Girls Write Out
Wednesday, February 06, 2008


I have a weak constitution. By this I mean, I NEED the good life. All of you who feel called to poverty, more power to you, I been there, and I do NOT like being back and yes, I know the standard for poverty is far different from my own. Long story short, we have four houses and currently, the funding for two of them. Even I can do that math and it isn't pretty. And here's what that math means to me:
Clean my own house.
No pedicures.
No facials.
One soy mocha a day (hey, I have to survive!)
The same purse since August. (The horror!)
I cut my own hair.
I did my own touch-up. (No pretty carmel highlights!)
No trips to, No trips to Loehmanns or
And worst of all? I have to COOK! I hate to cook!

I have been working straight since I was 13. My first purchase was a pair of Jordache jeans and a green sweater -- this is itself showed restraint because I could not afford the Calvin Kleins. I worked full-time at the Fairmont Hotel while going to college. I had two pseudo silk dresses that were so worn out at the end of their tenure, there was nothing left of the lining. (I'm surprised my office didn't take up a collection to buy me another dress!) I ate pressed sandwich meat, rolled together pennies to buy Campbell soup for dinner and worked every weekday so I could get a free meal at the hotel.

So I am not afraid of work. Work provides me with the lifestyle I was meant to live. The kind that eases my weak constitution. Hey, I know you're all thinking that I'm a spoiled brat, but I'm here to tell you I have always been a spoiled brat (ask my mom, I was born that way -- she could not be more down to earth, so I didn't get it from her. She doesn't even wear makeup -- and she has never DYED her hair! ACK!), but I have always worked hard for this option. My best friend understands. She's a high school counselor and she drives a BMW. She needs the Beamer. I understand this.

I heard a sermon where the Pastor (not my pastor) said, "Don't wear designer clothes when it's your Wal-Mart season and miss out on the lesson." Pastor darling, I don't care if I am scrubbing toilets until Jesus returns, but I will never, EVER lose my taste for luxury. It's who I am, central to my being. When DH and I lived in the hood (murder capital of the US that year), I STILL drove my Mustang Convertible home each night. You can take the diamonds out of my tiara, but I will never relinquish it. Say what you will, I understand who I am. Maybe it ain't pretty, but I am an economy unto myself!

The above picture is my first apartment after college. I'm standing in the same place. One way is the bedroom/futon/living room/closet. The other way is the kitchen/bathroom. Note the pink fridge! I was styling!

For those of you who agreed with me that people getting hurt is inherently funny, check out "Human Tetris II" on -- Japanese game shows are hilarious!

Kristin Billerbeck
posted at 11:52 PM  
  Comments (16)
Delicious Delicious
At 9:01 AM, Blogger Denise Hunter said...

Not that I don't appreciate the finer things but . . .

I remember after Kevin and I were first married, driving through a really ritzy neighborhood and thinking about the responsibility of all that money.

I said to Kevin, "I don't ever want to be rich. I mean, how much do you spend on yourself? How much do you give away? I don't trust myself to be unselfish enough to do it right."

Denise--carrying the same $20.00purse since April '07. :-O

At 9:06 AM, Blogger Katy McKenna said...

You had me at the first two sentences. Then, at Pastor Darling, I thought I'd die. ;)

Katy McKenna--carrying the same $7 Wal-Mart clearance purse since October '07, but in possession of a rather nice computer tote from Coldwater Creek

At 9:08 AM, Blogger Sally said...

I LOVE how honest you are, Kristin! =)

I'm pretty good at budgeting when I need to, but it's not fun. Having to regulate my trips to Starbucks, or lunches out, or anything, takes a lot of conscious effort on my part...but I can do it. In fact, I probably need to start watching pennies now since we have a new baby on the way...ugh!

At 9:26 AM, Blogger Suzanne said...

My idea of finer things always involves food. I'm not going to buy a $1 chocolate bar from the checkout lane, no I'll get the $5 one from the higher priced natural foods store. I'll not stop at McDonald's (or any other fast food establishment) for a burger, I'd rather make my own or go out and have a nice sirloin somewhere.

It's not that I don't appreciate finer things, I just don't feel like they're me. Sad but true.

Suzanne--carrying the same $3 Talbots purse that she bought at a thrift store in December.

At 10:13 AM, Blogger Suzanne said...

And I forgot to add how much I enjoyed the Human Tetris II thing. Sooo funny!

At 10:52 AM, Blogger Kristin said...

See, but my secret is WHAT I spend money on. Yeah, it can be some obvious things, but I'm generous, and I spend MY money on certain things that make life better. Of course, my kids come first, as they are now, and when finances are low, that means mom gives up things. Isn't that always the way?

