I am in the process of moving from a twelve hundred square foot condo where I’ve lived for nearly twenty years, to my parents’ twenty-one hundred square foot house where they lived for a good fifteen years. Before that, my parents lived in their Fair Play, South Carolina home, over eight thousand square feet, six bedrooms, a full attic, basement with second kitchen, four baths, library, dining room, formal living room, and a sun room that was sixty feet long. They lived there for nearly thirty-five years. My mother’s parents lived in their South Florida home (which I loved) for over fifty years. My father’s family bought their Dupont Avenue house in Minneapolis in the late 1890s, and did not move out and sell it until around 1970 or so.
Families who are not transient and were solidly upper middle class had a tendency, a very Victorian and Edwardian tendency to accumulate stuff. It is also a condition of city dwellers on the East Coast and in the City. Unfortunately, where I now live, people have subsisted sub-poverty for so long, the mindset is one of never accumulating anything. I know people who have lived quite well, here, who have never even accumulated a matching set of china, glassware, or decent living room furniture. The mindset here doesn’t allow it.
Strangely enough, when people move here, they have a tendency to use this as their second home. They don’t have their homes furnished here they way they would back in their real world. They buy disposable and then their children dispose of it. Their good stuff never makes it here. If it does, their children sell it for five cents on the dollar, ruining any hope of estate resale or even antiques, unless you are a bottom feeding dealer out to basically rob people of their possessions.
There are a lot of bottom feeders here. A transient society, it attracts bottom feeders. We are also dealing with some locals who have never left the confines of a couple hundred miles. They don’t know what is going on in the world, at large. They don’t know prices and the value of things. I gather, if you live here, and don’t live flash and trash nouveau riche, people don’t quite grasp the value of what you own. Or, if they do, and you aren’t among the elect, the very special people who occupy their strange little world, you aren’t allowed to have or be anything or anyone. You are a nonperson.
What you have has no value. Oh, it does, after you turn over the family antiques, for those pennies on the dollar, and bow, then kiss the feet of the people who have cheated you. You are then allowed to exist, as their pandering servants.
Not long after I moved here, the second summer, a friend from South Carolina came to visit. She turned out to be my only guest from South Carolina. At the time, I was quite angry with her reaction about life here. She wanted to know where the nice houses were. She wanted to know if everyone lived like what we in the South referred to as low-life trash. I was insulted, explaining it was a different life out here. People didn’t need large houses or flashy new cars. They were allowed to be themselves.
Boy was I wrong. The cost of living here is obscene. I’m losing my condo because we have the second highest utility charges in the country. Last year’s electrical bills were $3500. When you live on about seven thousand a year, well, that makes all the difference in the world. Gas is high. Until Albertsons moved in with their ‘lower’ prices, grocery costs and selection was Third World.
I think Third World describes life in New Mexico, in Ruidoso, and Lincoln County. There isn’t much difference in the size and quality of the little houses (you notice I did not say shacks) where people live than in Jamaica. Here, though, they are log and ‘mountain’. That’s code for unimproved, a fire waiting to happen. The problem is those little houses cost three times what a nice, solid middle class house, in a nice solid middle class neighborhood, in a nice normal city in Real World, USA. People can’t afford anything. How can they? Very few are paid above minimum wage. There are now local businesses who have come up with a way to pay below the minimum wage.
Because so many people here live below subsistence lives, they don’t have much in the way of ‘stuff’. People who do live quite well, don’t have much in the way of ‘stuff’ either. We now live in a world where people are being brainwashed to fall for the throw-away society. You buy cheap stuff, throw it away, and buy new. If you have anything in your home that is over a few years old, get rid of it! Don’t dare have too much or you will be accused of hoarding, and being mentally ill. Of course you will. If you subscribe to the chuck-it society then you throw out what you have and buy new. It is called commerce.
On Thursday, when I was walking through my mother’s house, that now looks like a hoarder lives there, complete with a mouse (and four useless cats). I have my things and my mother’s. My sister and niece will be here next week to help separate. But, that really doesn’t matter. I have a mess. I gather I’m to get rid of everything I own, then go buy all new. The worst thing is if I were getting all ‘new’ I would do the same thing, doing second hand, shabby retro chic.
I like cluttered. I like the cluttered reverse-snob Brit school of decorating. It’s fun, whimsical, and quirky. It is also happy, bright, and floral. The style works well with cats.
