Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Materialism: Lux-cessities and sneaky parenting

My hard drive is corrupted which means my computer is currently out of commission. I have a ton of things to blog about but a lot of them have to do with pictures...that I can't get to...because my hard drive is currently being fixed...or replaced. Luckily we have everything (we think) backed up in "the cloud" and on a mega-hard-drive downstairs so I'm not too worried about it. I'm just going through withdrawals. I wasn't even going to blog until my computer was fixed but so much has happened already and is going to happen that I just can't stand it any more. So...


I got a watch today. I don't think I've had a watch since...high school. It had a tan leather (probably faux-leather) strap and a round, blue face. It was analog. And it broke. And I haven't worn a watch since. I really wanted one to help me time my runs, though, so today we took our $50 gift card to Wal-Mart and got a sports watch for me and an electric razor for Andrew. Unfortunately the gift card didn't cover the whole cost but we figured these were two lux-cessities (things we could probably do without but are functional, daily-use items that we'd really like to have). We purchased Andrew's last razor in 2006 shortly after we got married so it is 4.75 years old and is on the fritz and he's been stealing my disposable razors to use on his face since he has to shave daily to live by the honour code and there have been several mornings when his razor simply won't turn on even if it charged all night long. And, as I mentioned, I haven't had a watch since high school and since I've started running have wanted a time-keeping device.

Aren't I good at justifying expensive purchases?

Rachel was really upset that we didn't get her anything at the store. When we were in the checkout line she was frantic. "But we didn't get anything for me! That's not fair! Wait, wait, wait! What are those?"

"You know what those are. Those are stuffed animals."

"But I see a pony one. Why don't we have a stuffed pony? We should get one for me. I need one because I don't have one."

Really? You need a stuffed pony? In my books that's not a necessity. It's not even a lux-cessity. It's a definite luxury. And...it's not your birthday...or Christmas. At least not yet. So being the mean parents that we are we said "No way, Jose!" and then Andrew whipped out his special list and jotted down that Rachel wants a stuffed pony. I'm not sure that whims should get to go on the list. This pony was definitely a whim. Slippers are also on the list. Tthose are valid because she's been asking for slippers since we took away and hid her old pair because we couldn't stuff her feet into them any more (they are size 4, she wears size 8). That was in July and now it's October and she's still consistently pining after a pair of slippers. It's not that I don't think she wouldn't be happy to get a stuffed pony--because she would be--it's just that I don't think a stuffed pony is something that she really, really wants. It's just something she saw and lusted after in a fit of jealous passion. But who am I to question the list?

Miriam's birthday was great because she's so oblivious to what's going on around her. I made some of her presents so she saw them when I was making them and saw them when I finished them and showed them off to everyone and she saw the snow suit Grandma bought for her and watched Andrew and Rachel wrap up all her gifts. And then? She was excited to unwrap them. Mostly because she was, for once, allowed to rip paper. She loves to do it but usually we stop her.

We were talking in the car about presents a few days ago and Andrew mentioned that Grandma Sharon had called to ask what she wanted and that he told her that she'd like a stuffed animal.

"Oh!" I said, "You should have told her that she'd like a baby doll because we have a ton of stuffed animals but only two dolls. And they're both Rachel's. And she won't ever share them. Miriam loves to hold them, though, and so they're always fighting over them. Christmas is coming up, though, so I guess if she doesn't get one for her birthday we can try to get one for her then."

From the back seat Rachel piped up. "Can I get a new doll for Christmas, too?" she asked.

Whoops! I guess we've been inducted to the stage of sneaky parenting. Rachel pays far too keen attention to our "secret" conversations. Being sneaky is not one of my strong points. Nor is it one of Andrew's. This will be hard for us.

PS. Do you want to know something funny? I'll tell you: I meant for this post to be about running. It so obviously is not. Clearly far too much has happened in recent history and my brain is about to explode from keeping it all in. This is why I blog.

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