I've got to step out onto my rant platform for a minute, k? My mind has been reeling ever since I watched some random show while getting the baby to sleep, and I am not going to be able to let it go until I fuss and fume about it a bit, so bear with me.
Why on earth is America (as a whole, yes, I'm making a sweeping generalization here, sorry...) so OBSESSED with super-sized lifestyles??? What is going on, people??? What on God's green earth would possess someone to spend a million dollars decorating their FOYER (and yes, I pronounce it FOY-er, not foy-AY, so call me uncultured, I could care less) and in doing so obscure and totally wreck a perfectly gorgeous view of God's creation??
People, people, people....why, oh WHY does a family of three or four "need" a 4,500 square foot house???? Better yet, as I glance through Pete's "bathroom reading", I find a house that someone is making incredibly high-tech that is a whopping sixteen-THOUSAND square feet. WHY???
I just don't get it. Quite honestly, if you're a regular HGTV or DIYNetwork watcher, you might get the impression that it's the norm to own a 3, 4, or 5,000 square-foot house and have some strange need to incorporate massive quantities of fine natural materials into your decor (which, of course, MUST be designed by someone properly trained in the art of color matching and couch-picking). There's just way too much of this need-for-excess being pushed no matter where you look. And in a recession, no less, so of COURSE those of us who can't afford to spend $45,000 to redo our kitchen because we simply cannot stand another day of laminate countertops feel like we're just...oh, I dunno, CHEAP?
Nope. Not here. There is amazing freedom in saying I don't CARE if my resale value is increased tenfold, I just don't feel the need for fill-in-the-blank. And here's where the sweeping generalization ends...because I know there are many, MANY people who feel the same way--and that number seems to be growing--and who are more interested in simplification and enjoying the smaller, more meaningful things of life rather than indulging in excess.
For now, I will laugh maniacally at the ridiculousness of seeing someone boast that he spent $220,000 on a chandelier for his foyer. What other reaction can there be? Am I supposed to be impressed? To tell you the truth, the older I get, the more impressed I get with frugality and resourcefulness than in luxurious displays of "wealth". I guess I've grown jaded. Too many times I've witnessed YOUNG (and by young, I mean VERY young....barely squeaking into their 20's) couples struggling to make ends meet but yet somehow feeling the need to walk around with high-end toys. It boggles the mind. The sense of entitlement in people today is just crazy. And the idea that we somehow "need" the best of the best is just as laughable.
When we were in Germany, we did the typical touristy thing and visited "the" castle--King Ludwig's Neuschwanstein in Fussen, which is the castle that Disney modeled Cinderella's castle on. Thing was, this rather young ruler was obsessed with opulence. Gold-gilded walls, beds, furniture...it was just ridiculous. It was easy to point out the craziness in that, but to come back to modern-day America where so many "average" people are now just as obsessed with it? An 18-inch-thick "floor" of water for guests to be greeted by? Monet-inspired paintings on your tile? Fiber-optic color-changing water walls? Um...no. If I want to walk on water, I'll go outside and skip in the puddles with my kids. My fridge is covered with paintings that are far more valuable to me than a Monet anyday...and a wall of water? Gimme a break.
**Stepping back down off of my rant-box.**
I like being able to put my feet up on my furniture. I don't mind my kids playing with paint on our dining room table...and you know what? I'm beyond happy with my $35 sets of Wal-Mart Better Homes and Gardens dishes. I think they're purdy, and I don't care what anyone else says. So there!