So, my husband graduated from law school in June and then he took the bar in July and then we bought a house (that we loved) in August and here we are in January.
I'm sure there were many other thoughts that went through my head along these lines, but here's what the cold, hard truth has been:
All of these events were very exciting and very fulfilling--I have been graduated from school since right before we got married. So, him finishing school finally was HUGE for me. He didn't mess around and he did get good grades and so that allowed us opportunities that we may not have had otherwise.
Now, call me naive, but I guess I thought that once he was done with school, we'd be a little bit more crazy with the money than we had been. We always tried very, very hard to be frugal and there is no way that we could have gotten by without the help we received from family. However, I thought the following:
- Yes! We're done. Now I can buy some new clothes that I really like and it won't be any big deal.
- Yes! I have a beautiful house, now I can decorate it and it will be fabulous and I will think "Wow! It was a beautiful house and I somehow made it even better!"
- Yes! I will buy my kids cute, cute clothes and I will revel in their cuteness.
- Yes! I will cook gourmet meals because now I can afford to buy ingredients that I could never afford to buy or didn't have the room to store.
- Yes! I will plant a garden and we will be eating delectable produce and we will be healthy and find time to bond as a family while we weed and plant.
- Yes! I can buy clothes that I think are fabulous, but everytime I go to buy them, I glance at the price tag and about go into cardiac arrest. I am used to perusing second hand stores where you are shocked if something costs more than $8.
- Yes! My house is beautiful, but like every dreamy-eyed house buyer, there were flaws that I didn't initially see and the ones I did I imagined would be easily fixed. Truth is, I am not a natural talent at decorating. I took MONTHS to put up pictures that we already owned because I was so terrified of putting that first nail hole in our brown painted walls. What if I put it too high and then you would see the hole, 'cause I had to adjust it? Yes, I want to paint the walls, but I really shouldn't paint until I buy a couch for the front room and I can't buy a couch for the front room because it all costs so much money.
- Yes! I still buy my kids cute clothes from time to time, but they never come from department stores. I still look at second hand shops and still wait for those wonderful packages that come in the mail from their grandparents. I still revel in their cuteness-that has never been a problem.
- Yes! I still cook the majority of our meals from home, but now that we have a little bit more flexibility, sometimes I want to try nicer restaurants instead of cooking. I also still do my grocery shopping at Wal-Mart because they price match every single store. I honestly save at least $5 everytime I go to the store--usually much, much more than that even. When I try to go to a regular grocery store I just can't believe how they balance out their sale prices with the expensiveness of all the other items in the store. I did cook us our first gourmet meal last night. It was called Chicken Scaloppine (a Top Secret knock off of Macaroni Grill's recipe) and it tasted amazing!!!! It had artichoke hearts and proscuitto--uh, did anyone else out there realize that this stuff costs about as much as gold does?
So, the moral of the story is: You can give a woman money, but you can't change her deeply ingrained, cheap and thrifty ways. (Although I am trying, one dollar at a time.)