Monday, September 21, 2009

Indulging in the Luxuries of Others

Today was the last of a ten-day dog-, cat-, and house-sitting stint I did. The homeowners, friends of my aunt and uncle, were away on a 40th anniversary trip to Greece. House-sitting, while a great gig, is a pretty backwards way to get to know someone.

The owners requested I stay at the house, which was fine by me. They were very gracious, and encouraged me to use their internet, watch their TV, borrow their books, eat their food, and drive their car (This worked out perfectly as mine is in the shop!). This couple has a really sweet house. Staying there familiarized me with all the things they probably take for granted/view as essentials to their way of life. Some I relished, some almost made me roll my eyes.

For instance, I enjoyed...
  • cable TV
  • having a washer, dryer, and dishwasher
  • covered parking
  • full bookshelves in every room and hallway
  • an abundance of snacks and drinks
  • having more than 3 or 4 of each dish/utensil!
But I wondered if these weren't frivolous...
  • the daily arrival of at least 2 newspapers and a stack of glossy magazines and catalogs
  • 2 varieties of ice in the freezer: one made by the icemaker, the other bought from Sonic
  • remote-controlled window shades
  • sleep-number bed (I didn't care about learning to use it; I just slept on the softer side)
  • marble shower with built-in bench seat and steam jets
  • heated towel rack
  • wall-mounted hair dryer
  • maid service
  • an additional huge freezer full of food

Don't get me wrong: I'm not trying to be judgmental, or haughty, or resentful. This has just got me thinking. It seems I am constantly having to relearn that we are all very different when it comes to priorites, lifestyles, incomes, values, etc.

I then examined my own life. What are my luxuries? I find it hard to not buy books, new or used. I must have Kleenex in the house (I know that my mom would call that luxurious). I demand the right to maintain a regular exercise schedule- I can get fidgety and grumpy without it. I also like to have at least 2 different perfumes- 'cause who wants to smell the same every single day? Oh, and I pretty much expect something sweet to follow dinner!

What is a "luxury" that you cannot do without?


  1. A luxury I can't do without?
    Friends close by.
    I know that sounds lame but since my job is dealing with all of these "luxuries" over and over and cleaning up stuff, I am really not tied to much. My husband's list is very long though :)

  2. I like that! I envy you- some of my best friends live in other states!

  3. Family, coffee, tennis, occasional junk food, nuts, berries, games...

    I guess I could do without any of them but I never would! You included.

    I really enjoy the challenge of turning something substandard into acceptable or exceptional by my standards. I know this sounds weird but these things become a sort of luxury in my eyes. Does that make any sense?

  4. Intriguing! Like a DIY luxury? Give me an example!

  5. Like finding something old, used, or marked with a deep discount that will work as well as or better than buying the item new. I had an almost recently. I wanted pink camo pants and found a pair slightly used which is def better than new for $2.00. I felt like I'd found gold until I tried them on and they were just a tad too tight! I would have hated new pink camo pants and couldn't have even forced myself to buy them but broken in and a bargain would be like a luxury. Does that help?

  6. Oh, Maima, still on the quest for camo pants, I see. Yeah, that makes sense- like getting a bargain on it makes it even sweeter!