The Haves and The Have-Nots.

I am sometimes so torn. 

I work with (and for) a lot of very wealthy people. I mean, hey, if you live in San Francisco at this particular moment in time chances are you are surrounded by them. The money is literally seeping up through the drains like rain water. I have never seen so many obnoxiously expensive cars cruising down the Marina Green as I have as of late. Everyone's got Gucci, Prada or Birkin. De rigueur. Seriously. Ooh. And lots of Chanel. Blink and you'll see thousands of dollar outfits walking by. The tech bubble is here and all I want to do is take out a big needle and pop it, watching all of the Louboutins fall, crashing, to the floor. Rents have skyrocketed. To the point where if we (and most of our friends) were evicted from our apartment we would literally have no choice but to move out of the Bay Area (I secretly hope for this sometimes because we are both so ready to move on...a little shove might be helpful). In fact, this actually did happen to some of our friends. And they are leaving for Washington in two weeks, where they will be able to purchase a home (*gasp!) and afford to slow down a little bit. 

But really. Let's take a minute and be honest here. Surrounded by all of this money. Part of me wants in. I mean, from a distance it looks so fun. All of those THINGS. I want a house in Pacific Heights with brand new wide plank floors and a stellar kitchen. I want a Chanel handbag. I want to take month long vacations during the month of May like my clients do. I want to go furniture shopping in the design center and not blink about dropping $100,000 on lighting for my entry. I want to buy cases and cases of good rose and drink it while sailing the Bay with friends. I want to treat my people to dinners out, picking up the check with one fell swoop of my black Amex. I want blow-outs and mani/pedis and massages and facials. I want to buy that gorgeous Vince leather jacket in Bloomies. I want to work not for money but just for fun. I want I want I want. 

And yet. 

Something deep inside of me knows that this isn't what it's all about. That my moments of greatest happiness in this life have never had anything to do with money. Why is that so difficult to palate? This country, and most certainly this city, just cannot wrap their brains around that concept. It's always more more more! At what point is it ENOUGH?

We live in a small-by-country-standards-good-by-city-standards one-bedroom apartment. We have nice furniture and our home is lovely. We go out when we want, spend way more money on food and wine than most people would find acceptable and when it's just the two of us hanging out and being in our element I honestly don't think about all of the ways I would love to spend our millions. I don't ever want a huge home. I want to be close to my family, to hear them in the other room. I don't want to stay home all day worrying about what time my Pilates class is (welp, maybe just a little...) while Justin slaves away working 80 hour weeks just to bring me home a huge paycheck. I see every single day how unhappy this lifestyle makes people. How miserable their marriages are. How they treat people. I don't want to be that.


In a world, and a city, where we are constantly fed notions of what to buy to make us happy how do you fight it? I mean, let's face it, nobody wants to be poor. And I bet if you gave most people a choice of whether they'd like more money or to just stay with what they've got, they'd choose the more money every single time. I would too. Despite knowing it wouldn't make me any happier. I'd still take it. When my Elle Decor comes every month don't think for a second that I'm all zen looking at it, content as can be with what I've got. No. I look around my house and think "what a dump." Like I'm sure most of you do too. 

Erin Loechner of Design for Mankind wrote a very honest and meaningful post about consumerism and design. It really struck a chord with me. Working in the design industry is fascinating and weird at the same time. I wish that I could say it's all about beauty and creating meaningful space. But it's not. It's about money. And when people come in and spend thousands of dollars on a pillow my reaction is about three quarters "what a fucking idiot" and about one quarter "i wish."

Pinterest, blogs, all of it, it makes me want. And I give into it. A lot. I give into the pressure of living in a very wealthy city. A lot. And I'd like to change that. Because when I dream about our future it doesn't include mansions and BMW's and leather leggings (well, maybe the leather leggings...). I just want a simple little house to call our own, where we can cook dinner for our friends and family and drink wine and not work too hard at anything but living life.  And, for me, there is so much more truth in that than in Chanel.



1 comment:

  1. Great post. Glad I am not the only one out there that struggles with this...I keep telling my husband, I really just want our modest dream. Where we can have some land and a smallish house and have TIME. Sounds like a breath of fresh air to me.


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