Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Long-Term Spending Habits

I got in a conversation the other day with ... the fella, I think it was. We were talking about music and "oldies" and what music we had and liked back in the day--when we were in junior high and high school.

These days, the "must have" tech is an iPod or similar MP3 player. Back then, it was a portable record player, or for the really rich kids, a stereo. (This is pre-boombox days, folks. I'm old) And instead of a playlist, my friends had stacks of .45 rpm records. Singles.

I owned one. That's right. One lone .45 rpm single. (Dedicated to the One I Love by The Mamas and the Papas) And our ... you can't call it a stereo. It was an old cabinet-style radio with a turntable in the top. It was the equivalent of having one song on an old ... Walkman. Maybe. It's not so much that I was impoverished, though with multiple siblings and a dad with a college prof's salary, I didn't have a whole lot of disposable income. It's just that I chose to spend my money on different things.

This was the moment of epiphany. Because when I considered what I spent my disposable income on back in my high school days, I realized that it is exactly the same as what I spend my disposable income on Today. I buy books, and I buy earrings.

I have two massive piles of books in my office, and a rapidly growing pile on the table behind the recliner in the den of books I've read since the new year that I don't want to mix with the books I read Last Year. I don't just buy books. I buy BOOKS. Lots, and lots and lots of books. I buy books almost every week, three or four or five at a time. (I think I bought 5 at Target this week...) (Some weeks I'll get a couple at Target and 3 or 4 more at Barnes & Noble.) (Hmm. I bought those books at Target on Tuesday, and today I ordered 4 more at B&N online...) (And I just got a second panel of books to read for RWA's RITA contest.) (Hello, my name is Gail and I'm a bookaholic.)

And I buy earrings. I have an extensive earring wardrobe. I've become a bit more discerning in my earring purchases in the last...mumbledy-something years. (I'm a grandmother. You do the math.) But I own a pair of balsa-wood parrot-in-turquoise-straw-hat earrings, and I would snap up a pair of lady-bug earrings like I had when I was in high school in a New York minute. (I also have garnets, lots of Navajo silver, silver from Norway, turquoise slabs, green amber...lots of stuff.) I'm a sucker for cool earrings.

There are other things I tend to spend my money on. Office supplies--I can get all oogly over pens and notebooks. Yarns and fabric for crafting and quilting. Paint supplies. Flowering plants--indoors or out. Books about crafting and quilting and painting and gardening...though that's back to the books, isn't it? Thing is--all those things go back years and years and years too. I bought my first African violet when I started college. I learned to sew in high school. I took oil painting lessons in high school. And of course, I was writing things in notebooks. (Fan fiction for the original Star Trek, and for High Chaparral, which you trivia buffs may know something about.)

I haven't outgrown my addictions. I've just become better funded.

Oh, and I'm still writing. We'll be in Paris for the rest of the book.

1 comment:

meardaba said...

Have you kept all those old notebooks? I threw all mine away, but then, I don't really want to be a writer when I grow up.