My brother, I hate to admit, is a conspicuous consumer. He has a lovely new home (dare I say a McMansion) that is way too big for the 2 of them now that his boys have moved on. His wife, Suzanne, is into hosting parties for visiting international faculty and students. They entertain A LOT. He travels a lot for his job, in fact, he will be going to Antarctica for several weeks in January on an expedition to map the thickness of the ice cap. Not many people can say that they truly have a rocket scientist in the family- I can. My bother is a research engineer designing equipment for space exploration. The equipment they are using in Antarctica is similar to what he designed and built to help determine the thickness of the polar ice caps on Mars. Pretty cool, huh.
But, regardless of how fascinating his work is, the sad fact is that they are way into the consumer thing: Big house, SUV, flying off all over the world on vacations, lavish parties- things that are not at all our lifestyle. It is fun to get to dress up once a year and play with the big kids- but I'm always glad to come home to my simpler life. I don't have to worry what to wear.