You know, there are some things people just shouldn’t do themselves. A few weeks ago, I rented a carpet steamer and cleaned my own carpets. Good God, that was a mistake. Not the cleaning, obviously, but having to witness what my family of three managed to put into our carpet over the course of a year. No one should have to see that. Just. No one.

Of course, I’ll do it again in a few months. It’s cheaper than calling Sears.

But it got me to thinking about how completely “unprivileged” I am. I have several friends and family members who really *are* privileged. And by that I mean they can throw money at just about everything that I can’t. Furniture? Just walk into the store, pick what you want, and have it delivered. Party? Have it catered. Kid grinds Play-Doh into the carpet? That’s a problem for the cleaning lady. I love them all, in their own very special ways, but they don’t really understand that, yeah, you want new furniture, but it’s not worth charging it this year when you have a lot of other things that need your financial attention. Or else they do understand it and remind you of it, somehow, but that’s a story for another day. And, for the record, we’re doing just fine.

But I started thinking about what it means to be privileged. Now, really, I’m not proletariat. If you wanted to transplant me into a house about three times the size of this one and give me enough money to furnish it however I wanted and to hire someone to clean it and, you know, add a nice Volvo wagon to sweeten the pot, I wouldn’t turn you down (unless you were the GOP courting my soul for a vote). I know what I like, and sometimes my tastes run a little expensive, but buying stuff isn’t my loftiest aspiration.

But I do feel privileged because I know non-money-flinging ways to solve problems. Why on earth would I pay someone $60 to change a brake light bulb when I can buy the part for $4 and spend 10 minutes doing it myself? Give me a budget of $100 and I can throw a fantastic party with delicious food and plenty of fun. The house isn’t spotless or even organized, but it’s passable and mostly clean. I’m not trying to toot my own horn, but about a month ago I removed my driver’s door panel, used a diagram to locate the faulty door sensor, and removed it so my dash would stop dinging and telling me the door was ajar. I haven’t hooked up the new sensor yet, because you can’t see the part but have to do it by touch…but give me time. I would rather spend that $200 on something else.

I guess I’m just feeling capable today, glad that I can do these things for myself, glad that I’m reasonably self-reliant and am able to function without someone else to clean my toilets. I have a great kid, a husband who gets me and isn’t controlling and thinks I’m a good reason to come home every day, a job that lets me work mostly on my own terms, a reasonable degree of talent. Isn’t that privilege? And isn’t knowing how to spell “privilege” a privilege all its own? 😉

I’m not saying that I wouldn’t love to let someone else do my laundry and mop my floors while I got a pedicure and bought a disgustingly expensive handbag…but anyone can do that. Show me a woman who can replace her own wiper blades, fix a toilet’s innards, or wrestle with a non-compliant turkey neck, and I’ll show you a rare bird indeed.

Peace out.

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