« on: February 03, 2011, 11:07:23 pm »
Mickey is nearing thirty and his roommate is moving out on him, in with his long time girlfriend. He's working three jobs and can barely make their meager rent, so there's no way he'll be able to afford living solo or find a cheaper place. So he's moving back home. We're not exactly living in Manhattan - so why can't this dude pay for rent?
Alex has a lovely wife, two kids, and a spotless little home on a nice street. And he's fucking miserable. He comes into work 30 hours of overtime, at least, every week. He pulls in good money, and yet he claims he's always broke, so this overtime is necessary.
Jeanine attends weight watchers meetings. Like her strictly catholic upbringing dictates, she's guilty as hell when that weekly weigh-in doesn't go down, and she hates herself for it.
All three of these people have something in common. I actually know all three of these people, and I do think quite highly of them. I'm incredulous as to how they can convince themselves that they can't afford to pay rent or work reasonable hours.
Mickey and Alex are similar. Both of them, several times in the same conversation, have stated their precise problems and not even realized it. Mickey bought $200 worth of comic books last week. Alex just bought a $400 watch on eBay, and sold it for profit - which he will then put into another watch, and another, and he doesn't always break even on them.
I think Jeanine has it toughest. She's a sensitive one, and not a very strong one either. She did great in the weight loss program overall, she really did. Yet now that she's maintaining instead of losing, every week it's the same song and dance: there was candy or cookies someone brought into work and she couldn't stop eating them. So she's down as hell on herself for it, and she feels bad for the rest of the week instead, well, just not eating them. But it's the wording here that's frustrating: she couldn't stop, or it's her co-workers' fault for tempting her with the garbage she shouldn't eat.
It opens up infinite avenues of debate, of course, on the addictive nature of eating or buying things, as well as the entire process of losing weight. That isn't the issue here. The issue is that we have people who convince themselves that their money somehow just disappears, or that the scale goes up of its own accord, and their quality of life suffers from it.
Losing the freedom of your own space, sacrificing the entirety of your life to your job, feeling bad about eating crap you shouldn't - they're the prices paid for a comic book, a watch, a cookie. I actually have nothing personal against this, so long as you are actively willing to pay that price. If you think "well if I buy this booze, I'm going to get fat from the calories and broke from the cost," you need to be okay with the consequences of that before you go through with it. Props to you.
The alternative is creating a willful mystery. You refuse to face the sad facts that a short term poor decision has long term consequences.