The umbrella situation around here has gotten out of hand. For years there was only Red, attractive and sturdy despite having been acquired in a discount store. But then the SO deemed Red too small, and showed up one day with a suitably manly umbrella: solid black and big enough for a family of four to picnic under. Then came the one that was a promo item. Then the paper parasols (one a gift, one purchased in Chinatown). And the compact one we really didn't need and which is kind of flimsy, but had to be bought due to its extreme cuteness (black with white polka dots. No one could have resisted. Besides, it was on sale.)
But even with umbrella chaos, I hesitate to say I need an umbrella stand. They seem to be one of those items that make life prettier, more comfortable, more organized, and so on, but aren't strictly necessary for getting by on a daily basis. I seem to be attracted to a lot of those types of things.
Other Nice-but-Not-Really-Necessary Items:
- candles and their various holders (like dimmer switches, provide ambiance, only with the added fun of a fire hazard!)
- teapots and cups (let's be honest, a microwave and a mug are perfectly serviceable and are more practical as well)
- water goblets (love them, rarely use them)
- coasters (really, wouldn't a saucer or a napkin be just as good?)
- trays (sure, in theory they're useful, but I can't remember ever seeing one put to use)
- bookends (might be more practical if there weren't so many darn books taking up all the shelf space)
- fancy spice bottles (my mom has been re-using the same spice bottles--refilled with fresh spices--she got from the store thirty years ago. No good reason not to)
PS: For anyone interested, here's the link to the umbrella stand pictured.