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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Our Fiscal Fast, Day Six

What a bizarre day. I spent most of it shuttling my mom around to physical therapy. She needed a prescription refilled at Target, so I made her get out and go in with me. She's been housebound, hospitalized, or a nursing home inmate for so long, I thought that maybe a little tough love to get her out of the car and back into life would be helpful. Turned out, it wasn't that hard to get her out of the car. She almost bounded out at the entrance to Target. Well, bounded as well as one can bound, cavort, gallop, friskily skip, dance, etc on a wounded knee only three weeks after surgery and only a few days into feeling a might better after an terrible infection.

I'm rambling. I'm also stuck on the word bound. Is that really a word? It's kind of like that time I walked around a Bible book store with some college friends repeating the word Bible until it didn't sound like a word anymore. Bible Bible Bible Bible. Bound Bound Bound Bound.

What does all this have to do with our Fiscal Fast? A great deal. Bear with me here for a moment.

You see. We were shopping. Scratch that. She was shopping. I was helping. It was bizarre. I mean, there I was exclaiming over things that Young One would just adore and that I would have to return to pick up for him once the spending freeze was over. And then, She, my darling mother, decided that she would just buy that stuff and give it to him herself. I couldn't argue with her she is a poor old lady with a walker and a cane (ha, if you knew my mom, you would laugh too!). I did protest that I had that particular DVD in mind the minute he came home from the theater exclaiming that it was the all time best movie in the entire history of movies and that he couldn't wait until it came out on DVD because he was going to use his allowance money and that he would memorize every special feature and possibly the entire script so that he could speak along with the movie and that Heath Ledger (God rest his soul) is and always will be the most superior Joker of all time and he was sure that he would want to be Joker for Halloween, not Joker with the painted face, but the ultimate Joker with the mask and the real necktie and the real vest, not just the printed one and that he knew that forever and ever this would be his all time favorite movie.

Deep Breath.

In other words, today, I probably would have dropped quite a bit of money at Target. It just seemed that everywhere I turned there were things that Young One would just love for Christmas and that, being Target, everything was relatively inexpensive. He's not asking for much, if anything this year. And, being eleven, was a bit perplexed by the fact that this was so. He just found out the magical secret of Santa Clause last year, so perhaps this is part of it. So, I told him that it was part of growing older and that soon you realize that it's not about the receiving, but the giving and that he was getting to that age. Christmas should be about the giving, and I'm excited to surprise him. Not spend a lot of money on surprises--what kid wouldn't just love a pony?-- but opening each gift as they were intended, gifts, not fulfillment of a list of requests. THAT to me, is so much more fun. At a certain age, if you make a list, you can pretty much tell what's in each and every box by the specific shape or jingle when you shake it or whatever, anyway. So, this year, for me, the giving to him will be so much fun, since he's not dropping ANY hints this year (that HE'S aware of anyway!)

(I'm not sure I'm being clear here. I had my first caffeinated coffee today in ages and I feel like I could type enough words to cover the world!)

I think what I'm trying to say is that I've never gone out shopping with the intention and the dedication and sheer will to not spend any money. This was really eye opening. I don't shop for recreation. I will shop AND buy for fun, but not just go out looking. It was bizarre. And I survived and mom survived and, although she got really tired walking around and looked about ready to fall over by the time she got back in the car, I think she's getting to know the world again. Hopefully, in a few more weeks, I will no longer have to chauffeur her around town.

I'm starting to think that this fast just might do what I hoped it would. I think I am going to be much more mindful of my spending. Even more so than a cheapskate like me thought. I think I'm going to focus more on what we actually need and I've found out this week, it's a heck of a lot less than I thought it was.

I also learned that I really don't like tagging along on a shopping trip. In fact, it remind me of the eternities that I spent as a child having to run errands with my mom. Perhaps she's just paying me back for the time I took all the price tags off of the canned goods in her cart while she wasn't looking. (Remember price tags?)


1 comment:

  1. Welcome back to caffeine, we've missed you....

    My oldest knows the "magic" also. This is his 3rd Christmas. I know it will only be a matter a time with Jakob but I'm holding on to every little bit.

    I feel the same way as you. We tried to get away from "all the stuff". They still get things, but its not all about the things. Does that make sense??

    I'm glad your momma is doing better and hopefully you will have some rest soon....


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