Bicycle and I did a lot of shopping this weekend. I think it was the greatest amount of money I've ever spent on clothes at a time, and the same probably goes for Bicycle.
I'm not going to tell you how much it was.
And I didn't have to pay for anything! Sorta. Bicycle paid down a good chunk of his debt to me by paying for everything I got.
In any case, now we both look a little more dapper than we did on Friday. Bicycle especially. He really, really needed some new clothes.
And I'll say, we actually had an ok time. Most of the stuff I tried on fit alright, and we both kept the grumpiness that builds up from a long shopping trip to ourselves, and ate when we got hungry so we weren't super grumpy anyway.
It was amazing for us, we who have been so painfully broke for quite some time. To have money that we can spend at will, and not have to worry about how much we spend and how much will be left. It takes a major mental shift, and it's not one we've really made yet. Ever for things like groceries. We look at our current grocery bills, and think we didn't actually buy all that much food. But somehow it comes up to nearly double, sometimes, what we were spending on groceries last year (it's true we had the farm share most of last year, but still). And, for the life of us, we can't figure out how we stayed fed last year.
And Bicycle just ordered a bunch of bike stuff, and is thinking of ordering a bunch more, instead of waiting a month or two. Because he has the money for it now, and will still have plenty left over. We bought lightbulbs (CFLs, so they were pricey) this weekend, after one of the two in Bicycle's ceiling light burnt out, rather than figuring that one was enough light and we'd get them some other time, like we would have even a few weeks ago. We're going to turn the heat on soon, rather than waiting for it to get a few degrees colder, like we might have otherwise. We got beer and ice cream at the grocery store this week!
We don't live extravagantly, as my amazement at having beer and ice cream in the same week or buying lightbulbs shows. But being able to buy stuff! Whenever we need it! Or even just want it enough to bother! Is so novel and wonderful. We can hardly bring ourselves to do it yet. I can hardly imagine what it'll be like when I finally get a full-time professional job. Paying down student loans aside (of which, you may remember, we have a combined total of more than $100k), we really will have more money than we'd know what to do with.
I mean, it's kinda fucked up. Lightbulbs, people, lightbulbs! You know that funny/not-funny comic schtick about how old people, especially those who lived through the Great Depression, hoard stuff, and the unwitting child or grandchild of said person will find hard-boiled eggs under the sofa or something? (Especially women, now that I think about it; the silly old person in such a story is almost always a woman, with her silly ways.) I can totally see where they are coming from. Like, if I have something right now, but I don't need it at the moment, I'd better hold on to it as long as possible, because I might need one later, and if I don't still have this one, I won't be able to get another when I need it.
Even two or three years of relative privation and necessary penny-pinching has completely screwed up our heads, and I think it'll take a while before we get it straightened out. On the upside, having been through that personal economic situation, I think, again like folks who were around during the Great Depression, we aren't at much risk for developing some of the more irritating consupmtion habits of our more-or-less middle class peers who have not had the experience. (I really should write some times about where Bicycle and I come from, class-wise.)
33 minutes ago