I had what can only be described as a beaming moment of yuppie bliss tonight. It was right after I left the Harley Davidson store, where I bought riding glasses and $50 leather gloves. I walked out into the parking lot and threw them into the back of my brand new jeep, right on top of my custom made golf clubs, and headed to my motorcycle class where I’m getting certified to ride the Harley Davidson in my garage. The one I don’t really need. The one I paid cash for.
It was a strange feeling, bubbly and calm at first, then guilty. But as the guilt eventually lessened, I just felt good. I work hard – very hard. Some nights I can’t sleep because I’m stressing about work. I spend nights away from my family – a lot of them lately. And I would have never advanced to the place where I am without first paying my dues, right? I went to college. I went to graduate school. I moved away and went out into the world on my own accord, without anyone giving me a map. I moved to this small Ohio town with nothing – no job, just some raw skills that I’d spent the latter part of my twenties building. Things have been good since then. I intellectually think I am completely justified in having nice things. Beyond that, my basics – defined as current bills, retirement, life insurance and kid’s education – are covered. No need to torture myself over having nice things, right? I’m not cutting anything short in the ‘responsible living’ category that I can think of.
It’s a little frustrating to have a moment like I had because it’s not really a topic that you can share with anyone. You don’t want to come across as bragging. And it’s the worst kind of positive sharing, isn’t it? It’s not me talking about how smart and healthy Ava and Lily are and how proud I am of them; it’s me reflecting on ‘stuff’. So sharing that is weird I think. You don’t know how people are feeling about their own lives, you know? My life isn’t easy, but it isn’t all that difficult either, all things considered. The things we struggle with are nowhere near the caliber of some people’s aches and pains. We don’t worry about a food budget. We’ve never had a conversation about how we’ll afford our mortgage(s) or anything like that. We sock away more into savings each month than a lot of people earn.
So I really have to think out what I say and who I say it to. It’s generally ok to share when you’re having a tough time. People want to help when that’s the case. What are they supposed to say when you tell them things are great? Good job? I even tried my mom, who you’d think would be happy, but she was just mostly preoccupied with me actually riding a motorcycle. Totally get it.
At least I can share it with my wife, because we’re in this whole thing together and she understands. But that’s about as far as I can go. And as I’m writing this, I’m realizing that our bed is covered with shirts, shorts and dresses. Rhonda went shopping this weekend and spent I’m sure upwards of a thousand dollars at Sax 5th Ave on clothes for our Hawaii trip that’s coming up in two weeks. I see a Cuisinart ice cream maker among her pile of treasures as well. Not sure what that’s about. I guess she’s doing ok too.