Saturday, June 03, 2017

The Right Words at the Right Time

I worry about money. A lot.

It's not that my finances are appreciably worse than they were a year ago. They aren't. It's that I'm a year older than I was a year ago. I realize that, to maintain my standard of living, I have to keep bringing in the salary I currently am. And realistically, I know that this just isn't going to go on forever.

And so I freak out. I worry, and I feel bad. And I have stopped spending on extraneous BIG things. My bathroom remodel is on hold -- again! -- for another year. There's no solo getaway on my calendar. I want to do both badly, and I have the available credit on my card to do both. But that would be stupid. And so I won't do that.

And I worry.

But I also do a lot of dumb things. I waste tons of money on little things, and I really didn't think about it until last week, when I got to page 57 of Rob Lowe's memoir, Stories I Only Tell My Friends. Looking back on his junior high years, Rob writes:

"We can't afford restaurants very much. If we do go out, the rule is: no desserts. There is never a vacation. And no new clothes."

I was sitting in a restaurant as I read that. When I brought my summer clothes out, I saw to my amusement that I now have, like a zillion navy blue t-shirts because, for some reason, I thought I needed navy blue t-shirts. Of course, I have no black slacks that will cover my prodigious ass. That's because I was too dumb to check my closet and drawers before I shopped.

And books! This Lowe book I picked up at the Little Free Library right down the street, but I also just purchased two new hardcover books ($30). Because I felt like it, and I wanted them. What's wrong with the public library? Or waiting for the annual book sale? Or just being smart?

It's time for me to be as smart as Rob's mother was back in the day. I have to be mindful of EVERYTHING I buy, not just things past a certain price point.

Friday, a Cub fan/coworker came by and asked if I wanted to buy his Cub tickets for Saturday's and Sunday's games. AGAINST THE CARDINALS. He and his (pregnant) wife and can't go and under the circumstances -- baby on the way -- it just doesn't seem responsible for him to let the tickets go to waste. He's got to sell them. Face value = $75 each.

Cubs. Cardinals. Wrigley Field. Sunshine, beer and ivy. Do I want to go? Hell to the yes!

But I can't go. I've already spent $300 on Cub tickets, and I haven't seen a single frame yet. (I'll be return to the Friendly Confines this Friday and then again with my nephew in July.) So I'll also be buying beer and hot dogs and drinks after the game. I simply cannot afford it.

But I want it. And the want is very strong.

So, with Luke standing there, I call my friend John at work. I tell Luke if John picks up, and can go, I'll buy the tickets. If he doesn't, it's not meant to be.

John didn't pick up. In a way, I'm glad. John really can't afford to spend even more on Cub
tickets, either.

This weekend I'll be in front of the set, watching the Cubs on TV. And that's fine. It's smart.

Whoever woulda thought Rob Lowe would be my inspiration?

1 comment:

  1. Oh, how I relate to this. Only my bugaboo is white tshirts. (because they go with everything)


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