Crumbs From the Corner: Adventures in Woolgathering

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Purchasing Under Pressure

Too many people spend money they haven't earned, to buy things they don't want, to impress people they don't like.

-Will Rogers

Spouse possesses one pair of sunglasses and they broke after nearly ten years of use. The plastic rim snapped and will just barely hold the lens in place. From time to time the lens will suddenly just drop out should Spouse nod too enthusiastically about some particularly fresh way for us to save money. Spouse, now looking like an eye-patched pirate, will, thanks to mighty decent reflexes, catch the lens before it should hit the ground -for that would be something the sunglasses could not recover from. After a dreadful moment a couple of weeks ago when the lens was very nearly not caught in time, Spouse said, "that was lucky, wasn't it?"
I vehemently disagreed, stating that perhaps such an event as the lens tumbling to the dirty street would inspire Spouse to seek out a new, and well deserved pair.
"Well," said Spouse with the utmost sincerity and seriousness, "it would be most awful if they were gone just like that. You see, I really don't want to have to buy a new pair under pressure."
Under pressure, Spouse says. I am afraid I laughed at that one. Let us examine, if we may, this pair of sunglasses.

Said glasses were purchased: ten years ago.
Said glasses have been defunct: for one year.

One year ago they snapped and should, at my request, have been put out to pasture.
Some indelible facts about us include that:
-We do not dumpster dive, except under exceptional, entirely fortuitous and random circumstances such as extricating particularly wonderful items upon which we have not the heart to turn our backs.
-We do not starve ourselves: truth be told, we eat exceptionally well. We love our homemade food and we spend hours every weekend simply cooking and listening to music.
-Our clothes are in fine shape. If we find a sock with a hole, it becomes a sock with no home, for we dispose of it immediately.

We do look after ourselves in that sense. We certainly do have a comfortable, simple and happy lifestyle. Why, then, are we so reluctant to spend the money on such items as necessary sunglasses? We are not the sort to treat ourselves, but instead each other, as a rule. If they were my sunglasses, I emphatically guarantee that Spouse would have good heartedly forced me to replace them long ago, for my own sake. If I thought for a moment that I could choose the right pair I would buy them for Spouse but one cannot choose a pair of glasses for another person, especially one who thinks a year of knowing that the sunglasses are about to be jettisoned, is 'pressure.'

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