At 12:47 PM, Blogger Tammy said...

Yep, mom always gives up something for the kids.

I tagged all of you guys for an award. You will have to follow my link back to check it out.

At 3:07 PM, Blogger Kayla said...


I've lived in a Walmart season all my life, but I know it's not my calling. I'm more than a conqueror!!!!

Don't mock my Biblical interpretations.

At 3:12 PM, Blogger Kristin said...

Kayla, my Biblical interpretation for Proverbs 31 is that I have maids and I have to get up early, sew purple things and buy real estate. So yeah, I'm not judging.

At 7:41 PM, Blogger Ane Mulligan said...

I've with you, Kristin. I HATE housework and highly suspect any woman who says they find it relaxing. Relaxing? Breathing dust? And the only time I enjoy cooking is when my gourmet-cook-son does it and I "help." :o)

At 7:41 AM, Blogger Katy McKenna said...

Ane--"It's Shake-and-Bake, and I helped!" :)

Katy McKenna

At 8:07 PM, Blogger Jaime said...

Oh, Kristin, you SO educate me on the finer side of life! :) LOL!! We are such complete opposites I just stare at your post and wonder what it would be like to be a Princess for a day? :) (minus the color pink)

I have an admission for you, and I hope I don't offend you, but ...

I hate purses.

I'm sorry. I do. I've carried the same one out of necessity since 2005 and it resembles a shoulder sling bag they wear in Germany, not so much a Versace or Prada or whoever it is making purses these days! :)

But!! I have a way cool expensive rope bag for my climbing gear that cost over $100. And Chaco sandals that tipped the $100 mark too. So you should be in a way proud of me that I DO enjoy luxury ... just of a different sort!!

At 1:20 AM, Blogger Pam S. said...

Dare I admit it? I'm with Jaime. I hate purses, too. And backpacks. I hate anything I have to carry or put on my shoulder. I even made my daughter carry all her own stuff from age 4 onward. (Now the truth is out: I'm a bad mom.)

But I'm a teacher...and teachers have "stuff" they have to carry all the time. So rather than carry a backpack or briefcase or purse, I have a rolling black suitcase. A large carry-on! Honest. It looks supremely dorky, believe me--but at least I don't have to have anything in my hands or on my shoulder. Of course it means I have consider whether I should bring the whole suitcase to carry a comb and lipgloss....

Hmm. Maybe if I bought one of those strap-to-your-leg knife sheaths, at formal events my husband wouldn't have to carry my comb and lipgloss in his pocket.

At 1:30 AM, Blogger Kayla said...

PS. I got a Coach purse for Christmas from my cousin.

I literally screamed when I opened the bag. It's gorgeous. She was afraid I wouldn't like it.

At 1:47 AM, Blogger Kristin said...

I don't know what it is with the handbag thing. My daughter has it too. Neither one of us cares much about clothes. My mother says I never matched when I went out the door, and no matter what I spend on my daughter, she's determined to wear colors that do not match. So it's not a fashionista thing, because I really don't have great taste. I know HOW to have great taste, I just don't care.

At 9:42 AM, Blogger Leanna said...

Kristin, I am so with you! I was thinking the other day as my family was watching some cooking show as the host said, "This is so easy to make!" But I don't want to make it. I simply want to go buy it already made. I need to make enough money to hire a full time chef. Say what you will about spending money, but there is something to be said about buying quality. My son (7 at the time) bought me a snowman wallet for $10. I loved that wallet because he gave it to me. And I used it proudly all year until it literally fell apart. Now I have a Coach wallet that my dear hubby gave me the following Christmas. And it's lasted two years so far. So just remember you're not buying frivolous things. YOu're buying quality.




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The Authors
Kristin Billerbeck
Kristin Billerbeck is a proud Californian, wife, mother of four, and connoisseur of the irrelevant. She writes Christian Chick Lit; where she finds need for most of the useless facts lulling about in her head.

Colleen Coble

Colleen Coble writes romantic suspense with a strong atmospheric element. A lovable animal of some kind--usually a dog--always populates her novels. She can be bribed with DeBrand mocha truffles.

Denise Hunter

Denise Hunter writes women's fiction and love stories with a strong emotional element. Her husband says he provides her with all her romantic material, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too.

Diann Hunt

Diann Hunt writes romantic comedy and humorous women's fiction. She has been happily married forever, loves her family, chocolate, her friends, chocolate, her dog, and well, chocolate.

Hannah Alexander

Cheryl Hodde writes romantic medical suspense under the pen name of Hannah Alexander, using all the input she can get from her husband, Mel, for the medical expertise. For fun she hikes and reads. Out of guilt, she rescues discarded cats. She and Mel are presently taking orders from four pampered strays.

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