As I get older, I find it harder and harder to ask for gifts. When Christmas and my birthday roll around and Graham asks me what I want (or asks me what I want because my father has asked him to ask me what I want), my answer is usually “I can’t think of anything.”
Because I can’t. I’m at the age where I’m capable of buying what I want the moment I want it, and anything I don’t get is because I know it’s too expensive for me to buy, let alone ask someone else to buy for me. I’m old enough and have financially planned enough to have built myself a modest life by now. Plus, I have everything I need. I have most of the things I want. What I don’t have is a lot of space in my house, and in order to get more stuff I’d need more space, and for some reason space is much more expensive than stuff, so I’m caught in a sort of stalemate with myself and this is why I am not a consumerist.
Of course, I am some kind of a consumerist. I live in the developed world where money has always been exchanged for goods and services. Living means consuming. But I’m not an ambitious consumerist, I guess is what I’m saying, and as I get further away from the age where I was comfortable asking people for presents, I’m also getting further away from understanding why people need so many things.
This woman in my office is about my age with a boyfriend, two kids, and the worst financial strategy I’ve ever seen. Neither she nor her boyfriend are wealthy, but she kind of brags about having a car that costs over $100 a week to fill with gas (“it has a hemi,” she says), going to Vegas twice a year, going shopping almost every weekend, and buying a new Coach purse for herself on Valentine’s Day. The purse cost $490.00. I know this because she told everyone.
I know I’m not supposed to assume other people’s financial situations and I assure you that I find it gross when I see that shitty ass “I’m a doctor and I don’t like poor black people” bullshit on Facebook because someone else’s poverty needn’t fit my prejudice, but that purse looks like it was stitched together from garbage bags, and nothing that holds your keys and tampons is supposed to cost that much.
I just don’t understand why anyone would see a $490.00 purse and not only buy it, but even consider it a possibility to be bought. I mean, doesn’t the item itself lose value when you see how hideously overpriced it is? Wouldn’t you feel embarrassed to have thrown 490 of your dollars at something that doesn’t really improve your quality of life, at least no more than its $40 counterpart? Why would you buy that? Why would you want that? Why are you so committed to a brand that you make this kind of purchase every single year? Why do you want to consume so much of so much, so much?
Truly, I cannot make myself comprehend this sort of behavior. I really can’t understand why she pairs a $490 garbage bag purse with her usual Uggs-and-pajamas attire, because I’m sorry, I know it might be comfortable but you’ve got to work a look that costs you so much, and she is just running that whole thing into the ground.
I know that I could be much more financially responsible (if not successful), and I know I could also take more risks with my money. But I don’t care to what extent I master my money; if anyone sees me buying a $490.00 Coach purse because it’s a $490.00 Coach purse, you have my permission to seek conservatorship.