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I've been here too long - A little less than a happy high — LiveJournal
komos
komos
I've been here too long
Drew and Paul came over last night. YMG has been plagued with an influx of Magic players thanks to the end of the school year, and they were akin to nothing else than locusts last night. We were sitting and talking to DJ (one of the newest additions to our madness of a hobby) when the TO for the Magic tournament appropriated the table where we were sitting without saying anything. Within moments, we were surrounded by a throng of 'boys' with poor spatial relations and questionable personal hygiene wordlessly demanding that we leave by moving our stuff off the table.

Predictably, we left. At my place, we ate, played L5R for a while, and then started on the beer-filled confessional routine.

I honestly don’t remember how we got there, but at some point Paul started talking about my finances, and seemed very frustrated when he did. See, he thinks I waste money. In fact, he thinks I waste money every time he sees me. His statements stung me, and I got more than a little defensive because the truth is, I do.

He started out with examples: buying the box of SW boosters, talking about getting a couch-like thing to replace the decade-old cast off that currently serves in that role, falling prey to the world of the five gallon jug of Ranch dressing. I countered each in turn.

The booster box purchase was my scheming, mercantile impulse coming to the fore. I saw an opportunity to double the money I’d spent and took it. That I haven’t gone through with the re-sale is depression kicking in. Depression hits me hard enough that I can't bring myself to do the things that I do want to do.

The couch talk is nothing more than a pipe dream. Spending a few hundred bucks on a piece of furniture is quite impossible right now. As I mentioned in reference to getting a proper computer desk, I’m pretty much stuck with the resources I have unless I can find something free or incredibly cheap.

I’ve never bought a five gallon jug of Ranch dressing. I have bought tuna, soup, cereal, toilet paper, and various and sundry dry goods in bulk in an attempt to save money overall. Yes, I can go to BJ’s and easily drop $100, but the last time I did that was weeks ago, and I’m still living on the resultant stockpile.

The trouble is that now my mind is in a maelstrom over this. I keep coming up with examples and rationalizations of why I spend the money that I do. Why did I have to go for the Cirque tickets seven rows back from the stage? Why do I order Belgian beer when I could order something cheap and mass-produced? Why do I hold membership to the Boston Athenaeum? Why do I let my friends wake me up at 8:30AM on Sundays so we can go out for breakfast? These are all luxuries. Strictly speaking, they’re unnecessary and extravagant, and frankly, beyond my means. By all rights, I should sequester myself at home, sell my car, shut off my phone, and eat nothing but ramen noodles to the end of my days.

And I would go mad.

I’m already feeling guilty over every little penny that I spend. I’m re-evaluating my connections to gaming, even though it was through Rings that I started building my current circle of friends. I fight hard to not feel embarrassed or resentful when I’m out with folks with more disposable income than me who decide on the trendy pizza place instead of the cheap Chinese dive. I let myself splurge, I tell myself, because if I didn’t, I would be letting them rob me of my hard-won identity on top of everything else.

Drew summed up the feeling with this: "It might be money from the budget, but first and foremost, it is money for the soul."

I just get so fucking scared sometimes.

Current Mood: uncomfortable uncomfortable
Current Music: Gorillaz, "Tomorrow Comes Today"

22 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
clayrobeson From: clayrobeson Date: June 21st, 2002 10:57 am (UTC) (Link)
Listen to Drew, for he is wise beyond his years.
komos From: komos Date: June 21st, 2002 11:16 am (UTC) (Link)
I agree with him, but honestly, it's difficult maintaining that perspective. I'm just no longer anywhere near the place I should be in my life at 33, and I don't have a good response.

The conversation was a hard one, and like many things, it got me wondering if I can actually build a life in the wreckage.
clayrobeson From: clayrobeson Date: June 21st, 2002 11:23 am (UTC) (Link)

Re:

"Should be" based on what?

Your parents?

Ours is a different world. Things don't work the same way now as they did 30 or even 20 years ago. People and priorities are different. We have to forge ahead as if no one has done this before us.

Hell, at my age, my father just witnessed my birth. I can't even get a date.

But I'm not him, I'm me, and I have to make my way, and do MY thing, and make my own mistakes and triumphs.

Am I happy? Yeah, pretty much. And that's what really counts. Are there things I'd *LIKE* to do and places I'd *LIKE* to be? Sure. But I can't measure my success on when others got there, I can only measure it on my own happiness. So if it takes me longer to get there than I'd like because I took a happier, more scenic route, so what? I enjoyed the trip.

It is the journey that is important, not the end result, because when it comes right down to it, the end result is what others remember of your life after you're gone.

Be happy, my friend.
komos From: komos Date: June 21st, 2002 11:44 am (UTC) (Link)
See, that's the thing... "should be" is kind of defined by my own standards. If I can run with your analogy, I feel like I just found that I begin start the journey (from which I've been inexplicably cowering, btw) only to have my feet hobbled. Yeah, it's kind of a bleak outlook, but it's not reflective of how I feel all the time.