I have no children. I wanted no children. I wanted the option of buying jewelry, art, shoes, clothes, and Louis Vuitton. That’s what I have. I also have a huge collection of Pink Depression glass. The thing about collections like that is if you create a large one, and live in a real place where people are honest and don’t try cheating everyone, you can get a fantastic price for it. My mother bought Waterford for my sister and I. She bought sterling for us, as well as china and crystal. She started buying our china and crystal when we were in the fourth or fifty grade. By the time we were in high school we each had several sets of china and crystal. At the time, there was nothing wrong with that. (Other than our tastes changing over the years). Now, though, I gather that is a sign of mental instability.
Is it evil to have nice things? Please, tell me why I’m being treated like a jerk because of it. Why is it wrong for me to hold on to my parents’ first living room furniture? If I could afford to have the sectional fixed, I’d be using it, now. I’m keeping my mother’s early 1960s maple, early American furniture. She has things that Lucy had in her farmhouse in the last season’s episodes of I Love Lucy. I’ve kept it.
I’m exhausted. I’m tired of fighting my friends because I they think there’s something wrong with me, or they are acting like there’s something wrong with me. Look, my mother just died. I’m going to be losing what I thought was going to be my new home. I’m going to be losing two homes in less than a year. That had a tendency to make a person nuts. Granted, I have a mess in the garage, which I turned into a utility room. There are things that need to be tossed, and will be. I have a dozen large plastic containers of Christmas. I have things left over from my shop. I have a bunch of craft supplies. I’m where craft projects go to die. When I can get my life back in order, I plan to do the things I once did, when I lived in South Carolina. I want to do wreaths to sell. I once made very good money doing that. When I move elsewhere, I’ll be able to do so, again. You can’t do it here, unless you have been approved to be socially accepted. I’m not.
Do I sound bitter? I am. I’m trying to sell a twenty-three acre ranch my father purchased. In the real world, I could get a minimum of a couple thousand dollars an acre. Here, I’ve been told I’ll be lucky to get a couple hundred. I was also told that I’m expecting too much. People don’t pay money for land, anywhere. That’s all people pay for vacant farm land, is $130/acre. Oh? I just learned that a half acre, out of an acre of land my father sold twenty-five years ago for $5000, went for $56,000! Don’t tell me land doesn’t sell for anything. I know it does. I also know a lying, cheating, prevaricating, mendacious, jerk when I see one. I was told I would only be able to get $300,000 for twenty-three hundred acres of land.
I guess what hurts is when I’m told I may need to give in and sell it for that much.
Do I look that stupid?
I guess I do. So, I’m hurting. I’m going under. We’re being forced to sell the parents’ house. By December 1, then I could be homeless. I found a darling little house I want, but forget that. I don’t know what is going to happen to me, other than the fact that I’ll be listen to the chorus from Job telling me to get rid of what I have.
There are wonderful people here, trying to do everything they can to help. I’m just tired and bitter. Someone told me it was quite difficult being friends with me. I can understand that. I’m being quite difficult. I’m exhausted and hurting. I started looking back at the past few years, going back to when I moved here in 1998. There have been some highlights, but primarily heartbreak, with practically anything that can go wrong, going wrong. Any rational person knows there is a give and take in life. It isn’t all bad and all good. Life happens. Things happen. That’s the way it is. But – constantly? I joke about Job, but that’s how it looks.
I need a break. I need an Apple that really works. I need a car that isn’t falling apart. I need that ranch to sell for an honest and honorable amount. That’s my real problem. Someone threatened me, several times, about it, telling me I would take what he planned on giving me and thank him for it. He knew my family was in financially difficulty. When we were disparate enough, I would be thanking him for basically cheating us, so we would not have enough to survive, but he would get land worth a fortune for nothing.
That clouds my thinking. I keep praying for him. I try to pray for his soul. Any person who claims to be a Christian and does that to a person can’t possibly be one. Maybe the problem is me, and not him. What I do know is that it is wrong to constantly go at people for what they have, as long as they are not a danger to themselves, and are very well aware that there are mice in the garage. Having mice in the garage really screws up my plans to move the cat boxes out there, and put in a little kitty door.
There is something more at work here. It is about the changes in our culture, promoted by globalist liberals, and a strange version of Christianity which is teaching Millennial that that don’t need things. It is an excellent way to brainwash them into lowered expectations of their progressively grim lives. People are to get rid of what they have, giving it away, or dumping it, no matter what the value, and move into tiny houses, which are eco friendly. Those of us who have things are being condemned for it. I see it whenever I watch the decorating and DIY shows. Stuff isn’t good. People shouldn’t have stuff. If you watch the Property Brothers, when they go in to decorate a house, they chuck things that people own, automatically thinking that the items a person has aren’t that nice.
Sorry, but I have nice things. I may end up homeless, but I’m not going down without a fight.