Thursday, October 20, 2011

Small Closets and Small Bank Accounts

Earlier this week, while putting laundry away, I got to thinking how way back when, instead of 20+ pairs of underwear, they may have had a max of ten. Then I mused about how many coats people may have owned or pairs of shoes they had. I glanced around out closet which we had made larger in our bedroom because in a 1920's house, the closets were made for small wardrobes. I am sure there is research and data online somewhere, but I highly doubt everyone had a clothing collection like those depicted in Hollywood films "The Women" or "Auntie Mame". Imagine wearing the same dress twice a week. To some women that would be akin to committing a crime. I may have thought that way when I was much younger, but now I could give a hoot. Since I write from home I sit in my jammies, I am not ashamed, then when I get ready for the gym I throw on the workout clothes. Do not misunderstand me, I love a fabulous pair of shoes and a good outfit, but if I do not need it or cannot afford it, no reason to get crazy about such a thing.

But let me try to reel in my thoughts here and see if I can get a better handle on where I need to head.

Over the last few years the world has been the parallel universe to the Roaring Twenties slamming into the Great Depression. We had some fun times, but now we will pay and pay dearly. As everyone struggles as a collective, there are moments when you read or hear a story about people tired of "sacrificing" so they run to the closest department store to buy a handbag or outfit. I could care less that these folks get gratification this way. I am merely interested in why a purchase like that makes any single one of us giddy with power for a short time. Soon enough the power of the purse wears off and you are looking for the next thrill.
Right now there are people we know and do not know who have to choose between an electric bill or groceries, medical care or gasoline for the car. Some seriously scary stuff. And then there is what someone coined "American Poverty." That would be a person who complains that they really wanted to get the 56" tv but had to settle for the 42" or have to buy a used BMW instead of new one. Some Americans gets skewed about material items because let us face it, we are spoiled rotten and used to having our cake and eat it too. The question is, if our overindulgence can never come back, how many folks will adjust with ease or keep having a tantrum? Who can say? These times have brought on the survival of the fittest along with those trying to be fit. Sucks really. People are beholden to the companies they work for now since mobility has gone out the window. Raises and bonuses are pretty much null and void, unless you are Wall Street, which is a whole other can of worms. Layoffs are doled out on whims, health insurance policies are getting more expensive and all of this combined makes the cost of living burdensome and more terrifying.

And to think this all got conjured up by folding laundry. Small closets and having less clothes to what we have become during this economy and having less money. Multiple headlines causes my post to be all over the place. Maybe I can cue this up as a stream of consciousness piece? William Faulkner would be so proud.


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