It’s come out that The Dandy’s ex-wife used to mock his interests (collecting fountain pens, knives, swords) because they’re stereotypically nerdy. Dandette used to roll her eyes at The Dandy’s purchases, too, and I don’t even know why – she’s a big-time nerd, herself (she LARPS; she has photos of herself meeting sci-fi actors at conventions; she collects Dr. Who memorabilia). Maybe she was just jealous of how much cool new stuff The Dandy’s always getting. For real, there always seems to be something due for delivery. And I used to roll my eyes a bit at that, too, because I was jealous and because his spending habits frankly worry the shit out of me. Dude spends all his extra money and has no savings. And he already had heart bypass surgery in his late 30s. And it’s not like I make enough to sustain our basic expenses if his heart has another issue.
But he says his benefits at work will cover our asses if anything happens, and he seems to have extremely marketable skills that’ll get him a new job if anything happens with the current one. It’s…probably fine?
Also, I realized a while back that with the way The Dandy subsidizes my food and rent, I am able to buy myself as much fun stuff as he does (I mean…proportionately). The reason I don’t is that I’m super anal retentive about building and maintaining a nest egg. That’s me choosing not to buy fun things; The Dandy isn’t forcing me to do without. So that epiphany made me a lot less jealous of his bounty.
(I tentatively think that if I had ten thousand bucks in my savings account, I could finally relax and let myself start spending any further money I make freely like The Dandy does. Or at least not be as tightly frugal as I am now. So that’s something to look forward to. I’m halfway there.)
Anyway, even before I realized that The Dandy has baggage from exes who made him feel frivolous and nerdy, I mostly didn’t hassle him over his hobbies/purchases (and even if I did express concern over his spending, I also think the stuff he gets is pretty cool, so I liked looking at his latest acquisitions and asking questions about them). Now that I’m reassured about our financial stability and I understand more about The Dandy’s history, I’ve made it my job to be supportive. When we found that gorgeous mahogany dresser in the garbage room of our building, The Dandy said “Hey, this will save me hundreds of dollars since I don’t have to buy storage from Ikea now. So that deserves a new knife, right?” and I was like “hell yeah it does!” because why the fuck not? Financially, he’d come out the same if not ahead (I think the stuff he wanted from Ikea would have totaled around $400 and most of his knives are around $250).
Also, in my own limited-resources way, I’m a collector, too. I lambaste myself for it a lot (the voice in my head screaming at me for being frivolous and stupid sound suspiciously like my parents) but The Dandy never, ever makes me feel bad. He takes an interest in the things I like and encourages me to buy the new shinies I have my eye on. My latest obsession is this mask. There’s no practical reason for me to have it (I could try to tell myself it would be useful for spicing up model gigs, but honestly, probably not; people usually want to draw the model’s face). I’d likely never wear it. It would just sit around taking up space. But The Dandy just says “Life is short. Why not get the things you want?”
I protested, “But what if I get the mask and then, I dunno, the cats have a veterinary emergency? I’ll feel really stupid having this $250 item taking up space when I could have saved that money and put it toward the vet bill.”
The Dandy shrugged. “What if your bank has some kind of fuckup and you lose everything? You can’t live your whole preparing for what might happen, because you don’t know what’ll happen. You might end up preparing for the wrong thing.”
He has a point. I’m certainly not going to forego my nest-egg-building and start spending everything each month like he does, but I could stand to loosen up a little. For all my overthinking, I’ve still spent money on things that ended up being mistakes and passed up buying things I later wished I’d bought. You can’t ever really know what’s a good idea. And even when I spent tons of money on mistakes, shit evened out eventually. I’m not in the poorhouse yet.
At one point – not even during that conversation but at some random other time when I wasn’t talking about the mask at all – The Dandy even gestured toward my fancy wooden display case (a garbage-find like his dresser, and currently mostly empty) and said “Just imagine how good that mask would look in there.” Goddammit, it would look good in there! The Dandy is subtly helping me find reasons to buy the thing. He’s encouraging me to do what makes me happy and have no regrets. Holy fuck I adore this boy. I’ve never been around anyone so judgement-free when it comes to spending money. I feel like everyone else I’ve dated would at least have given me a cursory “Wellllll I dunno, do you think you should?”
I hope my efforts at weeding out my own judginess and simply reveling in the fun things he buys will help ensure that he adores me, too. I really want this to last.