Out of pocket, out of mind

On Friday, I dropped my son off at school. In the lobby some students were selling note cards. They were handmade, printed on an antique press in their classroom. The drawings were wonderful, each card a unique print in a different color. The funds would support the school. 25 cards for twenty dollars. Cash. Today only. Until the very limited supply ran out.

This is a situation in the past when I would have bought a set of cards without thinking. And in fact I totally forgot about my project and went right over to check out the cards and find out how much they were selling for. Then I thought for a bit. Did these cards count as something for me? Something for our household? Was supporting my son’s school allowed? Was this really supporting the school, or just buying something nice?

I realized I had no money. When we left, I knew it would be a quick dash, so I’d grabbed my keys and my cell phone. No wallet. No purse.

No problem.

I walked out without any cards. I still have cards I purchased in the mid-nineties clogging my shelves. As nice as these were, I don’t need any more.


In 2012, I'm not going to buy anything except what I've used up or worn out. For all else, I'll make do with what I already own or I'll do without. I've come up with some guidelines.


I'm Meg Hourihan. I live in New York City but was raised in Massachusetts. I blame my Yankee-ness for this crazy idea. Read more about me and this project.


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