A Small Town Wish List

oneinathousandlogoE.O. Schaub

Author’s note: I must’ve been really, really good this year, because it seems like Santa has brought me the three things I’ve been wanting most since we moved to Pawlet twelve years ago…

Dear Santa,

I know I’ve been grown-up for some time now, but I’m hoping some of those years when I was too busy playing Ms. Pac Man to ask for anything more than quarters have left me a little lee-way in the what-I-want-for-Christmas department. I’m also very flexible- no December deadlines here!

All I really want this year are a few things for my town…(I promise to share!):

1. A REAL supermarket- You know, one worthy of the prefix. I’m not asking for one of those insane department-stores-for-food my city friends describe with names like Wild-Joe’s-Whole-Trader-Circus-Foods! You’ve probably been in one. They’re the places where you can sip fair-traded, gluten-free lattes in a PBA-free cup while you shop for your bulk, organic, eco-friendly, wheatgrass diaper liners (now in gender-neutral, self-esteem boosting shades!) after which you peruse the mood gum and cruelty-free nose-ring selection in the check out.

No. Just a place where I can buy produce that is better suited for eating than playing racquetball with. Where the organic section encompasses more than a dented tub of tofu and two bags from the American Association of Retired Potatoes. Where they don’t look at me like I’m from Mars when I ask where the plastic bag recycling bin is. Where I don’t have to panic at the thought of my daughter using the bathroom which was apparently last cleaned sometime during the Carter administration. A place that doesn’t necessarily deserve the slogan: “For All Your High-Fructose Corn Syrup Needs!!”

Bring me this and I promise to eat all my organic vegetables even when the cheese sauce is all gone. Except the cauliflower.

2. A health club. Please note: a “gym” with barbells, excessive high-fiving, and Rocky theme music playing in the background does not count. Also, anyplace which doubles as a bar at night where they feature tribute bands with names like Fred Zeppelin is definitely out.

No, I’m talking a full-fledged, have-a-shake-from-the-juice-bar-in-the-hot-tub-after-yoga-class kind of place. Don’t make it a chain though, with commercials featuring weird angles of spandex-clad models taking Jazzercize from Jack Lalaine on crack. A regular Ma and Pa establishment with some decent health-related credentials and hours that occasionally coincide with those of my kids’ elementary school would be just fine. Bring me this, and I promise to make my bed every day. When we have out of town guests. Who will care. And show up at the gym at least half as often as I am supposed to.

3. A nifty little consignment shop. Okay, this falls admittedly into the luxury column of my requests- the caviar on top of my ice-cream sundae- but I hope you’ll consider it. We have an ample selection of area thrift shops and children’s clothing resale establishments… but never the kind of place that they describe in all my “Anti-Clutter” manuals and “How to Organize Your Life” self-help books (I have several shelves of them), the kind of place that might actually appreciate my collections of bad seventies furniture (unique color combinations!), sadly neglected wedding gifts (“why, of course we use the silver-plate asparagus-warmer ALL THE TIME!”), and ugly bridesmaid dresses (Note: if I was in your wedding and you are reading this- I do not mean yours! All the other ones.)

You know? You can accumulate a lot of truly weird crap in thirty-some-odd years of life, and it turns out I am really, really good at it. I’ve been waiting for the longest time to get rid of so much of the nonessential stuff that is crowding our everyday life… make a little money on it perhaps… and spend that money on more nonessential stuff to crowd our everyday life. Just one of those little daydreams I have.

Bring me this, Santa and I promise to donate two or three whole boxes of books to the library sale… or at least one. Half. (Can it be a shoebox?)

Thanks so much Mr. Claus, for your time and attention to this matter. I look forward to the expeditious improvement of our immediate surroundings forthwith, and do hereby swear never to tell my kids that I am you until they figure it out themselves and tearfully accuse me of lying to them since birth.

Yours truly,
Eve O. Schaub

PS- Do candy canes come organic now? In bio-degradable wrappers? Minus the food colorings? Just a thought.



OMG, do you ever work fast! Between the upgrade to the Price Chopper in nearby Granville (picture: moms openly weeping by the organic strawberries, fainting in the gluten-free aisle, being resuscitated by the Italian cheese display) the new Gemini Fitness Center also in Granville (and they have a POOL! I didn’t even ask for that!) and the new nifty little consignment shop in nearby Dorset (I brought them my unused champagne glasses and took home… a tree mushroom carved with raccoon portraits! Where have you been all my life, Dorset Exchange?) … who would’ve believed all my wishes could come true and in such a short time? You have my undying and everlasting gratitude Santa, wherever you are.

Now about that seepage in the garage…


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