Still working on the happy thing. Thanks. :)
komos From: komos Date: June 21st, 2002 11:47 am (UTC) (Link)
Wow... I need an editor. Read:

... found that I could begin the journey...
clayrobeson From: clayrobeson Date: June 21st, 2002 11:51 am (UTC) (Link)

Re:

It BETTER not be how you feel all the time, or I'll have to come kick your ass. :)
From: (Anonymous) Date: June 21st, 2002 12:07 pm (UTC) (Link)

Hey Peter and Ta Chuang!

MENTAL HEALTH ROCKS!!!!

Love,
Sam's friend Megan, the 4th year psychology graduate student...
komos From: komos Date: June 21st, 2002 12:13 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Hey Peter and Ta Chuang!

Heh. We know that all you folks are crazy, though. ;)
From: (Anonymous) Date: June 21st, 2002 12:18 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Hey Peter and Ta Chuang!

At least we can admit it...

Love always,
Megan

clayrobeson From: clayrobeson Date: June 21st, 2002 12:25 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Hey Peter and Ta Chuang!

Never said I wasn't crazy, just that I wasn't depressed. :)
komos From: komos Date: June 21st, 2002 01:08 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Hey Peter and Ta Chuang!

Hey, if I admit to being crazy AND depressed, does that make me healthier somehow?
clayrobeson From: clayrobeson Date: June 21st, 2002 01:18 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Hey Peter and Ta Chuang!

Somehow, probably. :)
(Deleted comment)
komos From: komos Date: June 21st, 2002 11:20 am (UTC) (Link)
Well, in theory, I'm told that my responsibilities are not taken care of, though how I'm supposed to remedy that after the hit I've already taken, I don't know.

Mine is a forever debt. :P

I'll be ok... it's just a bout with melancholy.
From: uruz Date: June 21st, 2002 11:22 am (UTC) (Link)
Paul might've been venting his current problems and restrictions on you. I mean, he works in a metal shop, and supports a baby and his wife. I dunno if B is working yet, but regardless... I'm guessing your situations are very similar, with respect to how strapped for cash you both are. And he sees things in your habits that he's been forced to change in his own.

I dunno, I got nothing and I'm reaching. Just a thought, though. Paul and I have sorta grown mildly distant as of late, and I think it has to do with some of my irrational fears, so I might be talking completely out my ass. *shrugs*
komos From: komos Date: June 21st, 2002 11:34 am (UTC) (Link)
Just for the record, Brenda's been back at work for a while now, and I do think that I'm a little more extravagant than Paul either lets himself (or perhaps is allowed to) be. I honestly don't think that he meant anything by it, and I doubt that he thought it would affect me as much as it has.

I'll get over it.

wisdom_seeker From: wisdom_seeker Date: June 21st, 2002 12:16 pm (UTC) (Link)

Thanks to Peter's Friends...

I just wanted to thank all of you people who are Peter's friends for being there for him. It's not easy for me to be so far away from him, especially at times like these, and it really helps a lot to know that he's not alone. So, thanks.
From: (Anonymous) Date: June 21st, 2002 01:51 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Thanks to Peter's Friends...

Well Peter's a cool guy who's smart and more than occasionally funny. Hence the part where some of us enjoy hanging out with him. :)

I have often found that the experience of male-bonding, coupled with alcohol consumption, leaves one relfecting on just what the hell is going on in one's life. It can be a sobering experience (if you will pardon the pun). But often these little introspections can lead to moments of clarity. If indeed you think Peter that you are being a little extravagant next time say "Guys, how bout X instead." While I agree with Drew about "food for the soul" sometimes we need to do a little existential math in order to balance happiness with practicality.

And in the end I'd rather have dive Chinese with all of my friends and no worries (hmmm dive Chinese and no worries in one sentence) than trendy pizza any day.

Scott C.
(still no LJ and OK with that really)

PS: Peter, have dresser and end table. Will help with carrying but you need to provide the transport. Just let me or basha know.
komos From: komos Date: June 22nd, 2002 04:30 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Thanks to Peter's Friends...

Need more free dinners! :)

Seriously, though, thanks man...
From: basha Date: June 21st, 2002 01:39 pm (UTC) (Link)
but free furniture awaits you, pinning away in my hall.
And you can't just eat ramen noodles. You'll get scurvy.
From: (Anonymous) Date: June 21st, 2002 01:59 pm (UTC) (Link)
"free furniture awaits you, 'pinning' away in my hall."

That's a terrible pun dear.

What's worse is we are on opposite sides of the city posting the same thing, at the same time.

Regardless Peter just let us know.
komos From: komos Date: June 22nd, 2002 04:28 pm (UTC) (Link)
I really need to get in touch with you guys to arrange a pickup. Sadly, I don't think that I can fit the chest in my car... Maybe I can talk uruz to help with the use of his vehicle if I promise beer?

And I don't think I can get scurvy... I drink far too much fruit juice. Hypertension, Type II Diabetes maybe, but scurvy is right out.
From: basha Date: June 22nd, 2002 04:41 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re:

the promise of beer got people to help us carry the HUGE ASS furniture upstairs, so it should work for "hey, can you help me pick something up"
and all I had to do was open the crisper to the leftover beer. mwahhaha
22 comments or Leave a comment