Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Joneses

Since when have we, as a society, not been happy with what we already have?  It seems as if we all are in a compitetion to see who can be further in debt.  (Yes I know, NOT everyone is in debt, but you would be surprised at all the "rich" who are really using credit cards and not paying them off)

You can not go a day without seeing an advertisement for a "new and improved" product.  I mean come on, seriously, is there much difference between this Swifter and that Swifter?  They dangle new cell phones in front of your nose saying faster, more clear, easier texting. 

New homes are cropping up around every corner taking up more and more land.  Trees are being cut down.  Fields are being turned into lush green yards.  I remember growing up that a new home was only for the elite, and now it seems as if we feel it is our right to have one.

Growing up we made do with what we had.  There were no fancy store bought costumes for Halloween - we went out to the field and dad's closet to make scarecrows or farmers or used a sheet to be a ghost.  Soda was not kept in the home, we drank water, milk and Kool Aid.  (no my children do not drink soda, but they think they should)  We didn't have a room dedicated to all the toys bought, because there were not that many.

Christmas time was special because my parents always made sure that there were TONS of presents under the tree.  I do not know where or how the did it, but they were there.  I remember one year being disappointed because we couldn't afford a "real" cabbage patch doll so I received a homemade one (my first memory of wanting what others had)

What spurred this ramble you may ask. 

I am hosting a Pampered Chef "Wine & Appetizer" Party and as I was cleaning our home up I caught myself asking myself "Is this good enough?"  Our home is one of the original farm houses in the area, surrounded by a brand new subdivision.  It is one of the few homes that still has well water, which means we deal with iron and rust - meaning that our faucets aren't pretty and there may be some stainage that I am unable to Magic Eraser away.  And I actually caught myself thinking, "What would so and so say if they saw this?"  I promptly said to myself "I DONT CARE" because if you are coming to judge my home, then you are not welcome. 

Also, I was making out my list of what I need to get yet for the girls for Christmas and I had a co-worker go THATS ALL!?  Yes that is all - 3 gifts a piece.  Stop and think, Baby Jesus received 3 gifts and it was good enough for him, so why not do the same for my children.

*yes there was no coherent thought process here and you get a cookie if you all followed my thinking


Tattoos and Teething Rings said...

I agree! Our children are growing up seeing that having stuff is what makes you a successful, happy person, and we have to try so much harder to prove to them that it's not.

Lee the Hot Flash Queen said...

Gimme my cookie. I agree!

Sharon said...

Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.... cookie. I'll take which ever kind you've got. I'm not looking for bigger OR better.

Kelly said...

I'm glad to hear you say these things! I am disgusted with all the development near my house. It used to be all farm land, but it seems that if the developers see a tree or spot of grass they have to build something there. Also, since all of these so-called wealthy priveledged people have moved to the area it is impossible to find a school where learning is more important than name brands and bank account balances. My daughter was made to cry last year because she didn't get some expensive electronic gadget. Oh how I wish we could go back in time about 50 years!
PS sorry for the novel in your comments!!

Erin M. said...

I agree with you completely even though I feel like I exemplify the worst of what your post points out.

I buy my kids things. They are mostly educational things, but still. I guess for so long we weren't sure we'd even be able to HAVE kids, and so I am sometimes overwhelmed with the urge to shower them with stuff. Yes, it is mostly books and board games and puzzles and coloring books, etc. , but still.

And we built a new house last year.

But I would never, ever walk into your house or someone else's house and think that he/she/they weren't good enough.

Sigh. I'm sorry.

Anonymous said...

First - I want my cookie.

Seriously though - I want a new house, and a new Cell phone. LOL Im terrible. I know.

Holly said...

A really thoughtful post (again) for this time of year. I am a "wanter" - my hubby is not....thankfully. He has reigned me in. I have definitely tried to tone down my buying for the holidays. I actually buy a lot of books (second hand even).

I totally have house envy. We moved from L.A where we lived in a newer (not new) home and then we moved up to Central/Nor Cal - The real estate prices were worse here than in L.A. For a long time I was mortified to have people over. Since then I have grown to love my older home and enjoy fixing it up to my tastes.

When we were in L.A. I once had a couple of ladies come over. We had chatted about decorating, etc. but they had never been over. One walked in and said "Oh my you still so much decorating to do."

I now have the philosophy as you - if you are coming to judge, you are not welcome.

Sorry for the randomness of this comment - that is where I am today!


Picture Imperfect said...

Mmm... cookies! Thank you! ;o)

I followed you, every word. I see this too in society, and feel the same way about it.

I think your plan for giving your daughters three gifts is beautiful and a great teaching tool! Good for you!


Margaret said...

I followed you and I totally agree with you!

kys said...

This a good one. I agree with you, of course. I used to be more into material things and keeping up with the Jones'. I don't know what happened but I have let that go. I still don't like to have people over though.

Charisse and Holly said...

Love your post. Great idea about 3gifts. Our kids have sooo much already, they don't need more!! One year I went overboard and it was a great lesson. Fun to see them open all the gifts but then watched over next few weeks as they didn't play with them anymore.
Honestly, they want more because we want more.