Saturday, January 14, 2012

What matters most

I get one more weekend to grieve/celebrate my friend before the rest of life marches back in.  The celebrate part is nearly mandatory, in fact.  Here are the directions we all got recently:
Ladies and gents, I think you know that Kristie would not want us looking down and dumpy at her funeral. I think we should dress with style and spunk, make-up and colorful tissues to cry into. Let's celebrate and remember Kristie HER way, with brightness and light, fun and pizzazz. I remember that one of her favorite expressions was, "How festive!"
So here's a little post that Kristie would have gotten a kick out of:  her life as seen through the eyes of a Miser Mom.

Kristie was spontaneous to my planned.  She was glitzy to my granola.  She'd tell people, "I'm this woman's right brain.  She needs that in her life."  (She'd also tell people that I was her left brain, which she claimed she needed).

She lived on a dance teacher's salary -- a dance teacher at a Catholic High school, in fact -- so she didn't have a lot of moolah rolling in.  But she bought gaudy impulse gifts for people all around her, all the time.  My own Christmas letters are frugal (printed at home) and task-oriented (a letter catching people up on what we look like and what we're doing).  Kristie splurged on multi-dimensional marvels with moving parts.  And food?  Kristie LOVED fresh fish; I'd go with her to the fish market to see her flirting with the owners and bringing home a pile of wonderful, but expensive food -- and I'd go home to my bulk-purchased grains and largely vegetable cooking.

But, to my surprise as I got to know her better, she never carried credit card debt.  In fact, until this summer when she bought a new car, she really had no debt at all, and she was very very proud of that (especially around her left-brained friend).

The apartment she lived in was little; hot in the summer and cold in the winter.  She didn't much like it, and she was constantly looking for something better, but she wasn't going to give up the gifts/glitz/meals she loved to get a bigger place.  She drove the same old beater car for 15 years until it died.  The only reason she bought a new car was that (like other people I know), she realized after lots and lots of searching that used cars have been priced up recently, and new cars are a relative bargain.  She was a tough negotiator -- I went along with her as her "body guard" to about a dozen car dealerships.  But of course she schmoozed and flirted with all the sales people at the same time.

It's the age-old advice:  to live your life with integrity, you spend your money on what matters most.

I haven't been able to find a Viking Helmet and Viking Boobs in nearby stores.  Honestly, I'm a little bit relieved that I won't be buying some plastic crud, even though Kristie would have loved it.  I'll probably end up wearing my glittery evening gown, together with the tiara and sun glasses Kristie bought me.  I-daughter will wear her square dance outfit; K-daughter and her boyfriend are dressing like kids from Grease.  There will be a big dance afterword.  Festive indeed.

Grieve and celebrate.

1 comment:

  1. Your friend sounds like she was a very bright incredible light and person that will be dearly missed. I love the festive spirit of how she would of wanted it. Sounds like you two balanced each other out wonderfully. I am deeply sorry for your loss.