Thursday, August 14, 2008


I was having a discussion in the car with my husband about a person that I know. She owns a home valued around $120K and recently purchased a car. You know the one, the Lexus that parks itself and costs about $60K, perhaps more. Well, I have been wondering about things like that and I asked my husband - is it just me or does it seem strange to own a car the costs half as much as your home? My husband responded, “How does this relate to our lives?” I have to admit that it doesn’t but I am truly curious, am I an anomaly because I believe things should match? For instance if you have a million dollar home and own a $100,000 car I can understand that. But the woman with the Lexus also told me that her next car was going to cost $100K +. Hunh????

These types of things don’t impress me and don’t make sense to me. Perhaps that is why I have difficulty understanding this way of thinking. My husband said that everyone has a vice and that this woman’s happens to be cars. I can accept that. I know quite a few people that love cars. But their cars and their homes match.

Anyway, this is how the conversation about vices continued.

Me: I don’t think I have any vices, well at least none that I can think of. What do you think?

Husband: …………

Me: Are you thinking?

Husband: What are you asking? I can’t answer that only you can.

Me: But you said all people have vices, I can’t think of any. What are mine?

Husband: Don’t ask me. You may have a vice that is not outwardly apparent. It may be something that you do and know you shouldn’t. It may be something that only you are aware of.


End of conversation.

So, my husband gave me something to ponder. I suppose he’s right. We all have vices of some sort…. some more obvious than others. I began thinking and did a little research. What is a vice? According to Merriam-Webster’s dictionary:
"1 a: moral depravity or corruption: wickedness b: a moral fault or failing c: a habitual and usually trivial defect or shortcoming: foible 2: blemish, defect3: a physical imperfection, deformity, or taint4 often capitalized: a character representing one of the vices in an English morality play b: buffoon, jester5: an abnormal behavior pattern in a domestic animal detrimental to its health or usefulness6: sexual immorality; especially: prostitution
Synonyms see fault, offense."

Hmmm, I am going to take for granted that my husband was referring to 1c – a habitual and usually trivial defect or shortcoming.

Wikipedia adds:
"The term vice is also popularly applied to various activities considered immoral by some; a list of these might include the use of alcohol and other recreational drugs, gambling, smoking, recklessness, cheating, lying, selfishness. ……. Behaviors or attitudes going against the established virtues of the culture may also be called vices: for instance, effeminacy is considered a vice in a culture espousing masculinity as an essential element of the character of males."

So now we are getting somewhere. I guess initially I was trying to think of vices in terms of material things. I am not a material girl. I love nice things but you are not going to see me flaunting a designer name across my chest like a billboard, I am much more discreet than that. But, I am sure I do have vices.

As I think about it I would say my “vice” or shortcoming is the ability to put myself into something 110%. Which in and of itself doesn’t sound like a vice but I do things and focus to the point of compulsion. This can be good but it also can be very bad.

For instance, in my early twenties I decided to become a health fanatic. Focus on the word fanatic. The fanaticism was not a conscious decision. It just manifested itself. I exercised twice per day, did juice fasts on a monthly basis and became an aerobics instructor. Doesn’t sound too bad right? But, I did all of this while neglecting something very important – my studies. And if I look back on my life I can see a pattern of doing these types of things. Very interesting.

A brief conversation with my husband has provided me with an opportunity for introspection and reflection. And a reminder to pull back the reigns when I see myself compulsive about something – like blogging, I am guessing this is my vice right now. Don’t worry, I am not going to stop blogging but I am going to put things into a reasonable framework as I prioritize my numerous responsibilities.

I have found my vice and shared it with you. This has been extremely helpful for me. How about taking a moment to reflect on your vice(s)? If you choose to, share. If not that is okay too. I think this is a worthwhile exercise providing an internal barometer of how you are doing.

And for the young woman with the Lexus – I know you are not reading this - but I still don’t understand you and probably never will. That is your vice to deal with and I am not casting stones, merely realizing that we all have them and I need to take care of my own.


San Diego Momma said...

Wow, good for you.
If I had that conversation with my husband, I'd be pouting in the corner.

Egads! That's it! Pouting is my vice.

Also, I can relate to your vice. I get obsessed with something and let it eclipse everything else.

Working on it...

Luxe Tips said...

Hello Renee:

My vice is beauty products and buying clothing, shoes, accessories on sale. If it is on sale, I have to buy it. That way I feel like I am getting a deal. My husband of course does not like this vice....hee hee.

Alice said...

That woman is nuts. I couldn't even imagine the payments on a $60,000 car. *gulp* But then... I'm pretty cheap too.

My vice(s) - chocolate and slot machines. ; )

Mrs. Who said...

Thanks for the comment on my blog. I really appreciate it!! I, too, have a problem with people spending that much on cars. I just can't see that there is that much difference to pay that amount of money.

