The Things I Love

Nov 16

Why do these tiny Turkish bowls remind me of the Italian superstar Sophia Loren?

  bowl_a_blog.jpgIt’s this: I love these bowls, even though I really and truly believe the great Sophia’s wise words, “Never love anything that can’t love you back.”

She gave this advice when interviewed about a high-class heist that relieved her of many valuable “things” — like furs and jewels. And yes, those things surely couldn’t have loved her back. But I have always felt, deep in my heart, that this sentiment could also apply to certain boyfriends and other assorted louses who shall remain nameless. You know what I mean.

Be that as it may, you must be wondering why I am  so attached to these colorful little two-inch ceramic bowls. Well, I can give you some very practical reasons, and I can rationalize as usual from here to Sunday (it’s now Monday), but the honest answer is “I don’t know.”

Why do we love anything? Anybody?

The heart, as Woody Allen once famously said, has its reasons. Athough one reporter rather sagely suggested that the particular organ in question, in regard to Woody’s relationship with Soon Yi, was something other than the heart.

Let’s not go there . . .

Back, instead, to the bowls . . .

I caught sight of these cuties during a shore excursion to Ephesus when we were on a Mediterranean cruise. There were dozens of them on the little stand just outside the ship, but we were sure they’d be cheaper if we poked around in one of the many tourist traps in town, where, we had been advised, one is advised to bargain — hard. Well, they turned out to be cheaper at the little stand. Who knew.

Anyway, I ended up with eight of them, but gave away four and managed to lose one, so I had only three left. The other night, I was serving some Prosecco and olives to a friend who came over for drinks (how did a little girl like me from Brooklyn get this sophisticated?) when she showed me pictures of a trip to Turkey, and I asked her to please get me some more of the bowls. She seemed puzzled. I mean, they’re inexpensive things, possibly made in China (not). I’ve even saw them last year in the Christmas shops at Grand Central Station, where they were not so inexpensive. But, being a sport, she promised to look out for them on her next trip.

She doesn’t have to! The next morning (the next morning!) what do I see in the Home section of the Times but a picture of these very same teeny Turkish delights, with a number to call. Yes, yes, they’re more expensive than the ones I bought in Ephesus, although less pricey than in the Christmas shops, but I wanted them and got three more! Here’s why:

They’re cute.
They’re handmade.
They remind me of the trip.

And they’re extremely useful. No, really. I use them for:
•Olive pits
•A hard-boiled egg, with salt sprinkled in the bottom for dipping
•Almonds (good for you, but highly caloric so you want to consider portion control here)
•A cut lemon in the fridge
•Those little leftover containers of salad dressing from the diner.
Oh, all sorts of things.

sophiainpink.jpgSorry, Sophia, but I do love a few other inanimate objects which, sad to say, can’t love me back. My little stuffed moose, Fleischman, my silver mesh wedding shoes which are now used as bookends because I will never wear those beautiful but painful things ever again (it hurts just to look at them, but in a good way), and a few pieces of jewelry because diamonds, if not exactly a girl’s best friend, truly don’t lose their shape in the end. And if I had a pink boa like yours, I might even love that, too.

Those things make sense and need no explanation. But the bowls? Well, I can’t really explain it, but in my heart I know I’m right. There are things, objects, some of no great monetary value, that make you happy. Who knows why. And why do we have to know?

Besides, I have now been validated in this love — by no less than The New York Times. Be still my heart.

And in case you think I’m carrying this sophisticated thing too far, after the olives and the Italian version of champagne my friend and I had pizza for dinner and drank coke with our slices. I love those things too.

The bowls can be yours at Jafajems (973 746 5885) for a modest sum.

Sophia is not available at any price.



Photo by Lou Chisena

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