November 10, 2009

Not-so-transient pleasures

"Mrs. Manson Mingott had long since succeeded in untying her husband's fortune, and had lived in affluence for half a century; but memories of her early straits had made her excessively thrifty, and though, when she bought a dress or a piece of furniture, she took care that it should be of the best, she could not bring herself to spend much on the transient pleasures of the table. Therefore, for totally different reasons, her food was as poor as Mrs. Archer's, and her wines did nothing to redeem it."
--The Age of Innocence, Edith Wharton
She's the opposite of me; I'm thrifty about clothing because I spend most of my money on food. Food isn't a transient pleasure if you're always eating it — it's more like a permanently rotating source of joy. For us food lovers, a truly transient pleasure is a walk amidst the falling leaves of Central Park. They'll be gone soon.

Edith Wharton really is a good writer. I didn't realize this when I read this book at 16. What a difference five years can make.

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