Over the weekend, I was talking to my mom about my ongoing TV saga, and how I’m having a hard time making a decision about which TV to buy. I told her that, no matter which way I look at it, I’m going to have to end up dropping quite a bit of money, between the TV, the TV stand, and installation and haul-away.
Then she said it: “Well, you’re pretty frugal about a lot of other things, so I think it’s fair to spend a good chunk of money on a TV.”
Frugal! She called me frugal!
No one has ever called me frugal before. And I especially wouldn’t have expected it from my mom. Before Saturday, I thought that my mom thought of me as a spend-thrift, mostly because of my spending on clothes and shoes. Compared to a lot of young women, I don’t think I spend a lot on clothes and shoes. In fact, I would say that I spend a below-average amount of money on clothes and shoes, comparatively. But if this is the case, my mom spends a waaaay below average amount of money on clothes and shoes. So she’s always commenting on my “extreme” spending on fashion. Following from that, I thought that she perceived me as quite a spender. Go figure.
I didn’t ask her because we were wrapped up in the TV conversation, but I’m wondering what made her say that. I wouldn’t exactly call myself frugal. I think I’m a financial work-in-progress, much improved from my former self, but not nearly as financially savvy as I want to be.
And then I kind of started wondering: was that comment a veiled insult? Was she trying to call me cheap? I don’t usually read much into peoples’ comments, but my mom is simultaneously Queen Passive-Aggressive and Countess Critical.* So I always have to wonder….
Do people call you frugal? If so, how do you take it? As a compliment? An insult? A badge of honor?
*I love my mom dearly, but her favorite statement is: “Well, it’s not what I would choose, but if you like it…” Just wanted to provide some context/insight.