My vice - I judge people too harshly. Yet, I don't want to be judged myself!!

Liza said...

i can relate to this post, sometimes i think just like you and i believe too that things should match.

Erin said...

My vice is definitely material. I love makeup, and it's the only thing I'll splurge on. Jeans off the discount rack? Sure thing! But I've no qualms about paying $25 for mascara. I'm getting better about it, in that I try to only buy makeup when I need to restock an essential, but I do so love it.

R.L.Scovens said...

I'm not into material things either..they're nice if I can afford them, but if not, that's fine too. I'm not too sure what my vices are...I'm gonna have to really try to figure that out!

Great post!

Petra said...

Very thought provoking! Funnily, I have many vices and I know exactly what they are. Here I will list them:

3. Trying to make myself look better
4. Obsessively trying to become "perfect," even though I know fully well there is NO SUCH THING

There are many others, but these are the ones that come to mind. I guess now I should try to do something about them, eh?

Danyele said...

i am so loving ur hubby and i do the same thing!! and, funny enough, we too have had that conversation of late.

smiles to the cakes! i made one for a shower gift once, but urs are sooooo nice!!! beautiful work!

Wendy said...

Hey Renee -

I have a friend whose car costs nearly as much as her house and when she bought it cost more than her annual salary. It blew my mind.

She looks at us and can't figure out why we are driving our cheap cars into the ground, buying used, etc.

It's all about priorities and I applaud you for not being a material girl! Your life will be more comfortable, less stressful because you aren't grasping for things you can't afford.

As for vices... mine are blogging and (hiding face in shame)... gaming. There, I said it. Like a teenaged boy, I'm addicted to gaming. It's pretty ridiculous.

Carrie said...

Great blog, it's really got me thinking. I am wondering if your unnamed Lexus friend is just wanting to keep up with the Jones. Our society as a whole is in debt because we overspend and want more than we can really afford.

Good to see you and the hubby having some good conversations!

threeboys1mommy said...

Blogging is definitely my present vice. I know I'll get over it eventually, and frankly, I can't wait for that day to come.

Jennifer said...

My blog. Coffee. My blog. My blog...Did I mention my blog?

I don't think you should live outside your means. I don't think it is important to have an expensive car or house.

To me it is sad to live that way. If you can afford it awesome. But if you are doing it to fill some void, that's sad.

THopgood said...

OH Lord! Great post!

I think I have too many vices to list! Off the top of my head...

1. Cigarettes! I'm always trying to quit. I've quit approximately 1,263 times.

2. Chocolate

3. Shopping (I love clothes, shoes, purses, etc.).

4. Blogging

Weith Kick said...

The lady with the Lexus that costs almost as much as her house--I think many people's priorities in life are out of whack.

My vices??? I love to read and sometimes I think I use it as an escape. Another vice is naps on the weekend. And Slurpees. And Boston Baked Beans. The list goes on and on. I need to make exercising one of my vices again.

trashalou said...

Wow! That is definitely a thought provoking post, thanks.

Thanks also for stopping Trash Towers today.


I see what you are saying about the car and house matching and I have to agree. There is a neighbor who has a convertible $90,000 mercedes and it is about half the price of his house. I don't get it either and everytime I drive by I wonder. If I asked my husband about my vices I think he would hand me a list. I have a lot of vices.eeeekkkkk!

Sara said...

My vice is biting my nails and pen caps. Obviously, I have an oral fixation... I'll visit that with the therapist! Anyway, love your blog and your cakes.

Amber @ RuffleButts said...

Great post and really gets you thinking...

I guess we all really have some kind of vice, and really, whatever makes her happy, right? Well, I have learned in life that while material things may be fun, they never truly bring us happiness. But if that is where she chooses to spend her money, I hope she is having a ton of fun in that car!

And, thank you, by the way, for your fantastic new-mommy tips for me over at the much appreciated =)

angie said...

I think blogging is my vice......sad, but true. Thanks for this great post. I don't understand the car lady either!

mannequin said...

I *think* I might have found two.
The first one is one that any one that knows me will agree with; I have an itinerary for absolutely everything and if one little thing goes wrong, I am all out of whack and in a tizzy. The need to always be sure of what is going to happen next.

My other way overboard is my sense of pride. I've never thought of it as detrimental but have found that it can be. I would rather die than say "help". I'll spend 15 hrs doing something that could be accomplished in 15 minutes with instruction or (eekkk) help.

MomMega said...

What a great post! I personally have a hard time understanding people who feel the need to live above their means. I would be a nervous wreck if I was in major debt!

Blogging is definitely a vice, as is wine. I know I have more, but I am totally drawing a blank right now (accidentally on purpose?).

fly tie said...

interesting and something i'll have to put more thought into. i love how the conversation with your husband manifested into something more.

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