Friday, September 07, 2007

Dear Lord, Grant Me Strength

I have a problem. It's not so much an issue I need to resolve or something that needs to go away, as with many of my friends' problems, but something that I lack. In addition to this, it is not merely a single thing that I lack, but a combination of things that will inevitably lead to my destruction:

1. I have no stuff. Now, plenty of people have this problem. Homeless people, for one, and perhaps monks, and they seem to get along just fine. However, this does not bode well for me as...

2. I have no impulse control. In my profile, I say that I have poor impulse control. This is quite the understatement. I don't even think it qualifies as impulse control. It is a mere whisper of self-control; the vague apparition of an impulse control that once was, but will never be again. Combined with my lack of stuff, it's always dangerous for me to enter any kind of store. Or go on the internet. Or open my eyes. Shit is dangerous. "But how is this harmful?" you ask. Oh, I will tell you, faithful reader. I will. It is...

3. My lack of money.

I'm not broke, but I have places my money needs to go. Like into my car payments, or IRA shit that I don't really get, but I vaguely understand that I will need in order to eat when I am old, decrepit, and unemployed.* I need to eat, and I eat a lot. It can actually be quite obscene. Where does a 115 pound Filipino thing even put that much food? (Answer: In her FUPA.) My car also needs to eat, but he doesn't eat that much (thank God). I really do have few things I have to pay for, and I have never not been able to meet these demands. However, in the past year, I have developed a love of stuff that is new and different. It is not simply a love of shoes (which has also, much to my shame, been altered slightly) but a love of STUFF.

Jackets and jeans and shoes and shirts and gadgetry all at once. It's terrible. It really is. My AmEx card hates me from all the wear and tear it undergoes, but American Express loves me. Or they will when my 0% interest stops at the end of the year. ** I can recite my credit card number/security code/expiration date with no thought whatsoever. I can mime typing these numbers in without a number pad. That is how ingrained often this care is used. They love me so much that they more than quadrupled my original limit. I was horrified at this removal of one spending barrier. It's a slippery slope, my friends. A slippery slope indeed.

I am now known quite well amongst certain circles of my endless string of embargos, which are promptly broken whenever I encounter a new pretty/shiny/awesome thing-that-I-must-have-immediately. A couple of weekends ago it was cufflinks (so awesome!), before that it was more Threadless shirts, preceded by random gadgetry, preceded by a new jacket, preceded by new shoes, and so on. Each of these purchases resulted in my claiming an embargo. None lasted for more than ten days. In fact, after the cufflinks, I declared embargo. This was the last weekend of August. On Wednesday, I ordered a couple of shirts online. (They arrived yesterday. SO FAST! But also too big, alas, they must be exchanged.) So I am declaring embargo again.

I am on embargo until my car is one year old or when it hits 10,000 miles, whichever comes first. I'm currently at about 9100 miles, but I've been quite stingy about driving lately, so the former option will likely come first. Hopefully, this embargo will take hold. If all goes well, my desires for things will try their best to escape from the confines of my mind, much like starving Cubans brave the terrible sea for the shores of Florida.

Pray for me. And for my wallet.

* Assuming that I actually overcome a set of conditions that makes this a semi-unreachable goal.
** I absolutely refuse to pay interest on anything though. So I must gain control by then.

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