Sunday, November 28, 2010

No to Yuppies

That reminds me. My father in-law called me a yuppie a few weeks back. My husband thought I was gonna snap. We often joke about how his sister is a yuppie (but one I like) with her fancy coffee maker, her trips far from her house to a fancy supermarket just to get a deal on wine and her general yuppie lifestyle.

The father in-law, a character in his own right since he has been blackballed (not literally) from urologists in this area and his tendency to curse people out in stores, meant that I was a yuppie due to the fact that him and the husband fix everything (from cars to the house) themselves, while I had people do it for me. I know, not my definition, but at least it wasn’t as insulting as saying I shop at upscale stores, overpaying for labels, driving a status car and drinking wine cause it is trendy.

I like to think I am not a yuppie at all. I am sure some will object. I may be upwardly mobile in my career choice/degrees obtained. I used to drive a Mini Cooper. As opposed to the husband, I have heard of Crate & Barrel (but in my defense I don’t think I have been to one). I do not wear name brands (unless Wal-Mart’s brand counts). I only wear Converse All Star Hi Top shoes. I do not get my “hair done” (actually it’s been 3 years since someone I paid for someone else to cut it).

Yet I am not the extreme the husband is, a self-proclaimed redneck. I wince at this thought since it brings up negative images. He does like to wear camouflage. He just camouflaged the bedroom (I told him years back that he could decorate the bedroom since it was my stuff everywhere else in the house). The funny thing is he admits he hasn’t hunted in 20 years. I joke when I see other people in camo that those are “his people.” The thing is they are a culture all to themselves. I own no camo clothing except for that hat he gave me.

In Need of a Hobby

I have been spending the last few weekends by myself since the husband’s new gig has him working all weekend long. At first I was bummed. We tend to do something on the weekends or go to his folks. Now I am home both days with nothing to do. I used to spend time cleaning when he was working on weekend days. Now that I have two days I lack motivation. Why rush to do tasks I don’t enjoy when I have two days to do them. Plus who wants to do all the cleaning after finally getting the husband to agree to do a couple (and he spends his 3 days off a week doing what he wants). These are the time that being a loner with no friends sucks.

Back when I had friends, in between classes or work, I would do something with them at least one of my weekend days. Not that I miss being drug along to thing I don’t enjoy – like chick flicks or shopping. But I enjoyed going to festivals, fairs, movies, museums and out to eat. I was so poor back then one meal out a week was a treat. Now that the "weren't really good friends" are gone I am forced to find something to do with myself.

The first weekend or two I shuffled around not knowing what to do. I would play on the computer (the usual go to), play stupid mindless games, intermittently clean, watch bad television and yell at the dogs for barking at EVERYTHING. I was forced to think of how to fill my time. In my head I knew I kick myself for not writing more. I read an article about a 30 day to write a novel competition and thought back to my youth and my hopes to write a book one day. A zillion years later (it feels), a million hours of working later, a couple degrees later, a husband later and a couple homes later… I actually have the time. Now to find the motivation.

I did think about what I would write for a few days. I thought back to my old ideas for stories. The slightly immature horror script about a cheesy serial killer. A story about my experience finding the husband and all the tom foolery beforehand. A story about the colorful southern characters I have met along the years. Nothing quite pops out at me.

I tried to explain this to the husband, who hates writing and avoids it at all cost due to his self-consciousness of bad spelling and shaky handwriting. I had looked through old writing when I cleaned out my ten year old filing cabinet. I cringed when I read some of my whiny writing of day to day life in the mid 90s. I realized my younger writings were rather dark. I enjoyed looking at my short lived zine and had forgotten about the smaller second attempt.

I had to face who I was years back and who I was before. That has gotten me thinking. I always thought I would do something in writing. I took film in college and even completed a script (albeit a sad version, but I did complete it in one semester). I have all sorts of books on writing and screenwriting. After my first computer I bought a screenwriting program (on disk, not CD). Never did anything with it and now it's obsolete. I then went to major in journalism. I knew I wasn’t pushy enough to search out stories. I enjoyed the print media, but it makes me sad to see it dying these days. Now the writing I do at work is assessments that justify my position.

Then I had my first serious relationship, bought a house and sold out by working for major corporations. I did have the two year blog about daily life and my quest for myself. I completed school. I reached goals. I have a decent gig. I am close to being licensed. Yet I am still without a major goal, a focus for my new free time. A person (even one my husband claims has OCD) can only do so much cleaning to fill two days. I don’t have OCD; I just do more cleaning than his none.

I have been thinking about what I did when I was younger. Back in the day I was off a couple days during the week. During the pizza business days I would take myself to the dollar movies and out to lunch as my splurge. Sometimes I would just drive around. Sometimes I would go to a museum or somewhere I had always wanted to go. That is always an option. I do tend to like movies that the husband balks at. But in a day of instant movies downloaded from the internet and movies that come thru the mail I have become more and more of a recluse. Not that I am working on a manifesto. Yet I do like the idea of getting off the grid and I already live in a rural area. Although the internet issues are starting to drive me bonkers (I am currently “stealing” someone’s Wi-Fi in the neighborhood since the air card we had sucked).

