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September 6th, 2004
When All Else Fails

It’s been a busy week. DH is enjoying his new job, although getting both of us out of the house and on the bus at the right time is proving to be entertaining… This is the first time both of us have worked full-time at the same time, with basically the same schedule. We get evenings and weekends together, which is nice.

More stuff has been unpacked. We went to a housewares store and bought a silk comforter, which was a first. I’ve never spent so much on bedding before. It becomes a really weird feeling, actually. Theoretically, I disagree with the premises of consumerism: buy more things and you will be happy. I’ve spent the better part of the last month getting rid of THINGS, the cruft of six years of moving stuff from place to place without ever getting rid of anything. It’s the poverty mentality I was raised with — you can’t throw/give that away, you might need it! Eventually that attitude starts to rule your life though and the things start piling up and taking over.

On the other hand, I don’t like the alternative — get rid of it, because you can always buy a new one (now that we can actually afford such a luxury). Or, get rid of your old, crappy stuff so you can replace it with new, shiny stuff, that eventually gets old. Do we plan on replacing our stuff sooner? Or what? I guess that’s why it’s called “disposable” income. I don’t like that very much.

At some point, it will be necessary for me to figure out what it means to be able to buy the things I have always wanted to buy, but never could. To stop being the person with her nose pressed to the window looking in, to being the person who walks in and says “I’ll take it!”

I believe that my Higher Power must have been paying extra special attention to my little family this summer. We rented this studio apartment before DH got the job — and now that we *can* buy all the THINGS we’ve wanted, we won’t because we’ll have no place to put them. When all else fails, we are forced to moderate in quantity.

So we have quality instead. I like this. But with quality, I also want longevity. I don’t WANT to replace my bedspread sooner, I want this nice one I just bought to last longer. Is that possible, or is everything made cheaper and crappier so you buy more more often…? I hope not. We’ve been willing to purchase nicer things for our studio, and I like that. When it comes down to brass tacks, I turn around and walk out of stores without actually buying anything, because I know that it isn’t that I really wanted what was being sold; I wanted it because I couldn’t have it. Now that I can, I’m satisfied in that knowledge.

I hate those people who love to tell you
Money is the root of all that kills
They have never been poor
They have never had the joy of a welfare christmas
–Everclear, “I Will Buy You A New Life”

Money buys security in this country. It buys health insurance, life insurance, better food, warmer coats, more comfortable shoes, medication. Ultimately, people need to find happiness in this security if they can afford it — that’s really what makes me happy, not the things I can buy. I can worry a lot less about everything — bills, loans, how I’m going to pay for my medication… Security IS happiness, in my book, because it frees up all this energy for positive thinking.

Anyway… it’s an adjustment in thinking, a total shift. It’s been an interesting week.

Oh yeah, and I lost two months of data at work last weekend, when my computer died. I spent the week trying to patch it back together. Back-ups equal security equal happiness. Note to self: do your own back-ups, regularly. Losing all your email sucks.

Posted by Claire at 10:42 PM | Days Go By | Comments (1) | Tweet This Post

One Response to “When All Else Fails”

  1. Nedra says:

    Man, I swear all computers are acting bad lately, I had to re-install my OS and a friend of mine is trying to fix her dead PC. Glad to hear things are going great!

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