I’m a late (or non-) bloomer when it comes to a lot of financial things: I’ve never purchased a car or a house, I don’t have a credit card, and I’ve never taken out a loan for anything. The good thing about this is that I don’t owe money to any individual or financial institution. I have no house payment or car payment or credit card payment, which is pretty nice. The bad thing about this is that I don’t have much in the way of good credit, so in the event that I do need to buy a house or car, it’s going to be difficult. And sometimes it’s hard to hear my friends talk about looking for houses or buying new cars and not be able to relate.
For the most part, though, I’m comfortable with my lo-fi lifestyle, with its 30-year-old bed*, its 12-year-old car, its hand-me-down furniture and electronics. The lo-fi life has freed up a lot of my money, and since I’m prone to unnecessary and debilitating worry, it’s freed up a lot of my brain power, too. It took me quite awhile to let go of the notion that owning things is what makes one an adult**, but once I did, I decided that I’m okay not being a homeowner or new car driver right now.
Or at least I was comfortable with my lo-fi lifestyle. Recently I started to become uncomfortable, particularly in my lower back, particularly while sitting or laying on the futon in my living room. I tried to make the futon more comfortable using carefully-placed throw pillows and folded blankets, but it didn’t really work. Then I thought maybe I could sew up some good pillows to help support my lower back while I sat in my living room and read a book or wrote or watched my Buffy DVDs. Neither of the two pillows I made did the job, though. I thought I was going to be stuck with my back-killing futon forever until I realized, hey! I get a steady paycheck now! I can afford to buy a couch!
Yesterday I made my most expensive furniture purchase ever, by a very large margin.*** I went to Room Service Vintage intending to buy a sofa, and walked out with an olive-green velvet couch, a blue vinyl rocking chair, and a set of two matching end tables. It’s all from the seventies, because I like things that were made in the seventies. I was made in the seventies!
I realize that the color of the sofa is a bit lurid, in the burns-your-eyes-out sense. But when it comes to decorating my apartment, I’m a little like the overweight kid in school who makes fun of his own weight before anyone else can. If I make my apartment look as ridiculous as possible on purpose, I don’t have to feel bad about the fact that nothing really goes with anything else, and everything looks weird. “I like how nothing matches!” I can tell my friends. “It’s all got sentimental value!” To that end, my next step will be to hang this on my wall.
* This always requires some explanation. My parents bought it to use as a guest bed, then my sister slept on it for a few years when she was really little, then it was a guest bed again for a long time, then it became mine when I moved into my first apartment. It was in fantastic condition when I got it, and it’s still super comfortable, so I see no reason to replace it for now. It was made in the seventies!
** I believe one could argue that while ownership isn’t what makes one an adult, the financial responsibility necessary to effect said ownership is part of what makes one an adult. But, uh, I don’t really want to talk about that.
*** Which isn’t actually saying much, since my most expensive furniture purchase before yesterday was about seventy-five dollars.