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The Building Blocks Of The Smallest Levels Of Joy

By Anne T. Donahue

I am in no way under the belief that buying stuff will make us feel better. It won’t make the pandemic go away, it won’t quiet the noise of the American election, it won’t do anything but perpetuate capitalism in a way that benefits corporations over individuals. These are all facts.

But all I have left in this abundance of cold, rainy spare time is to buy cheap things that will not make me feel better for more than ten minutes and will instead inspire me to buy more. So I will now pass these recommendations onto you.

Slippers that are shaped like animals
Does this mean I’ve regressed? Absolutely. But now I also own three pairs of stuffed animal-inspired slippers and every time I put them on, I feel slightly less awful than I did before they came into my life. So to that I say: buy some slippers that look like things. Buy some slippers that look like lambs. Like cats. Like dogs. Like raccoons. Like Winnie the Pooh. In eighth grade, everyone bought Classic Pooh slippers from La Senza including me, and I kept them at school and wore proudly because I was in, damn it. So to this day, I am chasing that high. And also my feet are always cold and, like the elderly woman I have become, I need to combat this.

Socks
Wait for the sales. Wait for the “three for $10.” Do not buy one pair of socks for $20 unless they are thermal, work socks, or fancy in a way I can’t describe in a short paragraph. Then, buy pounds of them. Buy socks with designs, in bright colours, in different heights. We all need to wear socks. We all deserve to be toasty. And then, to make your winter boots fit in a way that won’t give you blisters, layer those socks because if you’re wearing fancy heeled boots this winter, I do not know how to help you, but you may need some because this choice just doesn’t seem safe in a season where no one is out and can help you if you slip and fall.

Moisturizers
“Does anyone want some moisturizer?” is my favourite question to ask strangers when standing six feet apart in the grocery store line-ups. They never do, but I feel good anyway because I am finally like my mom and nana a.k.a. a woman who always has moisturizer.

Candles
Whenever I go to Indigo (with my mask on, obviously, as I am not a ghoul) I march over to the candles and think of Jan Levinson in The Office: “Whenever I get angry or upset, I just come up here and smell all my candles and it all goes away.” (This quote may not be 100% accurate, but you still get the reference, unless you’ve never seen the best episode of any TV show, ever.) Can I smell them well? No, because I have a mask on (like I just told you), and the scents are muted enough that I ended up buying the strongest cinnamon-apple candle that my parents begged me never to light again. But then I just buy another one. And I feel good about this choice because candles are always somehow on sale, and the only full priced things I will buy right now are books.

Books
Speaking of, what else are you doing? Let’s all pretend we’re in school together, taking not even remotely similar classes.

Nail polish
“If I buy a new nail polish today, my whole life will come together” is a thought I had at Shoppers yesterday. And while this most certainly did not come to pass, it did make me psyched to paint my nails pink at some point over the next year. What a rush.

Plants
Oh, you’ve heard this one before? You’ve known that plants are the thing we’re all hoarding, hoping our growing collections will bring us peace as we die slowly from the inside? Well, hear it again: plants are the best. Do you know what they want from us? Nothing. (Well, water and light. But other than that? Not a thing.) Do you know what they bring us? Everything. (Well, they won’t water us or give us light, but you can’t win them all.) Do they make us feel like we live in a show from the 1970s or 90s? Yes. Do they make us feel like we’ve got our shit together enough that we can keep something else alive? Absolutely. Do they judge us while we watch nothing but the Oxygen network on loop for six weeks? I have no idea. But so far, they haven’t said anything. Likely because thanks to those Oxygen shows, I’d begin to suspect them before they even began exhibiting symptoms of sentient thought.

Need a little more Anne? Read more from Anne T. Donahue right here!

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