Saturday, July 14, 2007

Re-entry to civilization successful. More or less.

The phone rang 12 times yesterday. There were 62 emails (mostly from and various Democratic candidates. Honey, what sites did you visit whilst I was gone?). Book club was easy and fun and the discussion quite interesting! The society party of the year was hot and crowded but not without its charms...I was glad I didn't wear jeans (I'm talking to you, jeans girls!! You should not toy with those of us who worship at your fashion altar!)but I was mortified I had to slip out just as I was awarded a door prize. In my defense, the last sitter available in town was 12 and her bedtime approached. I saw, literally, everyone I know in town. I was reminded of how pretty my friends are, and smart, and of how much they drink. A few of their husbands are hot, and a few of their lesbian partners are entertaining, and most of them are incredibly wealthy.

I am reminded again of the movie "Friends With Money". I am the Jennifer Aniston character, but with frizzier hair and more restricted access to marijuana. I work, which is somewhat unusual in my circle, and I don't have a cleaning lady (or man. Have I ever told you about the golden days with Dust Bunny cleaning services? My dear friend Russell - what a pleasure it was to have him clean and then to sit and smoke a ciggie and dish about the Raleigh hipsters after!). We travel regularly, but that is in lieu of other delights such as buying clothes at stores that aren't Target or Kohl's, and letting our house fall into complete disrepair.

Money is a bigger issue than anyone ever thinks it is, and though I shouldn't complain because I have shelter, tasty and diverse food, and entertainment galore (including the iMac, which frankly is just an indulgence and a totally fun one at that), I sometimes wonder where my true peers are. Why is it that I have surrounded myself with people wealthier than I am? We moved from our old neighborhood partially because we didn't seem to have the money of our neighbors, and now our new neighborhood is full of homes over a million dollars and people with three kids in private school and OMG the cars!! Our church, our school, even our family members (save the Kansans, who are modest to a fault and I think would live in a middle-class fashion even if they were loaded) all seem to have money, money, money. Beautiful philanthropic gestures abound in my circle, however. Most of these people are generous to a fault, it should definitely be said. But they also have televisions from this century.

Maybe everyone is in debt. And there is no doubt that I compare myself to other people far too often. But really, would I have it any other way? There is a certain lack of stress in driving a 12 year-old car. (God love Mazda! It has NEVER been in the shop!) There is a "romance in the struggle" for sure, as my husband reminds me daily. We would go to public school even if we didn't have to, I'm fairly certain. Eating at home means being together and great conversation. As for having to clean my own house.....ok, well I don't see any bright side to that at all.

There's a lot more to say on the subject, but we have four kids this weekend! That I have had this much uninterrupted time is fairly amazing (though there is a small urchin doing crunches and pushups right beside me right now). Though we are fairly broke right now, we're going to have pizza for all and a movie tonight. And I think that is a completely good use of funds, especially when you have four sweet friends and a hot summer night and a big, unkempt den with a sectional sofa and the love of your life right beside you.

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