Romeo and Juliet…Pyramus and Thisbe…Eloise and Abelard…doomed lovers all. But they’re not the only ones. They’ve got competition from an unlikely source — right here in my house, where a cricket fell in love with a dryer.

This is how it all came about: My dryer started squeaking while in use, softly at first, then building up to a screeching, nails-on-the-blackboard, sonic ear-stab. Shortly thereafter, a cricket took up residence in our house. First, he took refuge under the refrigerator. Then he moved to the living room. Later, he set up shop in my office closet. All of these rooms are laundry room-adjacent. When I’d run him out of one room (by keeping the lights on or going hunting for him, as his insistent chirps were keeping me awake at night), he’d set up camp somewhere else — always suspiciously nearby. Finally, I figured out why. The horrible sound the dryer was emitting sounded a lot like a two-ton cricket. Our poor Lothario probably figured he’d hit the jackpot, lady-friend-wise. It was just his luck that “she” was diurnal and he nocturnal.

Such is love sometimes. The situation resolved itself when a repairman installed new bearings in my dryer. The lonely cricket was summarily offed by one of the cats, probably while he was out searching for his lady-love. In the end, their love was doomed to fail.

That’s what happens when you fall in love with things. Sure, we all want things — new clothes, new shoes, new car, new house. But when you put your stock in objects, you are sure to be left wanting. Things, however shiny and attractive, cannot love you back.

I look around me and see that I have far too many possessions. I like them, I’ve convinced myself I need them, but do I really? We could all do with a bit of autumnal “spring-cleaning,” divesting ourselves of what we do not truly need. I really believe that the more we let go of things, the closer we can be to God.

Instead of wasting our energy wanting objects, let’s invest it in wanting a deeply meaningful and spiritual life. Let’s treasure the people around us. Let’s value experiences over items from a store. The more we do this, the happier we will be. Because things can’t fulfill you, not really. But God can.

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