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Wanderlust Subdued

But sometimes I look at my hangers and feel a glimmer of Wanderlust. Yup, my hangers. Because my hangers have been where I have never ventured

I am happy at home. I like knowing how my bed will feel before I climb into it.I like knowing what I have stockpiled in my pantry and what’s waiting in my fridge and freezer. I know how my laundry will smell when it emerges from the machine and I know where spare rolls of paper towels are kept. I’m grateful for my house and my backyard and my family. I like to putter about in my home.

Since the pandemic has arrived, I am home a bit (gross exaggeration) more than usual, but that doesn’t keep me from enjoying the familiarity and reliability of my home. I know which faucets will drip and I know which buttons are missing from my duvets. In a constantly shifting life, that’s no small comfort.

I refer to myself as a Young Mommy in my head. Even though I do have two married children, my youngest is in Pre-1A, and I’ve not yet reached 45 so, yes, I’m sure that I’m young. As a Young Mommy, I don’t get out much. Sometimes my husband and I will bribe others to watch our kids while we run off for a night or two. We stick to the Tristate area because when you only have 48 hours you aren’t going to waste much of it traveling. I’m okay with this system. I take what I can get.

But sometimes I look at my hangers and feel a glimmer of Wanderlust.

Yup, my hangers. Because my hangers have been where I have never ventured.

You don’t believe me? Go to your own coat closet and look inside. Unless you’re the kind of housewife who stocks her coat closet with matching black padded felt hangers you’ll understand what I’m referring to.

Just this morning I took my mustard colored cardigan off a hanger that said: Phoenix Cleaners. With fascination, I read the whole thing: A masterpiece of expert cleaning… full service… 125 E 18th Tulsa, Okla.

This is amazing. I have never been to Oklahoma. Neither has any of my family members. As far as I can recall, we’ve never had guests from Oklahoma. How on earth did it get to my bedroom closet?


Maybe it was bored with its life in Phoenix Cleaners. Maybe it wandered off in search of greener pastures, drifting here and there, stopping every so often to check out the sights, living its little hanger existence on the edge, exploring the nooks and crannies of the Midwestern states.

On the way from Tuscan to Monsey, it may have met numerous metal and plastic hangers, who’d become lifelong pals, as well as many new people who used it to hang up their cardigans and raincoats and button-down Charles Tyrwhitt shirts. An intrepid explorer, it finally reached my home in Monsey after a long journey fraught with adventure, mishaps, and breathtaking views. This hanger tells a story.

Looking at the hanger filled me with a strange desire to travel and see places I’ve never been to. Who knows what beauty might lie in Tulsa just waiting for me to explore? Maybe I should use this hanger as an excuse? I could say I have to return it to the dry cleaners from whence it came, jump into my van with a few cans of seltzer and a bag of chocolate chip cookies, and drive off into the sunset.

There’s only one way to shrink this dangerous Wanderlust, which can grow at an astounding pace. I remind myself of the numerous motels on the route from Monsey to Tuscan which may or may not have bedbug issues but for sure have those unwashed beige coverlets on the beds. That’s a lot of sleepless nights.

And after a while I’d run out of my own cookies and I’d have to find a store that sold kosher cookies that wouldn’t have the fresh taste and crispy-chewy combo my cookies have. Since I have the lousiest sense of direction (even with GPS) of anyone in this planet, it would take me forever to find the local landmarks I so want to visit. I let myself imagine how, after a few days, I’d get bored of hiking and exploring and I would miss the little faces at home. I’d wonder what the point of so much travel is, and would end up turning around and heading back home.

The wanderlust abates as I go light my Georgia peach-scented candle and wrap my softer-than-soft sherpa throw around my shoulders and relax on the sofa with a cup of fruit-galore tea and a crispy-chewy chocolate chip cookie.

My hangers can do the traveling. I’d rather stay home.

(Originally featured in Family First, Issue 699)

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