I don’t deserve dryer sheets, and other weird Mary quirks

Nov 19, 2009Find joy today

So I’m in the grocery store today, facing an internal battle. It went something like this:

My brain: “Mary, it would be fun to buy dryer sheets, make your clothes soft and smell nice.”

My neurosis: “No. That costs too much money and it’s entirely unnecessary. Don’t you know it’s time to pinch pennies, not spend money on frivolity.”

My brain: “But, um, you haven’t ever bought dryer sheets, for as long as I’ve known you.”

My neurosis: “Precisely. Because they’re not important.”

My brain: “But today you thought it might be nice to try them.”

My neurosis: “I know, but I don’t deserve them. I don’t deserve to buy nice things for myself.”

My brain: “Aha! Now I see what the real issue is. You have a worth problem.”

My neurosis: “You sound like my husband.”

My brain: “Mary, I give you permission to buy dryer sheets.”

So, reluctantly, I steered my cart full of store brand things (I don’t deserve name brands, mind you; plus, they cost more) down the laundry aisle. I chose the cheapest possible dryer sheets, smelled each scent, opting for Winter (makes sense, right?). I placed them in my cart, feeling naughty and rich and like I’d gotten away with something–which I had.

I paid the $2.39 for the dryer sheets, coddled them home, and threw one in my spinning dryer. And when I smell my softened clothes, I’ll feel many things at once:

  • Joy that I finally gave myself permission.
  • Chastisement that I splurged.
  • Happiness for better smelling clothes.
  • A hint of feeling like maybe I’m worth dryer sheets after all.

So there you have insight into my neurosis. Am I alone? Do you fret over these things? When I shop for clothes, I always buy on sale or second hand because I don’t feel I deserve to pay full price (which, of course, is mixed in with my utter frugality). Do you struggle with this?

Signed: Dryer-Sheet-full in Texas