I got in a conversation the other day with … the fella, I think it was. We were talking about music and “oldies” and what music we had and liked back in the day–when we were in junior high and high school.
These days, the “must have” tech is an iPod or similar MP3 player. Back then, it was a portable record player, or for the really rich kids, a stereo. (This is pre-boombox days, folks. I’m old) And instead of a playlist, my friends had stacks of .45 rpm records. Singles.
I owned one. That’s right. One lone .45 rpm single. (Dedicated to the One I Love by The Mamas and the Papas) And our … you can’t call it a stereo. It was an old cabinet-style radio with a turntable in the top. It was the equivalent of having one song on an old … Walkman. Maybe. It’s not so much that I was impoverished, though with multiple siblings and a dad with a college prof’s salary, I didn’t have a whole lot of disposable income. It’s just that I chose to spend my money on different things.
This was the moment of epiphany. Because when I considered what I spent my disposable income on back in my high school days, I realized that it is exactly the same as what I spend my disposable income on Today. I buy books, and I buy earrings.
I have two massive piles of books in my office, and a rapidly growing pile on the table behind the recliner in the den of books I’ve read since the new year that I don’t want to mix with the books I read Last Year. I don’t just buy books. I buy BOOKS. Lots, and lots and lots of books. I buy books almost every week, three or four or five at a time. (I think I bought 5 at Target this week…) (Some weeks I’ll get a couple at Target and 3 or 4 more at Barnes & Noble.) (Hmm. I bought those books at Target on Tuesday, and today I ordered 4 more at B&N online…) (And I just got a second panel of books to read for RWA’s RITA contest.) (Hello, my name is Gail and I’m a bookaholic.)
And I buy earrings. I have an extensive earring wardrobe. I’ve become a bit more discerning in my earring purchases in the last…mumbledy-something years. (I’m a grandmother. You do the math.) But I own a pair of balsa-wood parrot-in-turquoise-straw-hat earrings, and I would snap up a pair of lady-bug earrings like I had when I was in high school in a New York minute. (I also have garnets, lots of Navajo silver, silver from Norway, turquoise slabs, green amber…lots of stuff.) I’m a sucker for cool earrings.
There are other things I tend to spend my money on. Office supplies–I can get all oogly over pens and notebooks. Yarns and fabric for crafting and quilting. Paint supplies. Flowering plants–indoors or out. Books about crafting and quilting and painting and gardening…though that’s back to the books, isn’t it? Thing is–all those things go back years and years and years too. I bought my first African violet when I started college. I learned to sew in high school. I took oil painting lessons in high school. And of course, I was writing things in notebooks. (Fan fiction for the original Star Trek, and for High Chaparral, which you trivia buffs may know something about.)
I haven’t outgrown my addictions. I’ve just become better funded.
Oh, and I’m still writing. We’ll be in Paris for the rest of the book.