My daughter loves dorm decorating videos on YouTube. There’s probably several reasons for this. 1) Her room is tiny and so there’s often great ideas about making use of small space and 1) She has been working on redecorating her own room for awhile trying to get it just right without having to spend much (any?) money and she’s always looking for cute ideas.
I mean, yeah…she could be making plans for college but she’s only in 8th grade and I’m not emotionally strong enough to think about her leaving yet so let’s just assume it’s the other two reason.
Often these “final product” shots are insane by my expectations based on how much I spent when Eliah moved off to college. I think we had a budget of about $200 and that was for EVERYTHING. If he wanted a new backpack or bedding…pens or lamps…shower shoes or rain jacket. Whatever he might think he might need for living on campus for a year, I think that was our budget.
If you’ve seen any of these videos or instagram photos you’ll know some of these girls spend that much on their BEDDING ALONE.
So…of course I’m constantly snarking on these photos/videos. I’m constantly sayings things like, “Do not get your hopes up, we are NOT spending that much on your dorm room!” or “I don’t even have that much money invested in my own bedroom and I’m a 44-year old woman who owns her own house!”
Part of this is my insecurity talking because obviously Nikki would love it if we could decorate any room she has any way she wants. We have plenty of money to give our kid’s great lives filled with many opportunities but we don’t spend a lot on furniture or decor. Hell…I just looked around and of the 25 framed items we have in our living/dining room, only 6 of them are things we did not make ourselves. We tend to improvise and shop cheap…not because we don’t have the money but because we’d rather spend it on expensive beer and races and nice pens.
So when I see that she is drooling after things we won’t ever be able to “afford” – I get defensive and my response is to belittle that in hopes to get her to find something else to dream about.
The other part of it is just that I’m blown away. I mean…I saw a conversation once between two Moms on FB and one of them said they spend $2000 on the stuff for her daughter’s half of the SHARED DORM ROOM. Now, in her defense she followed it up with, “But we’re hoping to be able to sell it all next year…we should be able to at least get $800 if not more,” so if that’s true than that’s better but still. Even $1,200 is a lot to spend and I can’t help myself when I want to mock that stuff.
This weekend Nikki had finally had enough. She pointed out that my constant barrage of negative commentary A) is simply mean because why does it matter what these girls spend on their rooms and B) makes her feel really dumb for liking those videos and dreaming about decor ideas that are similar.
Of course my first response was to be all, “THESE ROOMS ARE RIDICULOUS! SOMEONE HAS TO SAY IT!” but then it hit me…seriously? Why does it matter to ME? And these are 18-year old girls and I’m basically mocking them. That’s shitty. And yeah…this is currently my daughter’s joy and I’m just crapping all over it and how many times have I talked – ON THIS BLOG – about how it’s unnecessary to poop on people’s joy?
She was right and I felt appropriately embarrassed that my 13-year old daughter had to school me on the importance of being kind to EVERYONE, even strangers who are spending too much money on their dorm rooms. I mean, if some of y’all saw our race fee budget I’m sure you’d crap yourself and say, “BUT YOU CAN RUN FOR FREE! YOU DON’T HAVE TO DO RACES!”
We all have our things and I need to not snark on the things my kids likes no matter how much it triggers my insecurities around providing for my kids in every way they want.