What does this word mean to me?
Growing up I understood that we lived a lifestyle that we could afford. Or I guess I should say my parents did. We got an allowance and saved up to buy what we wanted. My Dad drove a Ford Taurus. A little tight for 5 people but it was rare that 5 of us were in the car at the same time. In later years they could’ve driven something else but this suited their needs. My Dad always said a car gets you from point A to point B whether it’s a Ford or a BMW.
I grew up in a family that didn’t have debt. My grandparents need didn’t even use a credit card. When I was in college I got my first one and was told by the financial advisor to use it once a month whether I needed to or not to build up a credit score.
Although my Dad would be considered middle class he has 2 siblings that were moneyed. But they lived very different lifestyles. One flaunted it and one didn’t. One drove a jaguar and one drove a Honda Civic. We would go to visit my Uncle and my Mom would say “that’s how the other world lives”. Because it was a lifestyle that we couldn’t imagine.
When I was looking for an apartment the first place I applied to was one in my neighbourhood. I knew people that lived there and it was a nice building. But when I went to view it I didn’t like the layout. The bathroom was smaller than my one at home. The kitchen was so tiny and no dining area. I realized that many of the apartments that I looked at you were paying for the lifestyle. This building had a pool, community room and gym.
When I moved into this apartment I joked to my friends that my Dad would question why I needed 2 bathrooms. It’s nice to have one that is strictly for guests. I had people tell me I didn’t need a 2 bedroom apartment but as someone that lived in a 4 bedroom house I like lots of room. Living in an apartment is a different lifestyle. I had to get used to monthly fire alarm drills (we don’t have to leave the building it’s just testing). I can’t leave the building without my landlord seeing. I’m kind of used to this with nosey neighbours. I can only carry in 2 large grocery bags easily. When I bought patio furniture my friend carried in the table and I carried in the cushions. Sometimes it’s quite a production carrying in purchases. Even that is a lifestyle as I have all weather chairs, fancy cushions and a table for my drink. It’s creating a setting.
After Janet died I got a cellphone because I felt safer knowing if I was out for a walk I had one for emergencies. Last year I changed to a smart phone because “everyone else had one”. I have an IPad. I’m now one of those people that sits in the coffee shop with their IPad.
In a couple of weeks my friend and I are going to have a spa day. It’s a treat that we both need to schedule for ourselves more often!