Seduced by the American Dream
I’ve recently been feeling like I’ve been seduced by the American Dream. It’s not a bad dream really. It’s just not for me. The other day I finally got around to cleaning my house. I don’t get to do that very much because I work a lot trying to pay the mortgage on the house, pay the astronomical fuel bills to travel 20 miles to work from the house, and save even a little to get the kids out of the house and into college.
I was putting away the winter dishes and getting out the regular Mikasa Southwest Pattern dishes we got for our wedding. I was onto something then. I knew I didn’t want crystal – I wanted good, cool dishes. But something happened. I began wanting the crystal (I still don’t have it), and the winter dishes, and the manicured lawn, and the deck. I got a lot of it, except I realize now it’s not at all what I want.
I was dusting the inside of china cabinet (a second hand one like most of our furniture), and realizing the ridiculousness of having all of these stupid dishes! Talk about excess! And now I have to dust them and display them (in a second hand china cabinet)! That’s when it hit me. This isn’t my dream. It was my sister’s dream and my mom’s dream. They are the reason I even live 20 miles outside the city. They loved it out here. I love the city!
Many people love it out here, and that is great. . .for them. Now my kids go to school in the city, and my husband and I both work in the city. We all love the amenities, the independently owned chic stores and restaurants, and the diversity of the city. We spend a lot of time there, and our poor dog spends a lot of time out here.
I’m 50. I think this all has something to do with the freedom of turning 50. Years ago I purchased things so that visitors to my home would like it. Now I want to downsize. I really want to simply enjoy the people I love. That is my dream. I hate cleaning and painting and gardening. I love people. I love conversation. I love connections. I don’t even mind much of the work I do. I need to create a new dream, and pray I live long enough to make it come true.