Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Friendly reminder for confused consumers of the world

I guess you could say that working at a nonprofit has embittered me just a tiny bit.

Not that I was the slightest bit bitter before I started—aHEM.

The following things are true necessities in life:
• food (this is not to imply necessarily tasty, varied, or healthy food—just food to sustain life, mind you)
• shelter (this involves any shelter, of course, although permanent shelter of some sort is desirable, as opposed to collapsible cardboard shelters or structures composed of straw, which may or may not come down in a storm or in the face of a windy wolf)
• clothing (this translates to any sort of remotely comfortable covering for your body, but does not in any way mean that said covering should be name-brand or fashionable or even properly sized)

On the flip side...

The following things are deemed by little old bitter me as unnecessary for life, meaning that lack thereof will not cause quick or even slow death:
• cell telephones (even an older, non-camera-phone model is still considered a luxury by many and lack of said phone will not cause harm to the phone-less person)
• fancy-schmancy fingernails that are made of acrylic or some other artificial substance and have been applied in a salon or any particular place where people sport those fashionable, stylin' surgeon's masks (plain old stubby nails are nothing to be ashamed of)
• cable television (until the 1950s, people survived quite admirably on a no-TV diet and they seemed to function just fine, thank-you-very-much, so I am pretty certain that lack of television will not cause any serious ailments and that money spent on foolish amounts of channels could and should instead be directed to payments for the aforementioned necessities)
• toys (for small OR big OR REALLY BIG people) such as video games, technological gadgets, or similarly silly accoutrements
• pretty, new, giant (or—for that matter—old, ancient, decrepit) vehicles (especially when residents live within walking distance of bus stops)
• lovely, spacious, new homes for which the resident cannot make appropriately large payments
• shiny, impressive furnishings for spacious, new homes
• restaurant food (and yes, this means A N Y restaurant, but especially those that feature real cloth napkins and actual glass dishware—because, you see, it is ALWAYS cheaper, and healthier as well, to shop wisely for raw food and to cook one's own meals)

I am getting rather weary of hearing about how people have no money for services, yet show up for appointments with new phones, beautifully manicured nails, and perfectly coiffed, highlighted, or "extended" hair. Driving recent models of gas-guzzling vehicles. On their way to go have dinner. (Remember when having dinner used to mean dining at home? And "going out" to dinner meant dining away from home, and was reserved for special occasions?)

How is the world did we get so royally confused about priorities in this goofy country? Where is the exit? Where, I ask you?


chris h. said...

I was watching my usual HGTV House Hunters late last night and wondering how a 25-year-old couple could afford a $400,000 house (with pool, plus all the furnishings, of course) in Florida. It boggles the mind. I am proud of having purchased my first house at age 26 -- it cost $38,000. (And no, it wasn't in 1940 but 50 years after that.) And yes, I struggled to make the $400-something mortgage payment!

Anonymous said...

Dont get me started - its so sickening isnt it? There is no shame anymore. Wouldnt you die of shame if you had acrylic nails and expensive purses but had to ask for help to pay basic bills? These people arent. Society makes it "okay" to do that. For some reason. Too many disillusioned liberals...but its okay , b/c when they run up their charge cards, the Obama govt will bail them out, so they can go do it again!!

Mel said...

wow, Chris--I am impressed! you go, girl! and yeah, how could a 75-year-old couple afford that? I hope they both had really good jobs and no plans for kids or a debt-free retirement... and sadly, yes, Anon., the enabling of credit-challenged Americans is enough to turn the stomach. I hate listening to mainstream adult hits radio b/c of the 50,000 commercials for different companies you can call who will help you not just consolidate debt, but also work with all the people you owe to help you get out of the total bill. Reeedic.