Given how my dad stressed the importance of unerring, militant frugality, I always assumed that living within a strict, barebones budget was responsible.

That’s why, when the time came, I really didn’t want to buy a floor lamp at Target. Floor lamps that don’t fall apart after college are rather mightily expensive, and my financial status is not so secure that I can afford a mightily expensive floor lamp that doesn’t fall apart.

Not like that changed anything: I had to buy a lamp. Despite my personal misgivings, and my cherished personal reputation as a bit of a Scrooge, I knew I had no other choice. I broke a friend’s lamp, and now I had to replace it.

I could’ve hidden behind my excuses. I can’t afford it — that’s the truth. I’m helping you move, so cut me a little slack — I was, and they could have. It looks like it’s working fine, it’s just that the head is wobbly — it did; that’s all seemed wrong with it, even if I know better now.

I could have gone cheap — that lamp looked tacky, cheap and nothing at all like the lamp I was supposed to replace. I would have gained very little goodwill. Most likely, I’d have lost some, and nearly a friend in the process.

Sometimes, I’ve only recently learned, it’s in the best interests of even the thrifty to bite the bullet. That’s going to be a tough bullet to swallow.


  1. K8

    So, tell us about your new title.

  2. I plan to make The House a central part of this blog, because most of the people living here have pretty much stabilized their routine, and don’t seem to be going anywhere, anytime soon.

    The street that The House is on is the first street south of Fallbrook.

  3. I’m thinking I might change it back, though. I really liked the other title.

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