The world is too much with me. I do way too much getting and spending. Do you want to know what I’ve purchased, aside from basic necessities, in the past two weeks since my vacation? (Read about my vacation spending woes here). Even if you don’t want to know, I’m going to tell you.
–Wine. We were out of it. I got good deals in Delaware, where there is no sales tax. (Go DE!)
–An outdoor carpet (to protect our feet from the shattered glass table that collapsed when a light breeze lifted our umbrella).
–A gardening hat. (Very cute, perfect for a horse show, if I ever went to those things).
–Flowers for planting and two hanging baskets. Shouldn’t my house look nice?
–A single jogging stroller from Craig’s list. I have a double jogging stroller I bought off eBay last year, but I wanted to be able to take just my daughter, or just my son for a jog. Jogs are necessary to my and my husband’s physical health, don’t you think?
–A membership to the Philadelphia Zoo. I got quite a good deal, I might add. It even includes free parking!
–A delicious mustard yellow purse, by far my favorite purse as of late.
–Two bowls (to replace the ones that broke on the outdoor glass table).
–Two outfits and a bathing suit for my daughter (not a necessity, but cheap and adorable. This kid is going to put me out of way more than the $222,360 that NPR claims it costs to raise a child, because she’s a girl, and I’m going to want to relive my girlhood through her.)
–A hardcover book, A Visit from the Goon Squad, by Jennifer Egan, justified because I saw her do a reading and wanted her to sign my own personal copy.
–One night of dinner and two glasses of wine with a friend.
–A sweater and a t-shirt from Gap. (On SALE.)
–Two small Father’s Day gifts. No biggie.
–Bibs for my daughter, that are supposed to be un-stain-able and comfortable, which should make my life easier, which should make me a bit less insane. Supposedly.
–My mother’s birthday gift. (It’s a surprise.)
–Shorts from Old Navy. I have NO shorts. I ordered online. I’m planning on returning whatever I don’t like (because I also ordered a couple of dresses so that I could get free shipping).
–A new outdoor table.
This is shameful. I’m sure I can even think of more. But this is purely, ridiculously shameful. I’m embarrassed.
Have I become a yuppie? When my husband started using this word early in our relationship, wrinkling his nose in disdain at young men with slicked hair and black sports cars, I didn’t really know what he meant. But now, even though I’m a stay-at-home mom and not necessarily upwardly mobile, I’ve come to appreciate and enjoy things of the upwardly mobile. Things, whether they be from Target or Kohl’s. They may be cheap things, but they are things nonetheless.
I’m always getting and spending, laying my powers to waste.
Short of reaching nirvana, how do we prevent ourselves from wanting?
(Seriously, I’m looking for advice.)
Since summer is supposed to represent a time of pause, of calm, of slow days and firefly-lit nights, I’m going to try to remember simple pleasures, pleasures that do not require monetary consumption. So here is my list, my attempt to appreciate the finer moments, rather than the finer things.
1. The clink of ice in a glass of mint iced tea.
2. A new book from the library.
3. Noticing my flowers have grown.
4. A morning jog.
5. The breeze from an old tree that wafts through my living room window.
6. Five o’clock martinis with my neighbor.
7. Pride in a recent blog post.
8. A good conversation with a friend.
9. My son’s giggle.
10. Strawberries with whipped cream.
Do you want a confession?
Writing this list was freakin’ hard. I think I may need an intervention.
What are your simple pleasures? What have you wasted money on in the past two weeks?
Image: My first tulips. Even those fuckers cost me money.