Tiny Eivy has not, shall we say, embraced our frugal ideals. And, honestly, who can blame her? Her little seven year old self doesn’t really see the difference between a fancy dinner out and a make your own sushi night at home. She will casually decided that she wants an American Girl doll in the same breath that she declares that she also wants a stuffie from Goodwill. The world is full of wonderful things and she wants them all.
She turned 8 yesterday and when the dust settled, she ended up with an American Girl doll from her grandmother. Holy cow, y’all, those things are over $100! Someone did some great marketing with that one.
Since it was her birthday, we did several things that we never do:
- We drove almost an hour to go to THE MALL because that is where the American Girl Doll Store is.
It has been years since I have set foot in a mall and I am not ashamed to say that I was a bit overwhelmed. Everything that I dislike about consumer American can be summed up in THE MALL. From the shiny displays of $100 tee-shirts to the copious amounts of STUFF that is so cleverly presented that even I, in my frugal state, am drawn to. THE MALL is so very good at convincing you to buy things you don’t need for money that you probably don’t have.
2. We bought Tiny Eivy a dress for her American Girl Doll.
This dress cost more than my entire outfit. Probably more than my entire wardrobe. Not that I begrudge this gift at all, but I am still floored by what they charge for a dress. For a doll.
3. We ate lunch out at Blue C Sushi.
You know the place – with the sushi train track that is timed perfectly to allow you enough time to grab your food but not enough time to check and see how much the plate is that you are grabbing. Maybe I’m being cynical, but I was so disappointed by the whole experience. The food was sub-par and after each of us eating the equivalent of one roll, our bill came out to $30. I think I was disappointed because it was supposed to be such a treat. We NEVER eat out anymore and I was really looking forward to the experience. I probably put too much expectation onto the poor restaurant, but clearly I need to be more picky in the future.
It really was a good day, and Tiny Eivy loved it, but the entire experience reminded me why I am embarking on this crazy path of saving 65% of our income to retire early. It is about so much more than saving a few dollars. It is about finding meaning in the experiences that we have by connecting with other people rather than with things. Its about valuing quality over gimmicks, but mostly its about spending time with the people you love.
My favorite part of the day was that I got to spend it with my big 8 year old girl and my husband who took the day off of work. In the evening, we invited our old community to celebrate with us and everything just felt right in the world.