The Most Opulent Luxury

After the fire, I thought a lot about the concept of luxury. But, like so many concepts that had been swirling around my head before August 27, 2012, this one solidified at exactly 2.35pm.

Here’s the Merriam-Webster definition of luxury:


1. archaic : lecherylust
: a condition of abundance or great ease and comfort :sumptuous environment <lived in luxury>
a : something adding to pleasure or comfort but not absolutely necessary <one of life’s luxuries>
b : an indulgence in something that provides pleasure, satisfaction, or ease

I’ve stayed in fancy hotels. I’ve eaten at fancy restaurants. I’ve known superficial luxury, and I’ve certainly enjoyed aspects of it. I prefer adventure and connection over luxury, but after a fire, frankly, a comfortable bed trumped adventure for a few weeks.

This got me thinking about what true luxury was for me. And I think I’ve found it.

My two definitions of luxury meet: having good enough insurance to choose a good night’s sleep at a fancy schmancy hotel for three nights after the fire.
a : the act of preferring : the state of being preferred
b : the power or opportunity of choosing
The power or opportunity of choosing. Such a simple definition.
The fire made me realize the most luxurious thing I have ever had was the ability to make choices based on my own preferences. I have a feeling I’m not the only one who didn’t appreciate the gravity of this luxury until something took away my preferences. And I’m guessing there are quite a few of you out there whose houses have not yet caught fire who have never thought about this quite in this way.
I’ve thought a lot about who some of the most maligned folks on the planet are. Refugees keep popping into my head. I mean, I’m booking a room at The Claremont Resort thanks to my insurance company, so you know, I’m good. But not having a home to go back to has been hard, harder than I ever could have imagined. And I have enough resources. But the things I miss most all have to do with choice. Will ponder in later posts.

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