I don't have a lot of 'nice' things. Don't get me wrong- I have cute things, they're just not usually very high quality. Anything nice that I do have is almost certainly a gift or a hand-me-down from my mom. I've always said that were it not for my benefactor, we'd have cinder block bookshelves and bed sheets stapled to the windows. Because of her, my home has never reflected how truly poor we might have been at the time. I was raised in a very nice home and was quite accustomed to fine things, but as I ventured out in a poorly disguised version of 'living on my own' I became more and more aware that my adult life would probably not mirror the example I had as a child. I was not raised in wealth, nor was I particularly spoiled, but I never had to go without and I could usually have what I needed. Our homes were not small, and they were always beautifully appointed.
I went through a series of progressive adjustments once I left the comparative luxury of my parent's home and became accustomed to the fact that I would lead a simpler lifestyle. My lack of expensive things originated from the lack of money necessitated to buy high quality things, but fortunately for me it has also become a choice of lifestyle. I have definite opinions, styles, and preferences, but I have found that they can almost always be accommodated without spending a lot of money. Because I was fortunate enough to be raised in beautiful and creative environments I learned to create those spaces myself. There are times when something may warrant spending as much as you can afford, when you are buying an investment piece or something substantial where cheap just won't do, but many more times when it is just not expedient to spend exorbitant amounts of money unnecessarily.
I'm also very casual. I don't own or even want china. I don't care about a formal dining room. I don't care much for anything formal in fact. And clothes? Getting dressed up and accessorized once a week for church is fulfilling enough for me. The rest of the week I am usually happy in jeans or even stretchy pants unless an occasion warrants otherwise. Sometimes I work hard and sweat profusely, staining my clothes. I get down on my hands and knees and get to work, in whatever I'm wearing. I have to scrub toilets and bathtubs. I clean litter boxes and wipe bums. I need clothes I can move in, and that will not cost me an arm and leg to repeatedly throw in the washer and dryer- or worse, dry cleaning! (the horror) And sometimes I drip ice cream down my front, or more often I drop food into my cavernous cleavage. Sometimes I don't find it until I change my clothes at night when it falls out of my bra.
I also have kids. As a new mother I was aghast to find dry clean-only baby clothes! I don't want silk covered chairs that I have to cover, again, when they are in use to protect the silk. I don't want fabrics that will stain and ruin with the very threat of little fingers approaching and that will stain once again as I try to clean them. I don't want delicate drapes that will tear the first time one of my errant children plays in them despite my repeated threats of bodily harm if they should do so. I want something I can repeatedly throw in the wash and know it will come out alright. I want a clean home as well, and feel satisfied by washing something and then drying it in high temperatures, erasing and killing whatever may be there, real or unreal, seen or unseen.
A long time ago as I was washing my living room pillows for the umpteenth time, I realized that I live a 'machine washable life', and I like it. I think you could aptly describe my whole life with that term: Machine Washable. Sensible, practical, durable, affordable, but still cute. Something that might get dirty frequently because you really use it, sharing it with people in your life, but is easily remedied, coming out clean again and again- if not a little worse for the wear.
That's me- Machine Washable. My person, my home, my lifestyle.