Friday, April 10, 2009


I've been thinking about it a lot. I mean, we do think about money in that a bill comes due, we pay it. We hand over some cabbage for the morning caffeine fix. We try to plan ahead so that when the time comes for something big, we either have the cash or credit to take care of it. My family has gone through modest times, and better times, and I can honestly say that while I've never had everything I wanted, I've always had everything I needed.

But it's a whole new world. As my mom and I were saying, we're living in history right now. This particular epoch is going to be studied and analyzed, and hopefully young families will say no, we won't buy that new magnetic floating house at those interest rates, don't you remember what happened in 2008?

What's so surreal to me is that so much of the money that disappeared wasn't really even money. Just numbers on a ledger--binary blips in software. (BTW, Neal Stephenson's Baroque Cycle, while also huge novels, are an excellent study in how the modern economies and currency systems were created.) This wealth was tied up to some extent in assets, like houses and yachts and Manolo Blahniks, but so much of it was not. I'll gladly pay you tomorrow for a dollar today.

As more information comes out, the thing we knew intellectually, that a few people had access to insane amounts of these numbers, who go to dog yoga and buy $50 salads, we now know viscerally. And we're mad. Really really mad. Even the president referred to the mob and "pitchforks."

And so I've been thinking about money. Why do I work so hard and not get all these perks? I have splurged, no question. I know the sensual delights of a high end spa. But I'm tired of worried about how to pay off education before time to pay for my son's education, and tired of moving money around because such and such agency hasn't paid my husband yet the money they owe him. Heaven help us because we are both in the business of helping other people improve themselves and reach their goals.

A different, but related topic is yet another picture of a young songstress being carried, totally trashed, out of a swank night club. Where's my money to be able to party with impunity? The bottles of booze that cost more than my entire wardrobe did? Everything is so out of whack.

Jealousy? Heck yeah! I wish someone had discovered my incredible talent :) and skyrocketed me to fame and fortune. But no, that's just for a privileged few, and really, no talent required, just something to consume. A family name, a face that launches ships.

And heaven help us if inflation does kick in and basic items become more expensive. I worry about that day.

Maybe this post is therapy, who knows. All I can do is live within my means, sock away as much as I can, keep shopping at Value Village, and just hope it all works out in the end.

But it sure would be fun to have some extra money to spend, wouldn't it?

1 comment:

Nicole said...

Here here! Hence the reevaluation of the live band. Maybe our obesity problem with become non-existent b/c of high food prices. Somehow, I think it'll be the opposite.