Nothing I Can Do About it Now

January 22, 2008

Learning as I Go

Filed under: Uncategorized — dregina @ 2:01 pm

So. This morning. Cristian and I did a quick budget outline over breakfast, and in the process realized we’re going to have to wait at least another two weeks before we can buy a washer and a dryer. We’ve been planning on buying one ever since we moved, and I was under the impression that we were thisclose to having the cash on hand to make the purchase. We’re not.

I cried. I cried. Because I felt so sorry for myself. Because we work so hard, because it’s not like I’m asking for a boat, or a fancy car, or expensive clothes, because I’m almost 30 years old and we don’t even have any kids, we should be able to afford a washing machine and a dryer, I should be able to wash my clothes in my own house.

Never mind the fact that I have friends who live less than three blocks away who have happily offered us the use of their washer.

Never mind the fact that it’s only two more weeks to wait.

Never mind the fact that we just bought a fridge, tons of new furniture, painted the inside of an entire house.  

Never mind the fact that I work in a office where I am surrounded by social workers whose full time job is to help people without health insurance find some way, any way, to get the treatment they need. Do I need a more dramatic example of my own good luck?

Yesterday was Dr. Martin Luther King Junior day, and I took the opportunity to pull down  A Testament of Hope and spend some time with it.  It’s easy to forget that towards the end of his life, King was seen as something of a fool. His unwavering stand again the Vietnam war is not part of what we’ve chosen to remember about him. Neither is his anger about materialism.

I am convinced that if we are to get on the right side of the world revolution, we as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values. We must rapidly begin the shift from a thing-oriented society to a person-oriented society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered.

A thing oriented society.

When I’m not crying because I didn’t get the doll snazzy household appliances I wanted, I believe that people are more important than things. That even though material possessions make me very, very happy, this type of happiness is shallow and, when it comes at the cost of other people’s humanity, hard to justify.

I know these issues are complicated. I know I have to make the best decisions I can for the circumstances I was born into. I know I am only one person and that global conditions don’t hinge on the personal decisions I make.

I also know I have everything I need to be happy. And that I can and will be happier the day I am finally able to get over myself, to give up my deep, deep desire for more things, for nicer things, for stuff, stuff, stuff.



  1. Disappointment sucks, Dana. While you’re being all mature here, personally, I can see you being upset about the washer and dryer… I would totally expect to have a couple of those if I had a house, and to go from having a community washing center, to expecting your very own w&d, to having the laundry mat… Sucks. 😦 Hey. Wallow for a bit… 🙂

    Comment by missyann — January 23, 2008 @ 12:14 am

  2. True enough. However, recently my budget made me give up a much-anticipated trip to see some much-missed friends in TX, and I am still feeling sucky about that…I’m never as patient or as frugal as I wish I could be, I guess. (And since we’re on the subject, can you tell me why energy saving washers are so damned expensive?)

    Comment by sara — January 24, 2008 @ 4:50 pm

  3. As much as I would like to be above coveting material possesions, I definitely feel you on the washing machine issue.

    ps–tell christian i said hi back

    Comment by lesbonurse — January 31, 2008 @ 8:36 pm

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