Yeah, I’ll admit, we’re a little different. Maybe even weird (I hate to lump S in here, ’cause a lot of it’s my fault, but she should have known what she was getting herself into). I like to read a lot. I love to garden, and be outside in general. I’m not into the latest fashions (since my size has not changed, I still wear a fair amount of clothes that I’ve had since college – if it weren’t for Christmas and birthdays, college-era clothes would make up even more of my wardrobe). I don’t like spending money unnecessarily. Seed catalogs excite me. I make my own shampoo and maple syrup.
When it comes right down to it, we’re not really great examples of the prototypical American. On the other hand, maybe we are (though I doubt it), it’s just that the stereotype has been skewed by the media. We have a nice house in the rural suburbs, two cars, one kid and a dog, a TV (but only one), and a job in the city, but that’s about where the similarities end. We don’t carry any debt except the mortgage, and don’t really have a lot of flashy “stuff.” We eat (and prepare) almost all our meals at home. Certainly there are many people who share our interests and lifestyles, but probably a majority do not. I guess it’s kind of that we’re a little more old-fashioned than most.
Why are we different? A lot of it surely has to do with our upbringing. We were both raised by parents who stayed married and actively participated in our lives. We grew up in the “country,” depending on your definition of country. My family is a bunch of gardeners, starting with my grandpa. Our parents were fiscally responsible, and instilled in us traditional values.
As I’ve grown up, though, a lot of traits have been even further developed. If I had the time, I’d be as self-sufficient as possible, and still do as much as I can to eliminate my dependency upon others. We’re by no means a true homestead, but I can or freeze what food I’m able to, and I have a broad enough skill set to be able to do most of the work around the house. If you’ve read anything here before, you know that we love to try new foods, try to keep things as local as we can, and don’t frequent chain restaurants when we do eat out.
But again, why? For one thing, it’s definitely cheaper to make your own dinner, grow what food you can, and not get caught up in the materialistic mindset that many people struggle with.
It also provides me great fulfillment and security knowing that I’m able to take care of myself and my family, at least for the most part. I know some people get their kicks by going out with friends and hitting up the club scene. I get my kicks walking through the backyard and picking beans.
This is by no means an indictment or reprimand for someone who doesn’t share my opinions (although I know most of the people who read this agree with me, to one degree or another, or else you wouldn’t be reading it). To each his own and God bless America. If you live in the city, stay inside all day, and spend like there’s no tomorrow, more power to you. Though credit card debt is generally not in your best interest (no pun intended). I love to visit cities, just couldn’t live in one. That’s just me. Give me an open sky and green fields any day.
So am I different?
Yep, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything.