Monday, September 17, 2012

Do you have expensive taste?

So, in general I’m a pretty cheap date.  I get tipsy from a glass of wine – and when you have a boyfriend who knows how to cook steak well, what’s the appeal of going out for a fancy dinner?  Since I’m a fierce, independent woman (rawr), if I wanted something, I bought it already.  Or even better, realized that I don’t need that crap in the first place.  (Disregard that bit if you have an iPhone 4S you don’t want – I destroyed my screen and am feeling pretty negatively about parting with $160 to replace it.)  I don’t really have a lot of fancy hobbies – just the amount you would expect from a typical white, privileged, raised-upper-middle-class young person making entirely too much money. ;)

But apparently, I have pretty expensive taste.  I will preface this by saying that people who don’t live in DC don’t really understand how expensive it can be to live in the nicer areas, wahh.  But yes, some of you might spit out whatever you’re drinking (Monday funday?) if you knew exactly how ridiculous my rent was.  I love my independence (living alone), hardwood floors (for sliding), big windows (to creep on my neighbors), and living in a walkable, safe, and beautiful neighborhood.  In contrast to where I live, my boyfriend’s residence can only be described as … terrible.  Not really, it’s perfectly fine, but I feel like I would fall into a deep depression if I lived there. (I mean, the living room has two kinds of wood paneling on the walls – does anyone else also really hate paneling?  I know I’m not alone.)

So there you have it – I have some slightly unreasonable standards for living.  As it is, with anything related to money, I don’t have these desires because I want to live in an expensive apartment (it’s never really about the money).  I grew up in the suburbs, without my own car as a teenager (and frankly, not much to walk to), and I really disliked the lack of freedom and reliance on other people it necessitated.  Obviously I wasn’t owed a car and there’s nothing wrong with the 01742.  But it’s caused me to realize that what I want is to live somewhere walkable/ bikable/ metro-able, with museums, cultural events, and performances.

And then I realized I was dealing with a logical fallacy:  I want parks/events/things close by thus I must live somewhere expensive in the city.  Maybe it doesn’t have to be a big city, maybe it could be smaller but have a university with plenty of events & lectures.  And I might want the option of having a dog and a garden more than being able to walk to 10 restaurants within 5 minutes.  I know, this is groundbreaking.  Still, every time Sebastien would mention living not-right-in-the-middle-of-a-city, it felt like an ATTACK!  ON EVERYTHING I EVER WANTED!  So it can be helpful to think through the core reasons for why something’s important to you, and let go of the deceptive conclusions.  Because then you might feel a little less crazy, and even a little happier. 

Have you ever caught yourself getting really defensive/emotional about a financial decision without knowing why?  And then being brilliant and analyzing your associations that were built from childhood to understand why?  Or not.  Either way, it’s cool.

1 comment:

  1. Holy crap, I'm exactly the same way! But I think I just tend to have more expensive tastes. In my mind, I'm trading money for time. I'm usually willing to spend a little more to get something that won't break quickly or frustrate me often or something that I feel good about. Of course, everyone values their time and money differently.