I've decided that I finally feel like an successful adult. Why? Because I now have a "beer fridge" in the garage.
I remember growing up, going to my friends' houses (which was jealousy inducing in the first place as we always lived in tiny apartments), and seeing a second refrigerator in the garage.
"My GOD!" I thought to myself, "It's not enough that these people don't have to share a bedroom with their brother, and now THIS?!" The humanity.
It all seemed so decadent, like the time I found out my friend's Mom had a phone in her car. A PHONE...in her CAR. The year was 1984 (I was 10 years old for those playing at home). We wouldn't get a cordless phone at my house for another 3 years, and here was this woman, able to yak it up while driving around. I was amazed.
Dishwashers were another obsession of mine. Every time I went over to a new friend's house to play, I would find myself wandering into the kitchen to check for one. To me, having a dishwasher was a sign of prosperity.
At my house, we had a small black and white TV that my Dad threatened to throw away at least once a week, much to my brother and I's deafening disapproval.
At my friends' houses, they had giant color televisions in several rooms of the house including, something quite foreign to me, the "den". I never understood why people needed a whole room to sit and watch TV (wasn't that what the living room was for?), but I wanted one just the same.
Then there was cable. My parents finally relented just last year and got themselves signed up for cable television. Only after they spent some time at my house and saw that there was more to it than boobs and crap. My Dad is now a Discovery channel junkie and my Mom can watch Columbo at just about any hour of the day.
I don't fault my parents for the way they raised me. It wasn't like they didn't want to enjoy the conveniences of life. We just couldn't afford it. I certainly appreciate what I have now more than I think I would had I grown up with privilege.
It's funny now the way my Mom showers my girls with more clothes and gifts than is humanly necessary. At first I thought she was just excited to have grandchildren (and that is part of it), but it finally dawned on me that she is trying to make up for what she couldn't give my brother and I.
I've tried to reason with her. My kids don't need all this stuff. No one does.
While it's great that I almost never have to buy clothes for my girls, I still get an uncomfortable feeling in my stomach when she brings over a pile of new outfits or toys. I don't want her to feel like she has anything to prove. She and my Dad made do with what they had, and did it very well in my opinion.
The fact that I can get excited about having a "beer fridge" is proof of that.
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