In depth - Covetous


I hope you're all having a lovely weekend.

A new catalogue came through the door from Simply Be this morning and I started to circle round the things I like with a purple marker pen. Before long it occurred to me that I must've circled about a thousand pounds worth of clothes and shoes that I have no hope in hell of ever buying.

Again, as I have before, I started to muse about why it is I'm so covetous. Maybe it was my childhood. I was brought up below the breadline in abject poverty and never had nice new things. If I did get something 'new' to me, it was surely bequeathed by someone else or purchased with my mum's desperately cobbled-together pennies from a charity shop. We were so poor we had things donated to us at Christmas time by the Salvation Army - blankets, etc., as we lived in a freezing hellhole, water heated by a coal fire, with no double glazing and no central heating - in fact the only source of heat we had was the gas fire in the living room and the sooty coal fire in the kitchen, which we dared not huddle around. 

At school I felt like a bit of a pariah at times. That's not to say I didn't have fun, but there was always a feeling of inadequacy in the back of my mind. I went to a grammar school, the first person in my family to do so. Wealth and intelligence often go hand in hand (due to the access to 'better' schooling) and many of my peers had rich parents - usually two of them - nice houses, and expectations of good things to come. I was a wild card, I guess, an anomaly. A reasonably intelligent kid who came out of a crap school and a broken family, but one with half a brain. There weren't many kids of divorced parents at school, much less ones who were so poor they had to rely on the state for free school dinners, another sense of daily shame.

I left school at 16, not expected to stay on by my teachers, crushed by their lack of faith in me yet burdened by the need to find work and bring some money into the household. At last I had money to buy things for myself and give my mum housekeeping, but the stigma of feeling dirt poor may never leave me, even years after I left real poverty behind. Of course there have been tough times since, but none so bad I've had to starve like we did when I was a kid.

OR there is the possibility I could just be a greedy, materialistic ho-bag who craves excitement through a never-ending series of new purchases. I suppose it's natural to be buoyed up by sparkly new things. I just wonder if I'll always be like this, if there'd ever be enough money to satisfy my shopping urges. I'm sorry if this is a bit deep. I'm quite keen on trying to work out why I am the way I am.

Do you get excited by the thought of new purchases and sparkly new things? If so, have you ever considered why?

To me, it's like there's this hole inside of me which constantly needs filling (no sniggering, dirty minded sausages!) and no matter what happens, I always want more. It's quite sad actually. My husband finds ways to make money and I find ways to spend it.

Your thoughts?

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