So, the wife has been in business for herself going on a year now, and while it's been a success, I have noticed a few changes that have gone along with it. For one thing, there's the whole "She's a Very Important Person" thing I tease her about on occasion – the way her moving and shaking means that she sometimes gets quite offended if I suggest that she could go without her cell phone for a few hours, or that she doesn't really have to check her email during sex.I don't mind, as it's all made her very happy. She's one of those driven, type-A folks, and nothing makes her happier than to be busier than a one-handed monkey in a nit-eating contest. The only time it bugs me, really, is when something odd comes up.Like her reaction when I mentioned the existence of (and my attendance at) garage sales.Y'see, I was raised Yankee. Hence, to me, there's no higher praise that you can bestow upon a person's character than to say that he shops at garage sales. Garage sales are the consumer society antithesis – the only venue where the useless crap we fill our lives with sells for an appropriate price.

However, to her, this garage sale thing somehow implied poverty, and clashed with the high-powered business motif she's got going on. Which, I guess, isn't such an unusual reaction. I could see it reflected in the people who live in the Country Club of Louisiana but don't have any furniture in the second stories of their homes – because they're mortgaged to the hilt, trying to sustain the visible signs of an affluent lifestyle hardly anyone can support without being an outright crook.

Or an heir.

Us, we're like most normal Americans: one bad month away from the creditors getting really angry. But we make do, we survive, we keep the kids clothed and fairly happy, and we don't let money dominate our lives too terribly much. We know it will, if we let it.

Part of what we figure makes us work is the fact that we married fairly young and spent those first few years properly dirt poor. When you've survived those late-college/early-post-college years of having hardly anything to your name other than student loans running out of deferment, you know that you're truly in it together.

Just so long as you keep on the same page as the spouse, anyhow. Which is why I most definitely do not, for the record, ever attend garage sales. Or buy things found therein. To do so would be at odds with my very successful wife. Because everyone knows that successful people don't shop on the cheap. (Or clip coupons, either, of course.)

Being a success sure can cost you.