A funny thing happened this weekend. The subject of Joan Jett came up in conversation and my friend said that she liked the song, "Bad Reputation." I agreed that it was good as well as some of Jett's other hits that were popular when we were teens. Then later that night we went to a bar where another person was having a going-away get-together. And guess what? That very song was playing as we walked in. I couldn't help but laugh a little.
Later in my visit we were doing some tarot readings. I was pretty unhappy with mine as soon as I saw the cards laid out. I'm familiar enough with all the cards to be able to get the basic 'meaning' of a reading just from looking at the cards and where they are positioned. But I do find it helpful and fun to read the guidebook too. Anyway, my reading suggested that I will continue on the path I'm on partly because of material security. I asked my friends if I projected a materialistic image. (Jesus, sometimes I'm so naive!) One of them said, "Well you do drive a fucking Corvette and live in a goddamn huge, fucking house." Stunned, I just said, "Oh, shit!" Note to self: don't ask questions if you think that you won't like the answer.
Now, I guess I should explain why appearing materialistic seems like a bad thing to me. I grew up very modestly, though not in true poverty. I've never been one of those label-conscious women who has to have designer this and designer that. Most of my clothes come from Walmart. I'm very practical and economical in my life. I've never aspired to or been a "yuppy" which is probably a very outdated term now. The disparity between the reality of my life and the appearance of it from looking at my most obvious possessions (house and cars) has bothered me since the comment was made. Anyone who knows me knows what I'm really like, but anyone who just sees my house and my car might come to completely opposite and wrong conclusions. For about a day or so I've let this concern me.
But then I remembered that song. And I don't really give a damn about my 'bad' reputation. Any material possessions I have are the result of 15 years of building a life and stability. We have struggled and lived in conditions that most people would consider deplorable. And I realize that when people see the car or the house they have no idea about those things. And really, it just doesn't matter. People shouldn't judge others' blessings and compare them to theirs. There are probably scriptures about that as well as the Commandments about not coveting. I think the message of those Commandments is more about not comparing you and yours with them and theirs than about lusting for someone else's stuff. I think that the lusting/coveting comes from the comparing, so if you don't compare then you probably won't covet. And just for the record, I think that the ones about not coveting another man's wife or servants is more a reflection of the status of women and servants as possessions during that era. A wife (or husband) is not a possession. I think different rules apply to people than to possessions.
So anyway, I've decided that I really don't give a damn about my reputation, whether it's good or bad. ;-)