Things I love & things I don’t: the minutiae version

I love small details.  I even have a whole section on this blog devoted to minutiae.  I recently told friends that some of those tiny things are, I believe, hugely telling about who someone is (for example, I love to ask what people, if they’re married, have engraved inside their wedding bands).  I think often of the Gail Godwin quote, which I’ve written about before, that “the more you respect and focus on the singular and the strange, the more you become aware of the universal and infinite.”

I don’t know whether our preferences are innate, learned, or some amalgam of both.  Some of them probably fall into each category.  I know that Grace and Whit, who are growing up in the same kitchen, have strong views on certain foods that are almost entirely opposed.  Which would argue, of course, that we are born with our biases (at least towards food).

Things I love:

the smell of laundry
flowers, especially peonies, ranunculus, parrot tulips
the mail (I still get ridiculously excited when I hear the mailman on the porch)
playground swings, bobbing in a pool, or skating circles around a rink (repetitive activities that I find soothing)
the smell of pipes (reminds me of childhood)
the Quiet Car on the Acela
the words luminous, archipelago, inelectuable, ineffable
Christmas carols

Things I do not love (and I don’t say hate, because my grandfather used to say, “takes an awful lot of energy to hate”):

black jelly beans
flat gladiator sandals
listening to the radio while driving with other people (or, frankly, often, alone)
strong lotion/soap/candle smells (Bath & Body Works is one of my nightmares)
the smell of cigarettes
rap music
fruit desserts of any kind

I’m curious, what are some things you love and some things you actively dislike?

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  1. Posted July 6, 2016 at 4:34 am | Permalink

    LOL on the flat gladiator sandals. I have the same dislike, mostly because my feet are so long that I could never pull those off.

    admin Reply:


  2. Posted July 6, 2016 at 6:43 am | Permalink

    With you on nearly ALL of it except I’ll always be nostalgic for the smell of cigarettes and I love rap music. Those gladiator sandals are an abomination. Unfortunately I have a child who loves strong fragrance & have promised her a trip to Lush today. I will likely wait outside!

    admin Reply:

    Sending you strength. When G comes home from Bath & Body Works it is a trial for me!

  3. Posted July 6, 2016 at 7:30 am | Permalink

    What a evocative list! Right there with you on the black jellybeans. ICK.

    I love cheese of all kinds, the cheer of the crowd when they realize it’s a home run, the smell of fresh-cut grass, ice-cold beer on a sweltering day, the laughs my kids save only for each other…the list goes on. In fact, I think you’ve just planted the seeds for a new post. 🙂

    admin Reply:

    I look forward to reading it!

  4. Nadine
    Posted July 6, 2016 at 7:36 am | Permalink

    I really do not like Abercrombie & Fitch, the smell in the mall is horrific. Also, green peas. Ew.

    I do like:
    cardinals popping up in the backyard
    foot and head rubs
    creamed spinach
    green tea
    the scent of the woods

    admin Reply:

    Right? I can’t bear that smell!!!

  5. Gale
    Posted July 6, 2016 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    I really enjoy these posts – both for your thoughts and to read the comments. Here are my thoughts.

    I love:
    – Coffee with lots of cream and sugar
    – An empty dishwasher
    – The first time I step on a freshly washed bathmat
    – Whiskey Sours, Side Cars, and Hemmingway Daiquiris
    – Fresh blackberries, cherries, and peaches in the summer
    – Walking through bookstores and just looking
    – Monograms
    – Pilot Precise Roller Ball Pens
    – Mother of pearl

    I don’t love:
    – Tank tops
    – Beer
    – Humidity
    – Out-of-season tomatoes or peaches
    – Kid clothing with snarky slogans
    – Chick lit
    – Reality television

    admin Reply:

    I love an empty dishwasher, monograms, and looking in bookstores, too! And loathe humidity and mealy tomatoes/peaches … xoxox

  6. Posted July 6, 2016 at 8:39 am | Permalink

    I’m curious. Does Hamilton speak to you at all? Or not – given you don’t love rap? I wouldn’t say I love rap music, but I thoroughly enjoy listening to Hamilton.

    admin Reply:

    I haven’t seen Hamilton though I’m pretty certain I would adore the music and it would upend all of these views!! xo

  7. Posted July 6, 2016 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    Ha ha! I hate flat gladiator sandals too:) As well as Crocs. I love your “love” list.

    admin Reply:


  8. Amy Fallon
    Posted July 6, 2016 at 10:10 am | Permalink

    Love your list. I don’t like: cracked iphone screens (which I currently have), cold offices (central AC), the waiting room in the doctor’s office; my loves: greeting my boys in the morning when they wake, blank pages in my journal and iced coffee with whipped cream.

    admin Reply:

    Agreed on the cracked screens. Oh, yes. xox

  9. Posted July 6, 2016 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

    What great lists. I also love Christmas carols, the word luminous, and the smell of laundry. And the mail!

    I also love strong black tea with milk and sugar, a scone in the morning, the smell of rain, ripe tomatoes, red autumn leaves.

    I agree on Abercrombie & Fitch – can’t stand the smell! I also don’t love rap music (though man, do I love Hamilton). Might have to do my own post!

    admin Reply:

    I hope you will write a post, and I look forward to it! xox

  10. Posted July 7, 2016 at 5:26 am | Permalink

    This was fun to read – both your post and the comments! I agree with so many, especially the gladiator sandals (not for those of us with cankles) and Abercrombie & Fitch. That cologne! Blech.
    I Love:
    Outdoor showers
    The sound of an owl in the early morning
    Plantain chips from Whole Foods
    The smell of the marsh
    My husband’s t-shirts
    Post beach no-shower happy hour

    I Don’t Love:
    Fox News
    A blaring television
    Strapless Bras
    The elliptical trainer
    Sunday nights

  11. Posted July 8, 2016 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

    I love:

    Getting mail (but not bills)
    The first sip of coffee
    Books and bookstores
    Fresh cut northern grass
    The beach
    The sound of my children’s laughter
    The smell of Shalimar ( reminds me of mom)
    Road trips

    I could go on…

    Men who wear hats indoors
    The smell of cigarettes
    Not being able to find my keys


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