I am typing this from my new iPad. The photo at the top of this post was taken with my dSLR, uploaded directly to my iPad, edited (poorly ) and inserted into the post. Frankly it all feels a little bit unbelievable. My sister and I had suspected a possibility of an iPhone 4 Christmas, but my parents made it clear that wasn’t going to happen. I was fine with that, my sister was a little bummed though because she really needs a new phone. I put an immersion blender at the top of my list and started thinking about how much easier it was going to be to make butternut squash soup with my new kitchen gadget.
My parents had different plans though. My dad opened an iPad, a surprise from my mom. My sister and I opened our boxes, and then my mom opened one from my dad. Yes, 4 people, 4 devices. Insane.
I admit, I am left feeling confused. I don’t feel guilty that I have the gift, after all my parents work hard to earn what they have and they are free to spend their money how they please (mom and dad I love that you are spending things this way ), but this is the first time I’ve felt weird talking publicly about something I own. The act of admitting that I have it feels like bragging to me.
I think this comes from the luxury status of the gift. I have a LOT of nice things. A dSLR and many expensive accessories but I’m working hard to pay for all of those. We live in a nice apartment but it isn’t a luxury apartment according to most American standards, just a really nice place for two students to live. Our car certainly isn’t luxurious, it’s 15 years old and we plan to drive it into the ground, but I appreciate that it’s reliable and we can afford to pay to park it under our apartment building. My life is a mix of items used and new, cheap and fancy, and I don’t have any problem talking frankly about what I have, but this iPad feels different.
Maybe it’s the newness of it. Or it could be that I’ve really longed for one since it was announced and I’m still in disbelief that I own one. More likely though, it’s a sense of guilt that I have so much when others have so little. TH and I frequently bemoan the reality that the more educated and aware you become, the harder life becomes. How much do I have to give to others and how much can I keep for myself if I want to be a “good person”?
I don’t know the answer to this, and I really don’t think there is one right answer. The best I can do is to look back at what I’ve done in the past and figure how to change for the better in the future. I can talk about the nice things I have as long as I remember how lucky I am to have them. And, I think, I can enjoy the gift from my parents. They gave of their worldly possessions to make me happy (it worked!) and one way to show gratitude for that sacrifice is to let myself completely enjoy what I’ve been given.
Thank you mom and dad. I think you can tell from the way it’s never out of my sight that I SO love this gift.
A few questions today:
When you receive something that feels luxurious, do you feel guilty? How do you deal with that emotion?
How would you prefer that the bloggers you read talk about this sort of thing? Does it annoy you? Feel like they are bragging?
And of course, if you have an iPad yourself what are your favorite apps?