People wore that, in public.
In their defense, they were also wearing shirts that said “Bag your face” and “Where’s the beef?”
There were shows on television like Silver Spoon in which Ricky Schroder played a spoiled teen with a train he could ride on in his house and Magnum P.I. drove around in a Ferrari.
Wealth was in and people wanted it.
Nothing changed in the in the 90’s except we were all collecting our toys and all of the sudden it seemed like instead of the ONE wealthy family per town, that anybody was allowed to grab at the golden fountain.
When I graduated from college in the beginning of 2000, I was handed applications for three different credit cards. I applied for them all and suddenly had 40,000 in credit, problem being I didn’t have a full time job. I was a mom on welfare without a penny in my pocket but those credit card companies were going to help me buy my “toys” whether it sunk me in the end or not.
But everybody was buying in, including me.
With just Beau I had lived in an efficiency that we shared with the roaches and I rode my bike with him on the back to get around Richmond, but it wasn’t as easy to ride two kids on the back of your bike so after Donovan came into our lives, I learned to drive.
This was great and made life easier, but then again it made life harder. I had gas to buy, insurance to pay, oil to fill, and air to put in the tires.
Oh, and I had to get a car.
After the car, came the house; it seemed smart to buy and six years later when the cape cod had run its’ course, we bought again, and the house was bigger and the mortgage payment almost doubled.
I had taxes to pay and upkeep to do. Mike had roofs to fix and gutters to get at and we had throw rugs and curtains and presents at Christmas time to purchase.
More toys to buy.
The more we had, the more we worried and the more we had to work.
This spring we are selling the American dream and getting out of our 1800 square- foot house. Call it downsizing, simplifying, living intentionally or call it what I like to which is “living on purpose” such as “I bought that on purpose”.
I didn’t buy it in a haze or on autopilot or because I wasn’t prepared or because Target told me to. I didn’t buy it because it was what people did when they got a family or a career or became a certain age.
We got rid of a shiny brown Chevy Tahoe complete with car payment and opted for a two thousand dollar Ford F150.
I’m greasing up the chain on my bike and searching for a new lock because I plan to commute to work without a car.
We are cutting cable and have shaved our grocery bills by thirds.
We have sold, given away, or donated a lot of our belongings in preparation and so far I have missed nothing. I would much rather get rid of a million knickknacks and extra clothing items then to part with my collection of photo albums and bedroom furniture from my Mom and Dad.
I’m excited for the future no matter how small my surroundings are or how little I have of material things and though I might not die with the most toys, I would return them all and the worry that comes with them for less stress, less distractions and more time with my family.
That’s rich, and I’d wear that on a t-shirt but only if I could get it second hand.