Low Budget

skullsLike the Kinks song, I’m on a low budget. One step forward, two giant leaps backward.

Today I found these skulls on sale – $2.11 total (including tax) for all five. It is too late to do anything for the Day of the Dead, but I will be ready for next year.

Where I work, there are two high-shrink aisles. Shrink means that merchandise on the shelves is not what the actual inventory indicates. It is lower due to five-finger discounting.

The art supplies aisle is one of them – it seems that artists in particular like to help themselves to freebies, legal or otherwise.

I know one artist that used to go to art supply stores and would switch the premium oil paints with lower price paint cartons -pay for the cheap crap and come home with high end tubes. Oil paints no longer come in outer boxes because this practice was so prevalent.

I have always been too honest – or maybe too chickenshit – to shoplift.  Instead, I go bargain hunting. And when I see a deal, I buy.  These paper mache’ skulls were marked down to 47 cents each – and by chance I had $2 in my wallet!  My entire paycheck goes to support a 22 year old son who refuses to work, and instead opts to play video games all day.

My girlfriend used to complement me on my paintings, exclaiming how she loved my change in palette. That is artist terminology for the range of colors used in a painting. I finally told her that the change in palette was dictated solely by the paint that I had on hand. If I didn’t have the color I needed for a particular painting, I used another color rather than spend $20 on a tube of paint.

That sort of painted me into a corner – pun intended – since now I am expected to use unexpected colors in my compositions.  But that is also freeing, as my style is now known by the unusual use of color.

This week has been a big downer. For the last decade I have been patiently waiting for landmark dates where I would eventually enter into fiscal freedom. Every milestone date met with besetting circumstances – and this year was no different. It is easy to slip into depression, to which I am prone, and the past few days have been supremely dark. It takes an extreme effort to prevent myself from sliding into an abyss of hopelessness.

I am fortunate to have a girlfriend that is supportive. Today, two of my co-workers actually thanked me – for what I don’t know – I just do my job – but in an age where people find ways to not work, it was touching to have my peers acknowledge me for simply doing my job. I have never experienced that before in my life! So, I am blessed to have people around me that actually do consider those around them. It is truly these little things that give me a reason to continue to cling on to hopes and dreams, and to sweat out the hardships.


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