We have sold a tiny house and are moving up to three bedrooms plus office, den and an actual dining room, not to mention basement-  all for the new baby. We somehow have to fill it with things we like. Not right away, but enough to be comfortable and not have it feel completely empty and enough to entertain visiting relatives.

 I’m always shocked to remember: decisions are not my cup of tea. What color to paint the baby’s room? (it’s grey now) What baby bedding for our eventual crib?  What type of bed frame and bedding for our robin’s egg blue bedroom? I can’t make any of these decisions!  Then there is how will we ever afford a livingroom couch and a diningroom table?

And that leads me down to something else I am always surprised to re-discover about myself: I am endlessly cheap.  I can’t make the above decisions to fill the house with nice things because I’m not sure I believe in having nice things, or at least I don’t believe in paying full retail price for anything. I believe in having hand-me-down things and things bought at vintage stores and things gotten at Ross.

When Karolyn and I asked for nothing for our wedding and then eventually gave in and made a short registry list at a bed and bath store, a friend of ours bought us art instead- joking,  “Moorea, you’re the only person on earth that would put clearance items on your bridal registry.” From our registry we only recieved one Le Cruset pot and one Wustoff knife. I will guard these things with my life because they are the only nice things I own that someone paid full price for. I also own one piece of designer clothing: a Diane von Furstenberg black funeral dress I’ve never worn that is very slightly “flawed” and I got for $500 off. The only thing I splurge on is face cream.

I’m not sure how I got this cheap. My parents are fairly frugal, but growing up they certainly showered me with loads of nice things. I did not survive the Great Depression. As it becomes aware to me that the extent of my frugality may actually constitute a slight neurosis, it has been fairly easy to explain it to others with the idea that I’m saving the planet by not accumulating new crap. I fully believe that most of my more recent desires to buy less do have much to do with wanting a healthy planet for my child. Still, I think there might be something deeper there.

What would really be wrong with buying a house full of nice new stuff, if that stuff will last and last for years and years? We’re not likely to become the sort of people who re-decorate every few years and repeat the consumption.

Being sick most days and internet window- shopping, these are the thoughts that plague me.