiety may be justifiable, had my dad not grabbed the pen he used to write shown list from here:
And still, the absence of a sufficient amount of pens might be keenly felt, if this drawer was not located directly beneath:
I understand. I do. I too am a fan of le pen. But my curiosity is insatiable here. What does my dad need all these pens for? My entire life, dad Jay’s unwavering proclivity for owning pens has been a constant. In what part of the pen does he derive such joy? What is he writing so copiously? Lists? Favorite quotes? The next great Chinese-American novel? I’ve always wondered.
The truth is, my dad embodies one of the virtues I admire most — a genuine love for simple things. You may nod your head, count your own simplest of pleasures, as I myself am fumbling to pick a few from the many. But my dad really takes the cake, here. He is miraculously easy to please, in almost any event. Pens. The Cubs. Boiled chicken. When I remember to notice, it is an easiness I am always grateful for.
Exactly a week ago, I embarked on a mini, 4-hour road trip to attend a weekend wedding. The week, and the one before it, had been eventful, to say the least. With an ear to the GPS, and David Sedaris raucously storytelling over the stereo, I recounted a few of the moments passed.
I thought of that birthday cake, the birthday recipient, and that familiar sweetness of making someone happy. It makes you happy too, no? When you think of it?
The day after that, I woke up early to ensure the following details would not be forgotten, for a ‘bachelorette’ tea:
This was followed by a wedding, which was soon followed by another wedding, which brought me to that meditative car ride and all those thoughts on happiness.
I don’t know why, but that car ride made me think of the things that would make me very happy, on my own. I was thinking about writing for some reason, and how much I want to say that it is what I do, all the time, on purpose. I thought to myself, yes, I’d like to write. I’d like to be a writer. It seems like a worthy way to live one’s life – writing. Simple and difficult, all at once. A purpose I would be so grateful for.