The most recent flare-up began with a need for a new planter for our herbs (I say our only so my Eric is somehow complicit, even though he thinks I'm crazy as a loon). As you know, we live on the first floor of a condo building, and our porch, while servicable, is not huge. Also, we had a couple pots of flowers stolen off the porch last summer, which made me unreasonably ANGRY. So, I thought we should have a herb planter that would take full advantage of the sun on the south side of our little spot, and be big/heavy/cumbersome enough to deter potential thieves. I even—generously, I thought—envisioned four different iterations of the potential planter in my head, soest I would not seem too, well, particular. I began looking for what I had in mind last week, touring a few (okay, five exactly) garden centers. I took photo after photo with my trusty iPhone to send to a bemused but loyal Eric. Close, but no cigar. This past weekend, Eric dutifully in tow, we checked out the farmer's market and another garden store (in the rain). Nothing. But we bought the herbs, which added urgency to The Quest.
Fast forward to yesterday, my first day post-school, during which I resolved to do nothing: no work, no studying, no deadlines. I read a book and drank coffee on the front porch. For about ten minutes. Then I started pacing. Knowing what I needed to do, I got in my car and began scouring the Cities for The Perfect Planter. Home improvement big boxes, every garden store and centre west of the Mississippi, hardware stores, a couple of the garden stores twice: nothing. Every so often I would stop at home and pretend to lounge, but I was way too agitated for forced relaxation to mitigate my Particularity flare-up.
I finally gave in, it being 4:30pm and time to pick up Viggo from Downtown Dogs (where I had dumped him for the day so that I could Lounge Without Interruption). On the way there, I remembered that Bloomsbury, the first garden shop we had visited over the rainy weekend, was close to the dog's daycare. Perhaps we hadn't given it our fullest attention. After all, it had been drizzly and we were cold. And the options we did see, while not exactly right, had shown some possibilities, aesthetics-wise.
So (yes, to make a long story interminable), I stopped and looked around (the sixteenth stop on my journey, I kid you not), and convinced the nice worker into obsessing with me, and almost immediately found three options (two of which we had seen on Saturday but dismissed as being less than ideal so early in The Quest). But, in the mucky back lot of this little place, which is filled with iron window boxes and old bird baths and abandoned benches, Patient Worker and I saw two old, rusty (I mean patina-ed) cast iron tall rectangular planters. As if God itself had measured our space and plunked these down (15 years ago), half buried them under muck, and filled them with yard waste and fence posts so that no one else would buy them. I immediately took a photo, called Eric, and bought one (he was skeptical of the patina). It weighs about a gazillion pounds, and is perfect perfect perfect. In the cast of the iron are three initals, L M E, which I'm certain stand for Love Me, Eric.
This story should end with my appreciation for the simpler things, an understanding that life is more than obsession over fruitless searches and unimportant details. However, as is so often the case, I was completely vindicated, my long, difficult (some might say sacrificial) Quest ending in triumph. For righteousness there is no cure.
UPDATE: Before and After