Here it is, the list of things that - even at the risk of going over my limited budget - I will actually pay full price for (if need be) and get the good stuff, because I have determined that they are (at least for now) essential to my sanity:
- Red Door Eau-de-Toilette (used sparingly, but consistently);
- Imported vodka (ditto);
- Taxis (when it's too late to travel safely alone. Still cheaper than owning a car);
I'm sorry, my life may be going through some hard times, but it is just too short to wear cheap perfume.
If you make a list like this, you will not feel deprived, you will feel wise.
(HOWEVER - wisdom be damned! - if I come across a pair of red leather pumps on sale any time soon, those babies are MINE!)
That's it. Everything else is within the bounds of frugality. The books could be, too, if I weren't so impulsive about my reading material. I can (and do) buy my clothes second-hand, bring my lunch to work, take public transportation, cook at home the way my grandma did, wear $5 (okay, $10) lipstick and 5-for-$25 knickers (I hate the word "panties"; it's insipid).
This allows me to have the things on my list, which makes me appreciate them all the more.
To be fair, I am already the owner of a few quality possessions. I have a couple of nice handbags, a down quilt, and sturdy luggage. I own a few pairs of good shoes (comfortable AND cute). I have warm boots and winter coats (Chicago essentials), and some gorgeous jewelry. Not all of my earnings over the last fourteen years were squandered senselessly (unlike my talents).
The beautiful thing is that these objects have now taken a cherished place in my life and are no longer taken for granted or forgotten in a closet.
The clutter is clearing, and with it, my vision.