Forget Buddha. Let’s talk materialism.
The best food in the world will never come from a restaurant. You don’t even need top-notch ingredients. What you need is a little know-how (not a ton–you want to be a cook, not a three-star chef) and…time.
So if you’re not trading all your hours to make ends meet, and you can do some chopping and then periodically check in on your creation over 4-6 hours, guess what? Your apartment might very well be the best place to eat in the entire city. And if you had pleasurably dropped, oh, maybe a total of $2000–lifetime–on thrift store stereo equipment, vinyl and CDs, plus library annex novels (shocking how good the titles are for $1 to $2) and artbooks ($5 to $10 each), plus a handful of posters with inexpensive frames or mounting…your apartment now looks good, sounds good, smells good, the food you serve in it tastes good, and the place is filled with all kinds of interesting things for guests to pick up and ponder.
Four senses down. And I like your chances for touching, because…
…the sound and smells from your apartment will be noticed. So if you–gasp–knock on a few doors down the hallway, and invite people over for a meal…at a minimum, you’ll have a friendly hallway. At a maximum, you might have a few genuine friends steps from your door, ones who know other people you might like as well. And then–suddenly–there’s an element in your social life that millionaires and billionaires can’t have, because they’re usually booked with all those responsibilities, plus they’ve dropped fortunes for land, security and privacy: effortless, spontaneous evenings.
Oh, and those fabulous restaurants those billionaires and millionaires are going to? They’re spending thousands so…they can’t pick the music, they don’t get seconds, they’re at the mercy of reservations, and they have to leave. Not to mention the fact that a first-rate commercial kitchen is a master class in logistics, and guess what they’re likely not doing? Slow-cooking anyone’s meal for 4-6 hours.
Whereas you dropped $40, most of your cooking time was actually spent watching the football game and listening to music, you ate better and so did your guests, they brought the alcohol, everybody gets seconds, and things end when they end.
You unambitious loser you. How awful. I’m embarrassed for you. You need a vision, a five-year plan, and…oh, um…yes. I am hungry…
By the way, if you live in a city of any size, dollars to donuts, the main/central library not only has a mindwobblingly great collection of art books, poetry chapbooks and jazz, blues and classical CDs and vinyl, it also likely has a librarian sitting quite near them who loves these items.
Talk to him/her. If you do, 1) you’ll be renting someone else’s excellent taste for free while you develop your own, and 2) you can have enticing, memorable material all over your apartment for free, and keep changing it up every three weeks.
Which means you just might become an intriguing, tactile person in a streaming world where everyone says amazing (about things that aren’t) 54 times a day. So get that freaking library card!