Internet service just got turned on at the new place this morning. And by "the new place," I mean a completely new house, straight from the factory (or whatever facility makes manufactured homes). I've got to say: it's a lot nicer than I expected.
Strictly speaking, it's a double-wide trailer that qualifies as a "house" only by virtue of its being put on a permanent foundation. The quality and construction are better than I thought they would be, and everything is shiny and new. I expected to hate that, but I don't.
I've also bought furniture, which is something else I didn't expect to want to do for a while, but I suppose that after living like a Spartan for almost two solid years (and it surprises me it's been that long), it's probably time to get back to some semblance of a normal life. Sleep on a mattress, sit on a couch, eat at a table, that kind of thing.
And while I'm nattering on about shiny new possessions, might as well mention the car, as I skipped that detail last time. Boris was insistent on giving me one, and the most practical and least upscale option was a 2005 Mercedes, which still seems a bit foo-foo to me even though the brand has lost its air of exclusivity in recent years (don't recall exactly when that happened, probably when they started producing the C-class, "c" meaning "cheap" I believe). Boris has a lot of sports cars and exotics in stock at the dealership, not much it the way of sedans, so I picked one that wasn't the absolute cheapest, but on the low end of the scale.
I don't have to remind myself that all of this is just superficial - the trappings of our modern material culture that values style over substance and things over the less tangible qualities that are far more important to having a proper life. I'm very much aware of that, and less comfortable about this lifestyle change than you might think. It just doesn't seem like "me," if that makes sense.
What bothers me most of all is how easily it is to slip into the role, of looking through catalogs and showrooms, picking out a "thing," and feeling this misplaced sense of satisfaction when it's delivered and set up. As much as I'd like to look down my nose at the moral bankruptcy of material culture, it's strangely gratifying. And that upsets me somehow - though it comes as something of a relief to be able to feel weird about it.
I think that if I just went through this process of a lifestyle makeover, without feeling awkward and wrong somehow, that would be even worse. Or perhaps I'm just trying to curry up a bit of self-respect as I find myself doing and thinking things that I previously thought were so out-of-character?