It's a decent sized anniversary; we've worked hard to get here - mostly. I mean, truth be told it wasn't all that hard. Oh sure, there have been up, down, sideways and drowning moments, but mostly? Yeah, mostly it has been just fine with a side of wicked fantastic.
So, to celebrate I made reservations at an *almost* fancy place that will serve us relatively raw food that we'll stab with long sticks and then kill it some more by drowning it in hot bubbling liquid or molten cheese. It's like murder mystery dinner theater, because I'm sure I'll make a mess and be wearing half my dinner in little droplets all over my blouse.
The only thing this restaurant will ask in return is oodles of our hard earned cash, because cooking your own food doesn't come cheap! No, siree-bob! Of course, they will be cutting it up into perfect little cubes for the best and most complete cooking, I'm sure...right? I don't know, 'casue I've never been there 'cause it's always been too spendy for my blood 'cause my blood, while it does like to shop, is also prone to fits of guilt over spending an obscene amount of money on just one dinner...for two. We've never even spent an obscene amount of money on our family of 4 to eat out and we have two teenagers!
My best guesstimate is that dinner will cost somewhere in the range of $125 bucks (or more)...like real, not Monopoly, dollars. And that won't include wine, because it just so happens there is no corkage fee on the night we are going...so...my cheap ass blood is bringing our own wine (which happens to be a gift, so...yeah).
Why am I writing to tell y'all about my upcoming hedonistic adventure? Because I sort of don't want to go.
But I do. Sort of.
Guilt is a bitch. She takes what should be a happy situation filled with expectant joy and manipulates it to feel selfish.
We've been telling our kids for the last couple of months that we are cutting back, spending has been out of control and we need to reel in our expenses and be as frugal as we can - watchful, careful, conscious of what we are doing, including eating out less.
Guilt is sharpening her poking stick - looking at me with disdain.
My sister-in-law who is one of my dearest friends, I love her as if she were my own sister, is coming into a serious financial situation. She inherited the house after the passing of my my in-laws in the last 8 months. A house that isn't free and clear, a house that probably won't be sold for enough money to cover the mortgage. She's cutting back on every possible thing you can cut back on - she'd even take more shallow breaths if she had to pay for air. She won't be able to afford to get her hair colored to cover the gray. Some of you will say, "So...that isn't such a big deal. Embrace your age, gray is beautiful", but the rest of you just gasped and had to steady yourselves from falling over...because you just 'get it'.
Guilt is now poised and ready to impale me with her poking stick. I can hear her whisper in my ear, "Spending that money on dinner is so selfish - there are so many other, better, more important uses for that money"
And now? I have the reservation page open in another window - I stare at the CANCEL RESERVATION option. Do I? Don't I?
How can I go? Do I really deserve to spend a bunch of money on a dinner just because we've managed to make it 20 years? Isn't it the years that matter and not how we celebrate? Maybe 25 is more important. Do you know how many dinners I can make for that, or how many gray covering sessions that will cover (o.k. not a lot, but still...at least one!)?
And yet...part of me still wants to go on that date with my hubbypants, sans teenagers who'll be home with cash for the pizza delivery person.
Will the guilt be there after? I'm sure she will, but with an army of guilt soldiers stomping around in my skull..."Hey look, she could have bought towels for their soon to be remodeled bathroom." or "Yeah, she could have taken the whole family out to dinner, Sis-in-Law included, and THEN taken them all to a movie - The Avengers is coming out, ya know. Tsk tsk...selfish, selfish...S.E.L.F.I.SH."
This guilt ridden state I've wrapped myself in isn't new, I do this all the time - whenever I spend any money on something frivolous. It's a double whammy right now as I prepare for a new tattoo. It doesn't matter if bonus money is going to pay for it OR that a tattoo will likely cost LESS THAN dinner.
I doubt I'm the only one that does this...right?
What about you?
Do you beat yourself up over something BEFORE you've even done it?
p.s. - Yes, I've lamented this via Facebook already, you just have to deal with my obsessiveness.
p.p.s. - It's how I roll.