I love having “go-tos.” They are those default items that eliminate the burden of yet another decision. Whoever said that originally — choice is a burden — might as well have been speaking to me. With too many options even a choice as which socks to wear overwhelms me.
Over the years, I’ve amassed countless go-to items. They’ve changed over time; new ones enter, old standbys leave. Yet, even when something casually disappears, its story remains with me. I haven’t had a pop tart in years, but I fondly remember them as my go-to choice from the vending machine at my Dad’s office. Standardized tests may be over (thank goodness!) , but a freshly sharpened box of Ticonderoga pencils still inspires the same cocktail of nerves and fear in me. If I were that sort, I’d liken all these objects to Proust’s madeleine, but I’m not. Instead, let’s say these go-tos are like Princess Mia’s Queen Amadala knickers; they are good luck talismans.
Below are my five most-notable go-tos, beyond pop tarts and pencils, that is. Some of them are objects, others aren’t, but each one has a history. This story has developed over time, mostly during the hours I have spent standing in front of the shampoo aisle in Boots. Some are products and some most aren’t. Enjoy!
- Labello (Nivea) lip balm – From the first time I saw the larger-than-average blue tube in Lucky, I knew I had to have it. Fortunately, they quickly introduced it in America, though I did have to order it from Germany a few times to feed my
- Blue suitcases – Every suitcase I’ve ever owned has been blue. I’m currently on my third one and, despite the changing design, I always know to perk my head up when something blue heads down the baggage claim. Not as dull as a black suitcase, but not as attention grabbing as a hot-pink one.
- Mint tea in the evening – My tea obsession began with sweet fruity ones, the kind you rarely find in England. During one of my extended trips there, I chose some mint tea as an alternative and I’ve never looked back. My personal favorite is Harney, but Twinings or Celestial Seasonings are also lovely.
- Muesli for breakfast – Muesli was one of the few options for breakfast that I could stand during halls my first year at university and it quickly became my default meal when traveling. After trying samples from Italy, Germany, France and Denmark, I enjoy reflecting on my travels as I eat my morning meal.
- Vogue over Elle – I could, and do, spend hours in front of magazine displays but when it comes down to fashion magazines, there’s no question. Through years of trial, error and disappointment, I’ve learnt that Vogue talks a touch less about fashion and splash more about culture. Not to mention, they don’t have the horrendous flourescent covers like Elle sometimes chooses.
Your turn! What’s one of your go-to items?