Musings On The Concept Of Singularity

Musings From The Hill

It’s not a word I can recall ever using.

I don’t know why I would. But it popped right up when I needed it.

Singular (the definition I was seeking is #2): “unusual or strange; odd; different.” It can also mean more positive things but that’s not what I wanted to use to describe a very singular man.


I’ve never encountered anyone like him. Our rare meetings are strictly business for I’m the buyer and he the seller. Yet he’ll pop up with the oddest statements. Why volunteer, for instance, he lacks a “social life” (though at this point, who doesn’t?) or what he wears to bed? I take no offense, far too amused to mind. I can guarantee these words were not coquetry while acknowledging any woman my age would have been flattered had they been. Being a student of human nature, his remarks intrigued me as, the more he spoke, I’d never know what might be coming next. It wouldn’t be appropriate for him to talk like this with all his customers but it would be fun to know how many others share my experience.

Singularity can obviously relate to far more than the eccentricities of one individual.

My home reflects much singularity — as well as examples of my desire to hold on to too much. No, not “too much.” It’s all meaningful to me.

Let’s start with the little glass I prefer for my one and a half ounces: three ice cubes with a huge bowl of popcorn. I asked for a new set for Christmas, got them designed especially for scotch, and do enjoy . . . but, given a choice, I’ll wash and reuse just this one.

It must have been moved up from his home after my father died though I wasn’t around in those years to associate it with anything special. Certainly, I drank with him at times but believe all drinks were poured into flat tumblers. (Much too big for me now – or then.)

Then there’s the long-handled spoon I keep only for stirring my morning coffee. Again, hand-washed and dried and set out for the following day. This one is made by Dansk which I certainly treasured at one time. Did I have a full set once long, long ago? I know their flatware was always frightfully expensive so I doubt if there was too much more but certainly more than one piece. (We were each given a sterling teaspoon in high school – I have that one here someplace – or perhaps it’s already been sent to the rummage sale.) I have many odds and ends of silver pieces, mostly spoons that mean nothing and never did. Why polish something I don’t especially want? I also have plenty of iced tea spoons (how many does one really need?) and may use one occasionally to scrap the bottom of a jar of mustard or jam.

I also have one juice glass left. I know I’ve broken plenty of these though I don’t seem to break as much anymore. (Ever wonder why, with glasses, it’s so easy them to break them all until you get to that last one which is guaranteed to outlive you by generations?) .I did buy a colorful set of glasses to use but they’re all far too big for the sips I want with my papers. And does grapefruit juice really benefit from being served in a red, blue or purple glass? I’ll take mine in the color nature intended.

Somethings simply disappear on their own. I have photographs of two floor lamps -old, heavy, inherited – by the piano. There’s now one. (I keep thinking I’ll find it in some other room. It couldn’t have just walked away and I doubt if anyone would want to steal it. I keep searching.)

One green glass candlestick. It’s been over a year since I’ve burned candles and I have a drawer filled with good intentions for winter ’20-21. I don’t know where this one-time set came from and don’t mind seeing it go. Nice ones need polishing and are relegated to company nights. For me I prefer a set of five intentionally mismatched white holders: some are round, some are taller than the others. They’re fun (and easy to clean once the wax begins to accumulate).

I positively do not consider myself a singular individual though, perhaps, we all are in one way or another. Echoing what I wrote in my column on happiness, I’m simple happy being me. (Maybe that’s another reward of growing older.)

And Mr. Singularity? Honestly, I wish I knew him better. Someday I expect to see him again. I’ve learned to keep quiet and let him talk.

One does wonder what will come next.

Susan Crossett has lived in Arkwright for more than 20 years. A lifetime of writing led to these columns as well as two novels. Her Reason for Being was published in 2008 with Love in Three Acts following in 2014. Information on all the Musings, her books and the author may be found at Susancrossett.com.


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