Like a Goldfish
This weekend, Jess and I headed out to the Brooklyn Flea, a large and quirky crafts fair and flea market in Fort Greene.
Jess is in her element at such places – she has strong taste, obsessively tracks style trends, and can somehow spot the single gem buried in a table of piled crap. She’ll pick up a necklace for $20 one week, and the next we’ll be in Henri Bendel, seeing the same thing on sale for $2000.
My own flea market duties, on the other hand, don’t really involve item selection. Instead, I’m left with bargaining down the prices of purchases, vetoing anything ill-fitting or overly terrifying, and – most importantly – navigating.
The layout of the Brooklyn Flea, much like nearly every other flea market (and perhaps the minds of most of the vendors), is a convoluted mess. So it’s my job to make sure our wandering path nonetheless takes us past all of the stalls.
This weekend, however, I slacked off on that navigation duty, following Jess rather than directing her at each turn.
Jess stopped, for example, at a large booth full of earrings, and exclaimed that this guy actually had really great stuff.
To which I replied that I knew he did. Mainly because Jess had purchased a pair of earrings from him about ten minutes earlier.
And it occurred to me then that perhaps my directing us was robbing Jess of a large percentage of the fun. Left to her own devices, any flea market would seem several times as large; given even a few minutes in between, she could apparently return to the same stalls again and again, each time excited to rifle through them as though for the first time.