Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Want vs. Need

I've reached the point in my life where I really don't want or need anything.  Sure, sometimes I need to buy groceries or toilet paper, but the major items are taken care of.  I also don't really want anything.  I may overspend on clothes from time to time, but I don't want any more stuff in my life. My apartment is full, and I've reached the point where I like getting rid of things more than I like getting them.

I thrill at filling up a bag to drop at The Salvation Army, I'm making a concentrated effort to eat my way through all that pasta I hoarded a year ago.  Every time I eat another box, I feel a tremendous sense of satisfaction.  What I want now are experiences--going ice skating, taking a trip, having a nice meal, going to a good play/movie/ballet, having cocktails with my lovely friends, historical tourism, etc. Sadly, paying for experiences is keeping me poor, financially, but with my student loan debt, I'll be poor forever anyway--might as well live!

What's troubling though, is that I live with someone who still does want stuff.  This someone also wants to buy stuff for me, and when I say I don't want anything, that makes him sad.  I understand and appreciate the spirit of gift-giving, but does it always have to come in a box?  Can't I just accept a giant carton of egg nog and share that with everyone?  I really like egg nog.

My budget doesn't have much wiggle room right now, and I don't want to go out and buy a whole bunch of stuff because, well, it's coming home with me, and we're running out of space.  Plus, everything I bring into that apartment looks to me like something I will one day have to move, or sell at a loss.

Maybe it's just because I'm a lousy gift-giver.  I prefer instead of buying gifts for occasions to just buy that thing that you happen upon that's perfect for a person, and giving it to him or her whenever.  If you want to buy me something for my birthday or for xmas, take me out to a restaurant I like, or to a show.  If you don't want to do that, don't do anything, it doesn't hurt my feelings.  I'm lucky in that not many people expect things from me, or maybe they're lucky because it'd probably be scented candles all around (or something equally lame).  Either way, I have to accept that I'm not changing.

Anyone have any ideas for what to do in this situation?

1 comment:

  1. I'm a lot like you. I would much rather have experiences (dinner, tickets to a show, etc) than an actually gift. I tend to take friends to dinner or lunch for their birthday and maybe make them a cake and call it a day. I'm terrible at picking out gifts unless someone has told me exactly what they want.

    Last year, I took myself on a trip to the UK for graduation and I asked my parents for a plane ticket for my birthday/Christmas. I got it, and that was all I wanted for gifts. I didn't want or need anything else. But my parents, grandparents, aunt, insisted on giving me SOMETHING. In the end, I wound up with a good bit of money and some useful things to take on my trip (new gloves, a few warm sweaters).

    I came up with those things only after sitting down and really thinking about what would be the most useful to me at that point in my life. Maybe you could do the same? Things like socks and tools are boring, but if they would prove useful to you, then that's what you should ask for. And then maybe something fun, like dinner at your favorite restaurant or a gift card to a store that you love to shop at.