Monday, January 17, 2005

Pride before a fall

My wife was asked to join a group of local gals who host a monthly card game. Not Poker, sadly. It's a game called "Bunco" and I have no idea how it works. All I know is that the few times Jill has "subbed" for a regular player in another group, she has enjoyed it for the most part. As of Friday night, she is now officially in a Bunco group, and we'll be hosting a Bunco game at our home in March.

With the exception of one or two others in this group, the women live in large homes outside of town. That's not to say that I (or we) are any less financially capable than the others, rather we have chosen (after years of grueling self-examination) that living in our modest home and paying it off soon is more important than having a large house on an acre+ of land and waiting an additional 15 years to own it. Of course, I fully expect Jill to decide that now that she's hosting Bunco, why don't we plop down an additional $150,000 and upgrade to a larger home...quick, before March 11.

Jill isn't superficial. For the last three years I wrestled with the idea that the size and cost of my home should reflect my level of career success. We have the money, why not? Jill has always reined me in. However, in the last couple months, she has become embroiled in a personal struggle. If we (meaning me at this moment, but we collectively over the next 15 years) are working so hard to earn this really nice paycheck, shouldn't we have the digs that reflect it? Afterall, real estate is the best investment you can make, right? We looked at a few larger homes and even made an offer on one, but the seller was a little nutso and wouldn't look at our offer until we sold our house.

I was surprised and amused that Jill was wrestling with this. I had always perceived her as immune to this type of materialism. So, more grueling self-examination is called for. You know the kind of self-examination I'm talking about. Like a double-amputee checking himself for testicular cancer. It hurts to check, even if you don't find anything.

As of RIGHT NOW, our position is that we stay in our house and spend our money on travel and fun things. Things can change, though, so I'm trying to keep an open mind.

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