I’m not really a princess. It’s even been said (by my sister) that I’m the lowest maintenance person in the world. I think my sister meant that I’m the lowest maintenance person she’s ever met. Of course, Nancy Botwin that she is (straight out of that first year of Weeds), she has never actually left her upscale exurban ghetto which really does resemble, remarkably, Agrestic. But when we arrived in this princely town, with its grand 18th century estates, a candle in each window, and its picturesque town square, I felt like a princess. Also, despite what “Nancy” says, I might have a couple of princessy tendencies. But for now, I’m going to do without—and so will my family of 5.
So that’s what this blog is about: the year we are going to do without. By without, I don’t mean without food or shelter. Actually, I don’t even mean without private school or organic milk (I am not giving up the chance for my children to enter the private-school-private-college-privileged-life track, though somehow my husband, The Scientist, and I managed to get derailed from it, and I am not feeding my kids antibiotics and hormones and whatever other disgusting things end up in the milk in this country). I mean without lattes, sushi, manicures, pedicures, laser hair removal, hockey, Music Together, $100 Lego kits (recent DIRE requests for this category include Max Security Transport and Space Police Central), iPhones, iPads, organic eggs, organic kosher free-range grass-fed meat from Kol Foods which I really wanted to try upon moving to the East Coast, garbage bags that come with the ties built-in, Netflix, trips to Europe, and trips to Whole Foods. Many of these have been staples in our lives. My oldest, LL, had traveled in Estonia, Latvia, Germany (twice), England, Italy, Belize, Mexico, Canada, and the U.S by the age of 1. The middle child, Cool J, didn’t do too badly, traipsing off to Asia at a year. My youngest, Baby MoFo, who is just shy of 1, recently made his first international trip (our move)—to the U.S. from Canada—and I think he’s done for a while.
We are spoiled. I can’t deny it. We have some fine ideals, I think, but we’re not always good at living up to them (I can’t bring myself to read Stuff White People Like because I’m afraid it will hit too close to the bone). We love the library, but we prefer to own our own books (and by our own, I mean our own—my husband, The Scientist, and I have separate libraries with many of the same books; it’s not uncommon for me to order 2 of the same from amazon.com —after all, I must write my comments in my book, and he must write his comments in his). We love public transportation, but as a family of 5, our Odyssey seems so much more practical. We love the idea of living simply, of having no material attachments, but when we moved to our new home on the east coast this month, we managed to schlep with us 1600 cubic feet of crap. The thing is, though, we are a spoiled family of 5 about to embark on a serious adventure—the adventure of living off of a gross salary of $50,000.