Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Empty pockets never held anyone back. Only empty heads and empty hearts can do that. ~ Norman Vincent Peale
A fashionista, or whatever the word is, I'm not. I have one purse and the only time I use it is when we go to church in Kitchener so I can keep our money and enhanced driver's licenses organized and ready for when we cross the border. When we moved here I donated most of my 'church' clothes to charity. I'd had most of them since...well, let's just say a long time. But they were basic skirts, basic knit tops. They served me well. I kept two skirts and I rotate them each trip we take to church in Kitchener. Since we aren't able to go very often, I figure my two outfits suffice, haha! Because going to an actual church isn't something I do much anymore, my logical brain says, "Why go out and spend the money?" I wasn't raised by two New Englanders for nothing! I heard "Use it up, wear it out. Make it do, or do without" more than once in my life.
When we moved here we did a major, major purging of our lives' "stuff". We tossed out and donated more than we kept. We like our clutter-free existence. We've found we haven't missed that stuff, not even one tiny bit. Dear Hubby does wish he'd held on to a canvas wall tent but as we packed up our household and our son's and daughter's households into the back of the semi that brought everything 2/3 of the way across the country, we weren't sure how much room we'd have. After he'd already given it away we realized we could have kept it...but oh well.
Do you ever watch "House Hunters International"? It's the only show on TV I watch with any regularity. I can't begin to count the times the foreign realtors say, "Americans have very high expectations" and it mortifies me when the American buyers belittle what other cultures and countries have to offer. We Americans want it big!!! We've got to have 5 bedrooms and 4000 square feet and pools and 3-car garages! We want granite counter tops, and nothing but stainless steel appliances will do! We want air conditioning! We want...we want...we want...
Dear Hubby used to give me a bad time when we'd drive across the Columbia River towards Vancouver, Washington, from Portland. It really bugged me, the huge estates perched on sloping land and bluffs overlooking the water. Room enough for 5 families in some of them. I'd shake my head quite often and say, "Why does anyone need that much room? Don't they realize they have to clean it? 5 bathrooms means 5 toilets to scrub." And he'd very patiently say to me what he'd always say: "If they can afford a house that big, they can afford cleaning women." Yeah...I know. But aren't we a country, a culture of excesses?? He couldn't understand why it bothered me so much. I don't know why either, really. It certainly wasn't because I was envious. It takes very little to satisfy me.
I guess it's a matter of how much is too much. Why do we have to acquire so much? Why does it take room-sized closets to house our wardrobes? When do we wear all those clothes? How many bras and underwear do we need? I mean, really.
But, as I said earlier, I was raised to be practical and buddy, am I ever practical. Now, with my old shoes duly worn out (See, I wore them out, Mom!) I can put them in the garbage with a clear conscience.