Friday, March 12, 2010

Keeping up with the Joneses

I am ashamed to admit that I have found myself inflicted with the "Keeping up with the Joneses" syndrome.  The prospect of vacationing with someone whose means are much more abundant than that of my own has caused me to feel inferior.  It is with great disappointment and sadness that I admit this.

In preparing for my vacation, I have found myself purchasing hundreds of dollars worth of merchandise.  I'm not quite sure how much just yet. I am afraid to look and know for sure.  I have found myself putting some of my purchases on my credit card just in case I need the cash in my bank account for my actual vacation.

This is NOT how I operate!

Usually, I give myself an allotted amount of spending money.  And, because I know myself all too well, I will put a little more in a side account for extras.  But I always have the cash to go and I always give myself a budget. ALWAYS!

With this vacation, however, there are so many unknown factors.  I have no idea what we will be doing while we are there. There are a lot of possibilities.  Many activities range from $50-$200.  I have no idea what the weather will be like. Hot during the day, very cool at night is my understanding.  But how do you know for sure how to prepare for that. One person's hot isn't necessarily another person's hot. One person's chilly may not be my chilly.  And though I am sure that the person that I am vacationing with is mindful that my means and the third persons' means are a bit limited, it still causes this bit of angst inside me.  I also have no idea what it will cost to eat while I am there. I don't know if it will be possible for us to purchase any groceries.  I have no idea how much it will cost us to get around.  There are just so many uncertainties and I do not bode well with uncertainty.  I have a tendency to try to be prepared for all of the possibilities and what ifs.

Back to my uncontrollable spending. What the...???  What is my problem!?!?!?!?  I convinced myself that I needed these things.  And a few things would have been ok.  I have outgrown my summer clothes.  Many of which I haven't worn in a year or two because most of my summer is spent working overtime.  But I have practically gone out and bought a new summer wardrobe.  Three and a half new bathing suits (one was a gift), summer dresses (one was also a gift), a cropped cardi, two pair of pajama bottoms, tops, shorts, pants that roll up to capris, a new toiletry bag, two new travel bags that are easy on the shoulders, new sandals, two new hoodies for the chilly evenings, and one of those pillow things for the airplane.  I think I have gone completely bonkers!  I am definitely having buyers remorse. Look at all this:

This is out of control.

So, the best I can do now is tell myself NO MORE!

I still cannot believe that I let this consume me. Thoughts of I can't wear the same two bathing suits while I'm there for seven days because I'm sure the Joneses will have 100+ for sure.  (And she does have 100 or so suits.)  Or, I can't wear the same single pair of pajama pants the whole time I am there. What will they think?  Or, What if we walk around a lot and do a lot of shopping, I will need a comfortable bag and comfortable new shoes because the ones I have just aren't good enough. They'll look at me like I have two heads. 

I can't believe I allowed myself to think this way.  I suppose it can go back to the self-esteem issues that my counselor constantly tried to address.  And the idea that I need to be accepted by everyone.  This just isn't so. I am who I am. I like who I am and I need to remind myself that people like me for who I am too.  Quite a few people do, actually. I know this and need to accept this.  Believe it with all that I am.

No more keeping up with the Joneses.  That's not who I am!


  1. Wow...I needed to hear this tonight. How often do we all fall into that "keeping up with the joneses" mindset? I am so struggling with this right I feel your pain. Good for you for recognizing it and trying to turn the cruise ship around...I know it's hard. =)

    Your trip sounds awesome! Where are you going?

  2. It is so hard. Coupled with an urge to just buy, buy, buy anyway. It was almost as if this trip was my excuse. Ugh.

    I am going to Cabo San Lucas. I am so excited!

    Glad to see you stop over! :)