Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Delayed Gratification: A Grownup's Tale

Neighbors decorated their bare
Japanese maple with xmas balls - love!
Originally uploaded by reallyct
I am an Econ 101 textbook in action. I am the definition of marginal propensity to consume. When I have money, I buy the things I want. When I don't have money, I don't buy much of anything. Recently devoted partner have been having conversations about how this fiscal strategy is unsound. There has been a lot of kicking and screaming and, "but I want it now!" from my corner.

But, and it pains me to confess, he's completely right.

However, this accelerated, though long past due, grownupifying could not have come at a worse time. I want a new camera, and I almost had the money for it without invading any personal savings (paltry though they may be). We decided (and I would like you to read into this a sincere tone in my voice because it is there) that a better use of my money would be to put it in a retirement account.

But I still want a new camera. A shiny DSLR so that I can learn to take better pictures.

Aha, but here's the rub. The camera won't take better pictures for me, it will merely be the tool by which I take better pictures. Enter Plan B. In Plan B, I will study in advance of getting my sweaty hands on said pricey electronic device. I will apply what I have learned to the adorable point and shoot I currently have, and in that way demonstrate to myself that my desire for a shiny camera is about wanting to step up my game, and not about having shiny things (and I do like shiny things).

But some of the lessons involve my being cold and tired. The first book I read, courtesy of best friend's holiday gift, told me I could have the fanciest camera known to man, but if I tried to take my pictures at noon, they'd always come out looking like crap. Good photos must be taken at dawn or at dusk.

For three consecutive mornings I have lain in my warm, comfy bed, looking out the window at the magic hour light and then busying myself deeper under the covers. But not this morning. This morning, I heaved myself out of the bed and into a pair of sweats, a sweater, my llbean parka of winter wilderness, and boots, and made the long my backyard. I won't lie or pretend I am harder core than I am - it was effin' freezing!

The rose in our driveway that will not die
Originally uploaded by reallyct
I took a couple of pictures before realizing my neighborhood is not especially photogenic, and simultaneously realizing that my window of being able to walk around my neighborhood early in the morning with a tripod and not having someone call the cops on me was slowly closing.

Of the pictures I took, I got four I sort of liked. In all fairness, I let the cold get the best of me and fled for the warmer climes of my house before truly giving my picture-taking finger a workout. Now I am thinking that perhaps this needs planning. I should scout a location I would like to take pictures of at dawn and then GO THERE. I would like the weather to be a little less polar because I am a delicate and sensitive flower when it comes to the cold (the less generous among you might call this wimpy). So if you see me outside of your especially bucolic house with my camera and tripod, could you at least ask the cops to pick me up some cocoa on their way to arrest me for trespassing and criminal surveillance.

Ultimately, I will get a new camera, unless during this wake-up-at-dawn trial period I decide that no hobby is worth this kind of inconvenience, but in the meantime, I am considering this a "learning experience." Kind of how normal people don't buy everything they want everytime they want things. I'm going to try that on and see how it works.

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