Live! At the Whiney-A-Go-Go!

August 11, 2006

I’m weird about money.

Filed under: life — letslucky @ 9:43 pm

Growing up without much money forms some attitudes about it, I’m sure. My siblings will tell you that the family was flush with cash when I came along, which might be right. On the other hand, being the youngest of seven means that your mid-career parents might bring in more, but they’re also paying for the boys in college. But just the boys. In my family, girls aren’t sent to college, as a rule. But that’s another blog posting.

In any case, the friends of my adulthood have tried very hard to break me of my attitude that everything is scarce, and if it isn’t now it will be soon. It took a long time to get me to trash the tattered, safety-pinned cotton panties that I was convinced could last yet another five years. And boy, ain’t that sexy. I still cringe to see movies in the theater, I use teabags at least three times, and I steal all the hotel soap I can get my hands on. But I’m trying to be a little more self-indulgent. It’s much easier to be generous to other people than to myself.

In my world view, any purchase is considered like this:
1. Do you have it already? If not, then you obviously don’t need it. You’ve gotten along just fine without it so far.
2. Ok, so you have it already. Is it lost? Then obviously you can’t be trusted to get a new one. You’d just lose it.
3. You know where it is, but it’s broken? Ditto above. You’d just ruin the next one too.
4. You have it and use it constantly, but it’s old and tired. Join the club. We’re all old and tired. You’re not going to toss me aside when I’m old and tired, are you?
5. You have it and might even use it, but it’s ugly and you don’t like it. Well, that’s what you get for having preferences. Shed your opinions and take what you can get, and you’ll have nothing to be unhappy about.

So put all these in a blender, add a dollop of I-can-pay-for-it-MYSELF feminism, sprinkle a couple of terrifying years of unemployment, and mix well. You can see why I’m a cash frappe, a smoothie of parsimony and self-inflicted neglect.

And has all this scrimping and saving gotten me anywhere? Not really. I’d be sitting on a mountain of useless cash and prying gum-cemented pennies from the sidewalk were it not for a husband with expensive tastes and a low tolerance for this sort of bullshit. He’s also the one who helps curb my generosity when it’s getting out of hand, like when I’m about to spend a couple hundred bucks on a “just because” gift for a friend. And yet I travel without my trusty earplugs because buying a new pair would be at least $2 and I still have mine somewhere, I just can’t find them right now.

But I still won’t let him buy me any real jewelry.
Nor replace the fabulous Coach lipstick case that I moronically left on a plane once. Back when you could bring lipstick on a plane.

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