When I think about how difficult this week has been, I’m surprised that I haven’t had more to drink. It’s not that I couldn’t have used a little alcoholic help, but I just haven’t felt like it. Maybe my body still won’t let go of when I got hammered at Dustin and Niki’s, like, three weeks ago and spent the next morning covered in a clammy sweat and trying not to barf at work. While my ideal Friday night usually involves wine and premium cable, last night I was all about ice water and Selling Spelling Manor on HGTV.
Let me say up front that I never expected Candy Spelling to be normal. This is a woman who lived in a 56,500 square foot house that included one room for her 1,000+ strong collection of dolls and two rooms dedicated to gift wrapping. Like anyone whose house sells for $150 million, Candy Spelling has zero concept of how much of the world lives. She has a wicked case of plastic surgery face that still looks better than her daughter’s. She is on another planet. I realize this. I also realize my involvement in this fuckery because I was the one watching the show instead of getting drunk and watching Independence Day for the 30th time. Even though I own it. On VHS.
Okay, so obviously Candy Spelling is a little nuts, and obviously I’m a moron for watching the show. But even though I know these things, I can’t help but be struck by how much stuff this woman has. After selling her house and before moving into her “condo” (which is the top two floors of a luxury high rise, and certainly larger than any house I will ever own or probably even stand in), her stuff had to be cataloged, wrapped, and moved into a warehouse. A whole warehouse. How a person can devote so much of their life in order to acquire so much stuff is beyond my understanding.
I’m not being unreasonable. I like stuff too, okay? I may not have a lot of it and nothing is very fancy, but it’s mine. Plus I do like those first world comforts – pillow top mattresses, the IKEA catalog, brand name Pop-Tarts – that would make it pretty hard for me to reject the material world and move into a yurt. But even if I won a lottery large enough to relieve me of any financial worry until at least my seventies (and probably not even then, because what kind of rube would put their money in an account that doesn’t earn interest or refuse to invest?), I don’t think I’d become Candy Spelling. I don’t need a 56,500 square foot house. I don’t need enough stuff to fill a warehouse. I don’t need weird-looking children or terrible art or creepy fucking dolls. I just don’t see the purpose of it. Our small house keeps the “must get more stuff” impulse at a minimum, but some friends of ours aren’t as deterred. I know someone with a seriously pricey vintage furniture habit. It can’t fit into her apartment, so she’s gone and rented a storage space. For furniture that she’s not actually using. That’s when it stops becoming stuff you own, and starts becoming stuff owning you.
Candy Spelling’s stuff can’t all fit into her condo, so she has to get rid of 2/3’s of it by selling it. Selling it! I know that the supposed secret of staying rich is to spend like you’re poor, but from what I’ve seen on Selling Spelling Manor, the secret is actually to generate revenue by selling your stuff instead of donating it or giving the proceeds to charity (I’m sure she’s into philanthropy, all the super rich people are, but what’s the percentage difference of what she has vs. what she’s giving away?). This is how Candy Spelling and I are different. I’ve sold relatively cheap things like concert tickets on Craigslist before, but I’ve given away living room furniture on Freecycle. And I got suckered into helping the dude move the couch down the stairs because his wife had a back problem and the kid who came with them was like seven.
Candy Spelling: rich, has lots of stuff, is apparently smarter than me.
I’ll have to keep Candy Spelling in mind this year. I’ve started a mental tally of all the things I’ve decided to buy in 2012. Mattress, laptop, bookshelves, iPhone, treadmill, hopefully a trip outside the country, which is something I was going to do for my 30th birthday but I might hold onto until the holidays because I’m really sick of spending those at home. That’s a lot of money to spend. And it’s not like I have anything to sell in exchange for it, either. I get creeped out by people who buy used mattresses, I want to keep my old laptop just in case, nobody wants my current POS phone, and who’s going to buy my fatassery in place of a treadmill? I need to figure out how these rich people do it. I don’t want the money to buy more stuff, I just want the money I spend on stuff that I kind of/sort of need to magically replenish itself after I’ve spent it.
Although I’ll pass on Tori Spelling. I don’t want her. Not at all.