Thursday, March 3, 2011

The Small Things.

I was a pretty lonely kid growing up.

Like so many writers, I was shy and somewhat introverted and picked on terribly. I was awkward and nerdy and believed in faeries and unicorns and hobbits all kinds of whacked out stuff that other kids didn't. (Or at least, not the ones I went to school with.)

So it wasn't much of a surprise to find myself buried nose deep into books, or listening to music, or engrossed in video games (nothing quite like Bard's Tale on that old Apple IIe, eh?)

Looking back, I can understand they were escapisms, and I get that now. Couple that with the fact that my family was terribly practical moneywise, and it probably explains my spending tendencies these days.

That's not to say my brother or I lacked for anything, because we didn't, but there was a certain methodology to the way they did things. (We almost never went out to dinner, for example, or to the movies, etc.) Anything that was required - clothing, etc was perfectly fine, but so much of the frivolous stuff was pushed off as something that could be bought later.

Only sometimes it can't.  And sometimes, that sucks.

My birthday was in the summer, for example - which basically meant that I never got one of those in school birthday parties, and most of the friends that I did have were often hard to round up. Hell, half the time we were somewhere else ourselves, but I seem to recall things coming to head mentally the summer of my 11th birthday. We were in Vermont, staying in a friend's cabin for a week (one of those places on the lake where you couldn't drink the water that came out of the tap - so everyone had to go into town every few days and fill up gallon jugs from the public water fountain. Good times.)

I'm pretty sure my parents forgot my birthday was that week because when it rolled around, I don't think we even went out to do anything for it. I don't think I even had a cake. I vaguely remember getting an apologetic smile from my mom before they handed me my gifts, which turned out to be an I LoVermont night shirt and a Find-a-word magazine.

So yeah. That felt a little pathetic, even to me. Yes, my parents got better about things as we got older, and as a parent myself, I can see some of the wisdom behind not spoiling the kids.

However, at this stage of my life, I deny myself very little. Not that I go around blowing wads of cash at every intersection. I live within my means as I need to...but the small comforts I will purchase without a second thought. Books, certainly.

(No, I don't know what this guy is doing here, but it struck me funny =>)

Music. Games. Movies. Anime. Manga. Pedicures. Things that make me happy and in the grand scheme of things really aren't a big deal.

Sometimes it branches off into collective type things, like the anime cels I pick up from time to time, but those are harder to quantify. They're more expensive and I can't always justify that. (On the other hand, I will make snap-judgement splurges, particularly when I am stressed. Yes, I'm looking at you, framed Captain Jack Sparrow giclee painting I bought in Disney World 4 years ago.)

Yeah. They printed 295 of them. I have number 16. It's sold out. It cost me about $700. Reason? I had to do a live presentation at a conference in front of 200 people the next morning. I had a four month old with me. I freaked out. I saw Captain Jack. I said, "Hey tasty Jack, you come home with me now. Here is my credit card."

Best bet? Don't take me shopping when I'm stressed.


Yeah, I get that I'm probably compensating for something, but I'm not out buying a new Ferrari every weekend, either. (Apparently, I *am* buying up costume dresses I don't need for RT, however. >_< )

Of course, if I ever did buy a Ferrari, it would be black. And the license plate would say Nazgul.


  1. Hm, he looks like he's pouting because he can't find A Brush of Darkness in that pile of books ;)

    I don't splurge often, at least that's what I tell myself when I go on a shopping spree. I don't buy clothes or shoes or purses, I don't go to the movies or partying (anymore), so when I want something badly, I justify my purchase by saying I never treat myself. Books aren't a luxury for me,they're a necessity, so that isn't considered "treating myself". LOL Treating myself could be a really nice dinner, or buying my Lush products. Ah, the small things :)

  2. Ha! Of course you bought the dress!

  3. Black Ferrari, plate: NAZGUL.

    KICKASS, Allison. KICK-freaking-ASS.

  4. The Jack Sparrow giclee is lovely! :-)

  5. Don't tell me you were never sent to stare at the wall and think about what you just did? Dude is going to get his pasty white butt spanked for taking a stack of books with him!

  6. Seriously. The naked dude with all the books? ~fans self~ Wonder if he'd like to come work as my muse for awhile? He wouldn't have to work very hard.