August 4, 2013

My middle name should be Practical


Reasonable. Down-to-earth. Sensible. Efficient. Functional. Pragmatic.

If something isn't any of those things, I have a hard time justifying it. The most likely reason for this is that at no time in my life have I ever had an overabundance of money. I have always needed  to make the dollars stretch as far as they absolutely can. So if something isn't a good VALUE, all things considered, or doesn't make sense to me, I generally want nothing to do with it.

EXCEPT for things that require a leap of faith. The unseen and unknowable. That stuff I'm cool with.

(I'm not complicated at all.)

My pragmatic side drives Mark crazy sometimes. Whenever he wants to buy something, I tend to make him work pretty hard to convince me that it's something worth buying. For Christmas and birthdays, he feels that gifts should NOT be something one NEEDS. Those should be the occasions when one gets to indulge in something they simply WANT. I feel a sense of relief when someone gives me something I need, because then I don't have to worry about that anymore, and that, to me, is a gift itself.

Over the years Mark and I have rubbed off on each other in this area. He has learned to ask himself if a particular purchase is a good idea or just an instant gratification thing, and I have learned to lighten up a little, and even feel justified in some of my own impracticalities.

Not all impractical things have to do with purchases, however.....


1. Specialty coffee drinks - Admit it, they are totally impractical. But oh so good! They make me happy.

2. Expensive wine - Cheap wine will get the job done, but oh man, a really good bottle of wine...well, like the coffee drinks, just makes me so happy!

3. When it snows in Western Washington - It only happens about every other winter, and when it does, everything just sort of stops. Schools close and people don't go to work. While fun, it's highly impractical.

4. Grocery shopping - It is the most inefficient thing EVER! Get a cart, fill it up, empty cart at checkout, fill cart with bagged items, transfer bags to car, remove bags from car and carry into house, empty bags into cupboards/pantry/fridge. If I think about it too much, I get stabby.

5. Going to the movies - With all the other movie viewing options out there, it really isn't necessary to see any movie at the theater. And the cost of the snacks? But it's really fun, isn't it?

6. Setting up a baby nursery - I mean, unless you have the easiest, most perfect baby in the world, you're not gonna use it much. Chances are your baby will sleep with you (at least for awhile), you'll change diapers wherever and that fancy rocking chair will hurt your back. I learned that all you really need to bring baby home are diapers and wipes, onesies, burp cloths, blankets and a car seat. Everything else I think you can buy as you go.

7. Traffic jams* - They are murder on your gas mileage, unhealthy because you're breathing too much exhaust and suck up your time. Unless there is an accident or construction literally blocking movement, why doesn't everybody just GO?

8. Romantic comedies* - While cute and entertaining, a case could be made that they set up unrealistic expectations for relationships. Watch at your own risk.

9. Most drug laws* - This may or may not surprise you, but I am one who feels that criminalizing drug use is stupid. It doesn't do a damn good thing for anyone. One could argue that they create more crime than they prevent.

10. How far away my daughter's middle school is - There are three middle schools and all of them are kind of close together. Why? Why weren't they built a little more spread out so it doesn't take kids who live at the north end of town an HOUR to get home after school? Bugs me.

I think perhaps an alternate title for this list could be 10 PEEVES. Or at least six. But see, that's how I feel about impractical things.

Yeah, call me "just practical JENNIFER".

*Mark helped me with these ones.

Linked up with Monday Listicles.

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