A few nights ago Mrs. ROB and I were out with some friends having dinner. We had a great time with some great people. Sometime during the night the dinner conversation turned to the subject of money. More specifically, the subject on money was about shopping. That night I learned a few things. I learned that many of the people seated at the table had a “thing” that they indulged in when it came to shopping. That thing could be tools, shoes, watches, whatever it was. When we were talking about these ‘things’ the subject turned to me and what my “thing” was. Without missing a beat Mrs. ROB said it was nothing, I don’t have a “thing.” In other words, I don’t usually buy stuff for myself. I don’t have a lot of clothes. I don’t have a lot of material possessions. I do have books, but a number of them are paid for through my job.
Now don’t get me wrong. I do have material possessions. I have a couple of nice watches. A set of golf clubs that I like to play with and would love to get some new ones, but plus some other items. But I received these items for Christmas or my birthday. I am just not into material objects for whatever reason. I also don’t have a smart phone (a post for another time) which I certainly got a lot of snickers from my friends (deservedly so….I should come into the 21st century someday).
At first, when this subject was wrong up about me not having a “thing” I was pretty proud of myself. I thought I am not tethered to possessions like some people are. Ha, ha on the rest of the world. But then for whatever reason I felt a pang of guilt and sadness. Here all of these people at the same had some kind of item they enjoyed buying. They enjoyed what they have and I have none of it. And for whatever reason I feel guilty about this. Like I need to change my ways and get with the consumerist program.
Now let me be clear these friends are not outrageous consumers like you see on TV. They don’t buy things just for the sake of buying them. They don’t buy things they could not afford. They are not hocked up to the eyeballs (at least I don’t think so). They aren’t buying BMWs they can’t afford or whatever it is. But I felt in that moment and to some extent still a little guilty that I don’t have a “thing.”
I am not going to run out and go buy stuff to buy stuff. And I certainly don’t think I am going to become a huge consumer. The American economy would die if people consumed like me. It does give me pause though to think about what my thing is. Because money should be used, if you can, to enhance your life. There is nothing wrong with having a little fun with it. So I guess my question is what is my “thing?” What is your “thing” that you would regularly spend money on if you can?