The Jones

I’m not perfect but I really enjoy pretending I am—or at least I used to.   Wow, that was pretentious.  Let me explain…

Keeping up with the Jones.   You know who they are—they always have money, they have perfect status symbols (cars, houses, toys—you get the picture).   I hated not being able to keep up with “them”.  Honestly, I couldn’t even tell you who “they” actually were—just that I knew I had to keep up with them.   This was sad in two ways: most of my friends/co workers that I was trying to impress—well, they were just as in debt as I was and I knew it.  Secondly—who cared if I could keep up with them? Well, of course I did—I wanted to be perfect just like them.

I know that I went and spent $1100 on an amazing couch and then another $1000 on a TV.  Why? Well, the couch was because the person I was living with and I didn’t have furniture. So we had to have it.  The T.V. was because the old one I had broke on us and we needed the best.  (This is a few years back and I was with someone else at this point in time) Why?  Because it was cooler and everyone thought that I was amazingly good with my money to be able to afford it.  Not so and they probably thought that I was an idiot as most of them were poor college students too.   Basically I made every mistake that I tell people not to make today.  Hypocritical?  I don’t think so as I try to make it a point of saying “Whoa, I’ve been there.  Are you sure you want to do this?”  Or something similar to that point.  I’d rather people learned from my own mistakes then have to make them themselves.  And really? I’d rather have my half of the money that was spent on those items back so that I could use it for some debt—something I should have done in the first place.   I could have hit a yard sale or thrift store and purchased some old furniture that would have done just as well for the few years I needed them.

By the way: I no longer have that T.V. or couch. And I don’t miss them—well sometimes the couch but not enough to go buy another one like it.   Do I need new furniture? Not at this moment no.  It’s something I wouldn’t mind but I know I can get it in time.  We’ll save up the money for it and look for the best deal—not the most expensive status symbol.  I’ve learned that it doesn’t matter what’s in the house to make it a home—it’s really a matter of who you share it with.    I’ve got a delightful kitty and an amazing guy to make my home with—I don’t need “stuff” just to say I have it.  Instead, I’d rather save up and buy what we need—it feels better when we save for it.  Makes it more “ours” and we tend to take care of it better.

Did you ever keep up with the Jones? Did you at least know who “they” were?


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