Monday, November 3, 2008
Taking pleasure in the little things—a pep talk
Sure, it’s a bummer not being able to soothe yourself with expensive toys, couture, gourmet delicacies or electricity any more. But look on the bright side. When you’re poor, you really learn to appreciate the simple things.
I’ll use an example from my own life. A moment of epiphany. One fall afternoon, before my car was repossessed, I parked hastily to pick up some free samples being passed out on the corner and returned to a piece of paper on my windshield. My heart stopped when I saw it fluttering in the wind.
My mind raced darkly as I approached the car. I thought to myself, ‘Dear God, if I just got a $40 parking ticket in order to get free samples of Fiber One cereal, shoot me now. I’m going to be so poor, I’ll have to eat the Fiber One. Why me? Life is so freaking unfair I don’t think I can bear another minute. I hate Fiber One.”
But before I could lapse into a deep depression, I reached under the windshield wiper, and saw it was only a handwritten note that said “nice parking, asshole. Fuck you!” A surge of joy and relief rushed through me that I can only liken to winning the Olympics or consuming eight Scharffenberger milk chocolate nibby bars in one sitting. I believe I might have even done a celebratory fist pump.
It was at that moment I realized, had I been solvent, the note would have brought me no joy at all. When I had money, I needed expensive, meaningless possessions to make me happy. But being poor, a scrawled, “fuck you” note” is like a gift from the heavens. Now imagine the potential bliss of an eviction notice or “Dear John” letter.
When you look at it this way, there’s so much to look forward to.