Beau Ties and the Lighthouse Depot: Two reasons to get up every morning

When I first met J he lived in an apartment in Chapel Hill with his roommate, Grant (who, by the way, wrote a song for Mina once while watching her for the weekend that went something like - "Mina, you're a star/You're like the Julia Roberts of dogs/Except you're naked/Except when you wear your sweater," which, besides the fact that Grant is a great guy, will endear him to me for the rest of my life). The two of them had a lot of fun and I liked going over there for visits. One of my favorite things that happened during the course of their living together was when one of them, I forget who, ordered a subscription to the Beau Ties catalogue for the other. "Look," they showed me one day. "Beau Ties."

I thought about this incident when I arrived home today, got the mail and discovered an issue of Lighthouse Depot magazine addressed to me.

At first I thought someone must have pulled a little Justin-and-Grant-type prank on me. Especially because I'm not a huge fan of lighthouses. Before any of you go and pull a hamstring, wondering who the hell I am that I don't like lighthouses, for Christ's sake, let me assure you that I like actual lighthouses. It's just that I'm not a huge fan of lighthouse-themed art. Calendars. Watercolors. Statuettes. You get the picture.

After flipping through a few pages, I realized that Lighthouse Depot hails from Maine, and the reason I got it in the mail probably has something to do with the fact that my father has, for some time, kept up a subscription to Down East magazine in my name. No, I'm not sure why.

The thing is, though, after checking out these seemingly unnecessary boutique items like those in Beau Ties and Lighthouse Depot, I inevitably become overwhelmed with a sense of joy. Joy, that we live in a world of people that have the time and imagination - and most of all - the passion, to dedicate to such ventures. Lest you think I'm kidding around, I'm really not. It makes me happy.

Plus, I know what I'm getting my brother, my friends, and J for Christmas, so that's settled.