Daniel and I went on a date last night. After dinner we drove over to Burns so he could get some more tobacco. That place is such a boy’s club; it’s their sacred, smoking zone. I love going in there just to alter the balance. (That has nothing, whatsoever to do with the rest of this post.)
It has been pointed out to us on a number of occasions that we are just a little bit funny. Daniel has been smoking pipes for years; he has a great collection of old hats and an even greater collection of walking canes. Coupled with my collection of clocks, records, overflowing bookcases and 30+ year old furniture, I feel that you may be right if you have ever thought that our house looked like a pair of 80 year olds live here.
On our way to Burns we passed a flat-bed truck carrying one of my two dream cars:
I would make that car sexy. Sexier. My other dream-mobile:
Daniel prefers the camper version of the VW bus. I admit without shame that our version of “hipster” is closer to “hippie.” As we drove past the Mustang on I-75, I said, “Why do I like such old things?” (Actually, first I said, “It’d be OK if you bought me one of those.”) I’ve said many times before that I was born in the wrong decade. I’m starting to think I should’ve come of age around the time my parents did. I can’t help it. I like older things: cars, furniture, architecture, music, men (ha!). Liking old things has become a . . . thing for me. Like, I never thought about it (other than laughing at how much I was drawn to ugly things), but now that I’ve got my own home and adult friends with their own homes, I realize, yeah . . . there’s just something a little different about my taste.
Within the last few years this thing has become more than just a preference or style; it has become a statement, part of my presence in this world. Green is the new black. It’s hip and groovy. Everybody is recycling and unplugging things when they’re not using them. We’re all carrying reusable shopping bags and looking at our produce a little differently, daring to ask where it came from like that makes any difference. Part of my contribution to saving the planet and driving the economy further into the abyss is by not buying anything new. Anything. Well, specifically media, clothing and household items (furniture, kitchen items, etc.). I’ll still buy new socks, shoes, underwear and toiletry items. The way I see it, though, there’s already so much really great stuff in circulation, why waste the world’s resources (and all that crappy press board furniture) just because I get an urge to shop for more crap I don’t need? Being prudent, a good steward, economical: how can that be a bad thing? If I can buy it at Salvation Army or the local auction house or neighborhood estate sale, then I’m still doing my part in keeping things from ending up in a landfill somewhere.
Oooo, plus, it’s really thrifty to only buy second-hand. And Thrifty is my middle name. I’m frugal by nature, so the idea of not spending excess money on excess stuff is a really appealing challenge. Plus, it plays into the bigger picture of where Daniel and I see ourselves in the future.
Currently, we live on a completely laughable amount of money (to some. To others, we’re ridiculously wealthy). (*Note: Daniel’s pay is reasonable, but after taxes, insurance, giving to the church or those who are in need, and our $9 monthly Netflix splurge, we’re living on about 60% of his income.) Either way, we’re stretched, and make sacrifices all over the place to keep our finances balanced. But the only reason I want to have more money is so I can give more away. Ultimately, what I really wish to do with my life (this is the BIG dream) is give stuff away. If you see any job postings “Philanthropist Needed” or “Seeking Humanitarian” be sure to let me know (Dear Rich and Famous people, please let me tackle your checkbook(s) so I can feed all the people everywhere.).
I’d like to have complete financial independence (by this I mean, not needing to work a regular job to sustain our reasonable living standards) so we can travel the world and feed people. Sure, I’d like to climb a couple mountains while I’m at it, and I’d love to buy Daniel those fancy socks he’s pining for, but what I really want is to send kids to school and dig wells for clean water and teach people how to milk their new goats. I want to help sick people become healthy and see babies live when they should die. I want to give my friends a chance to see their own dreams realized (anybody else want grad school paid for?!). This is the adventure I want to live; these are the miracles I want to be part of.
So, we’re slowly working our way toward that eventual goal. Between our halting entrance into the world of real estate investment, my hoping to perhaps one day write for pay and sooner or later go to grad school to become something besides stay-at-home-mom-turned-occasional-blogger, maybe one day that dream will come true. I know it’s a little funny in America to have dreams like that. But I imagine that I’m a trend setter, and one day giving will be the new black.