So today I had the day off. It's a gorgeous day, beautiful, sunshiny, no humidity, slight breeze, around 80 degrees. (Yes, Bridget, I know it's like that every day in LA. Shut up.) I colored by hair, finished a short story, contemplated getting Chinese food for lunch but then convinced myself to way until mid-afternoon, and got a manicure. I went into one of those strip-mall places full of Asian women who barely speak English because those type of nail places give better manicures that salons that charge twice as much. I allowed myself to enjoy being pampered for a half-hour. I tipped the woman generously, and left to enjoy the rest of the afternoon.
I got about halfway to my car before I mentally flayed myself for spending $17 on a frivolity. "Self," I said, "You could have spent $8 on this exact nail polish at the mall and used it for the next two years."
Why, why, why, do I feel guilty about spending money on things that aren't essentials? Why can't I get it through my head that just because I grew up poor doesn't mean I am now? Why can't I understand that I work hard for my money and so it's okay for me to have nice things?
I don't always feel this way. I'm fine with buying a computer or an iPod, and I have no problems paying for a gaming platform or a few books or a gym membership, probably because I know I'll get my money's worth out of them through use. But getting a manicure seems like such an indulgence that I beat myself up about it.