Childhood and Money

Can you think back to the first time you understood that some people had more money than others?  I remember.  I really wanted one of those Barbie convertibles to drive when I was about 5.  I wanted one sooo badly.  My friend, Kristin Meredith, had one that we used to drive around when I played at her house.  My mom told me that Kristin's parents had money to buy it and we didn't. 
    The next time after that was when I went over to a friend's house to play after school and she basically lived in a mansion (not uncommon for Sherman/Williamsville kids).  I was probably only 7 or 8, but that's the first time I ever remember being embarrassed about my home and my possessions.  When her parents took me home that evening, I remember thinking that I didn't even want them to see our house. 
    Up until then, I was particularly proud of that house.  It was the first house my mom, Bob, and I moved in to as a family.  Before that, we lived in an apartment.  It was, somewhat ironically, the house that my grandmother grew up in.  My great grandfather built it with his own hands.  My grandmother's prints were cemented on the back patio from when she was a little girl. Mom and Bob worked hard to buy that house.  It had a pool, a big back yard, and was just two houses down from my best friend, Erin.  I loved it, until I saw that someone else had more. 
    Interesting that no one had to teach me how to covet or be jealous.  I so quickly forgot how much I had.  After a few years, my family bought a nicer home.  I suppose my parents wanted more too.  So that's what we got.  A newer, bigger house with a bigger pool in a nicer neighborhood.  We moved many times growing up, each time advancing in quality. 
    When I look back on the many places we lived, my happiest memories come from those of 121 E. Lester Street in Williamsville.  Playing "witches" with my best buddy, Erin, swimming in my pool, playing dress-up in my mom's old clothes, heels, and jewelry, performing for my dolls in the basement, having Miss America pageants with my Barbie dolls and making Bob judge, watching re-runs of Gilligan's Island... the list goes on and on... It was before I knew there were mansions, before I knew about motorized Barbie cars, before I thought possessions would make me happy. 
(Actually, I probably thought that well before then.  Little kids often say "gimme!"  I guess that's just my first memory of it.)
    These thoughts stay with me today.  My name is Chelsea, and I am a shopoholic.  Tonight, I made on giant step in the way of recovery, I cut up my credit card.  It was freeing.  I actually had two, but the other is just a $300 limit, emergency-only card I never use.  The one I cut up is a big one (a $7000 limit) that I've given in to using waaaayyy too much.  Don't worry, I didn't max it out!  It's funny how things add up so fast and then you look at the bill and realize, "How did I spend all that money?"  No more charging.  No more shopping.  I have enough to clothe Foellinger auditorium!   I better get cracking on MK!  Praise God for bringing conviction.

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