"We have more reasons to love each other based on our common humanity than to victimize one another because of any difference."

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

In Search of Frugal

If there was one skill I seemed to really hone in Barcelona it was being frugal. There are several factors that compounded the situation. One of which was I am a broke college kid. This was in part my own fault but I’m also willing to share the blame with my mother who insisted that unpaid summer internships are more important than Mc Donalds cash. So instead of flipping burgers or crunching ice at Jamba Juice I was busy running around the Institute of Americas booking flights from El Salvador and translating tourist information about the Scripps Aquarium. I reffed weekends here and there and that helped but not quite enough.

So my quest for frugality started out of necessity but grew into a game that most times I enjoyed and a few times found frustrating. I started to get good at realizing what things I really needed in life and what purchases were well...unnecessary. And that got me thinking even further about things I had bought in my lifetime. What were my all time best purchases in life? I started to make a list in my head of the things that I had bought or my parents had bought that meant the most to me or that I especially valued.

1. My antique silver spoon ring.
This is my favorite piece of jewelry and I wore in nearly every day for three years until it started to give my right hand a rash. Eventually I discovered the allergic reactions seem only to effect my right hand and so I’ve started to wear it again but this time on the left hand. My mom bought this ring for me while I was in San Francisco with my grammy. I spotted it at the farmers market.

2. My under armor pants
Dad and I were at Dick’s Sporting Goods. I said Dad I really think I need these. We debated it back and forth. He said they were sixty dollars. I said I was going to freeze. In the end he caved and I walked away with possibly the single most piece of crucial clothing in my wardrobe. I wear those things all the time.

3. My Book
Mom and I were at Aaron Brothers looking at art supplies. (I love looking at art supplies. The blank pages and canvases just scream with opportunity and possibility) I found this tan and black bound sketch book slash journal. I immediately grabbed it and showed mom. She told she didn’t think I would ever use it. I bought the journal myself and have loved it ever since. If there was a fire in the house and I had to chose one thing to save (apart from loved ones) I would chose this journal. It has old newspaper clippings, photographs, letters, doodles, drawings, hopes, dreams…ok lets not get too carried away.

4. My red crochet hat
I spotted this red crocheted hat sticking out of a pile of other knitted things. I’m assuming all of it was straight off a boat from China. I wasn’t sure that it was my style or would even look good on me but I thought I’ll take a risk. It was two euros. Not exactly breaking the bank. I love the hat. I wear it all the time, especially in my cold drafty little old La Mesa house.

5. My Girona ceramic coffee mug
I bought this mug when visiting the beautiful town in Girona and I used it just about every day after. I like having my own little mug that is all mine. I also like the deep blue color inside it. I’ve drunk hundreds of cups of tea out of it.

As far as Christmas goes, there are some gifts I received that I have high hopes for. I’ve already started to create a bond with my Micron Pens, my William Sonoma apron, and the hand thrown ceramic incense holder Ben made me. All of which have already been put to good use. I made five loafs of yummy homemade bread last night.

So maybe frugal isn't such a bad thing. Maybe frugal just means you really cherish the things you buy and appreciate them all the more.