And see, I just wrote over a page on pretty much nothing. I lack brevity!

Anyway, as usual I was sidetracked. The dogs bark at any movement on the street. So the point… I need a hobby. I have known this for years. A hobby should not be watching TV or playing stupid things on the internet. Ok, for some, but my choices are really blah. I even have a problem about repeatedly playing Spider Solitaire.
The other year I bought some things for growing vegetables. They still are sitting idly by. I am not the most outdoorsy person, although I attain to be. The husband’s new job keeps giving him free plants. Flowers, berry bushes etc. Now there is one live plant in my house. I think it is a kind that can’t be killed. The husband says that we are partitioning the side yard to plant the freebies once the cold weather is over. I even own a hat with a wide brim he got me to keep my face from burning. So there is an option that I can put off until after winter (even though I live in Florida and that lasts about 5 minutes).

I often joke about whittling, but I figure I would end up cutting myself and really, who wants me with a sharp knife.

I am not all that crafty although I tend to look at other people’s crafts and appreciate slash critique them.

I am too poor to shop as a hobby. Yet I like to wander around certain stores on occasion and look at things. There is just something about Target. I know they have some scent or visual thing that brings people in. The husband is immune to it. The place is a few steps above Wal-Mart and yet not too fancy for simple folks like me. Maybe it is the bulls eye logo that brings me in. Maybe it is the red stickers on the marked down merchandise the draws me. Yet I don’t want to be a true Target chick since when I look around there they are yuppies and I have an aversion to them. [see yuppie post]

So back to the hobby deal. I actually found a book at Walmart for $4 called Get a Hobby! 101 All-Consuming Diversions for Any Lifestyle.

It even has a quiz to find the type of hobbies most fitted to you (artistic, outdoorsy, social, sporty, technical…). I took the quiz and I came out animal loving-independent-nature loving-nurturing-patient. The hobbies that hit most of my top interests were:

Ant Farming (I hate ants)
Beach combing (I live a ways from the beach and hate the sun)
Beehiving (I have been stung too many times already)
Birding (I can do this from my front porch)
Collecting (I already collect magnets from vacations, little mini coopers, Matchbox/Hot Wheels, books, name tags, Brian from Family Guy, puppets, skulls)
Entering Contests
Fish Keeping (my past fish committed suicide)
Journaling / Blogging (doing that NOW)
Mushroom Hunting (not interested in shrooms)
Species Protecting
Vegetable or Herb Gardening (the plants return)

Well, at least that narrows down some choices. :)

Some options that did not make the book, but sound interesting are:

Tai Chi
Yoga (lord knows I need exercise desperately)
Urban exploration

I have been recycling. I recycled more at my previous address due to the county giving me two recycling bins that I could throw all recyclable things into together and they took it away. At the new homestead I have to separate and the husband takes it to the dump. I manage to recycle cans and bottles. It's not as rewarding. The husband even recycled a trash can he found at the dump that he brought home for me to put more recycling into.

I have also been reading things online about making things from other things, ie non-dirty recycling. I am not so sure if I am crafty enough, but I found a few ideas for Christmas presents. The husband says I shouldn't be sending presents to ungrateful nieces/nephew. I just don't think I should cut off the little ones who don't know that it is polite to send a thank you card or at least a Christmas card. This has been the discussion for the past week. Even his father got into it. They both think I should not give a thing to the teen nieces who are just plain rude to me. I agree I shouldn't spend so much. I also think that the little ones should get something. They all live so far away that it gets harder and harder to figure out what to get.

So during the last discussion I decided that I should try to find a less expensive way to gift as well as get my point across (it's the dang counselor in me). So I have been researching (my actual hobby I think since I don't mind putting in time to find out info or get a good deal). I found some simple crafty things I could make with things I already have or would only need a couple extra purchases to complete. I also looked around the house for things I could re-gift. Why not in the recycling/green friendly world we live in. If I go to Goodwill and find them something it is the same thing. I am also paring down my possessions - which I have been working on since before I moved. A win-win. Plus I have a pile of things to take to Goodwill to donate.

I used to find deals during the year and put everything in a box, but somehow I still spent too much. The last few years I have been getting them mainly clothes because that is what I am told they need. I like finding the deals and picking out stuff I would want if I was a kid, but then worry that they won't like it since I don;t really know these kids. I hear I send good gifts. I don't think the little ones are greedy since they don't get much. I got so excited the last couple years when I got to pick out little boy clothes. The husband doesn't like being dragged around the kid clothes sections, but he does it.

So now I have a list (another thing I do a lot of) and am working on a definite plan. Plus I only have a couple weeks before I have to mail it all off. I have joked about sending the older kids ugly Christmas sweaters or sending everyone socks. But I think I will compile all the things I am re-gifting, make a couple things and buy a few things to fill in. It will be more personal than a gift card and if I want to I can throw in an etiquette book to peeve the teens. :)

Well back to research and next week I shop and create! Wow, a hobby for this month.

P.S. I tend to save lots of things. I went through all the Christmas stuff and found I have 50 cards from previous years that I didn't use. I do not have to buy cards for a couple years!