Saturday, May 2, 2009

Investment, In This Market

In today's economy, every penny that I spend on myself conjures guilt. If it's food that isn't from the grocery store, Suze Orman is standing cross-armed at the back of my skull. I'm supposed to support my local independent vendors, but the overwhelming majority of them aren't grocery stores, and if I'm not buying food, toiletries, or transit fare, then do I need to buy anything at all?

And if I don't, is there an effect?

So today, as I was paying my monthly bills, I added two the stack two mailers from two museums in the City. One of the mailers was a renewal notice of my deYoung Museum membership, and the other was a mailer invitation to purchase a membership to the SF MoMA. I paid my bills, and then placed the two mailers, unopened (they stated the nature of their arrival on the envelopes) on my lap desk. I contemplated them for some time.

My main reason for making a lot of the mistakes I make is pure boredom. I choose the wrong men, foods, jobs, friends--not always, but a fair measure of the time--from loneliness and boredom. I was explaining to a friend a mere two weeks ago that I only enjoyed exercise if it was a journey: a hike or a canoe trip. He looked at me carefully (don't question the nature here, just what he was about to say) and said, "You're a girl who needs mental stimulation during sex, right?"

God. How did he know?

This week I thought about that even more than usual, and so when I placed the mailers on that desk I already knew the indulgence I would make.

Membership. In visual stimuli. And stuff to keep my mind making better decisions. That's my investment. My own private bailout.

Be well, dear reader. Invest in yourself.

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