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photo by Sheri Dixon

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

I'll Take a Handful Of the Little Yellow Ones, Please

So, we were watching our morning dose of "What the rest of the world thinks is normal and/or important" via Good Morning America. We like to do that right after viewing the morning traffic commute information for Dallas- the two together sorta act as our daily affirmation of how much we love our life, and a renewed certainty of what we endeavor to avoid at all costs.

Most days, there's at least one thing that makes us go "Huh. Weird". or "SERIOUSLY?" and every so often we can literally see the letters W T F flashing red inside our eyeballs at something especially insane.

The day in question was one of those days.

There was an expert (there's always an expert) who was also a psychiatrist talking about a NEW syndrome for people to be plagued with-

*FRUGAL FATIGUE*

Huh. Weird. SERIOUSLY? WTF???

Apparently, because of our recent National Economic Downturn, people have had to (wait for it...) WATCH THEIR POCKETBOOKS.

And that has made them sad, nay more than sad- they're (insert whiny voice) TIRED OF PINCHING PENNIES.

Tired of Pinching Pennies= Frugal Fatigue.

The good doctor on the TV warned that if Frugal Fatigue is not addressed properly and with all due respect, the afflicted will be likely to fall off the bargain bin wagon and (wait for it...) GO ON A SPENDING BINGE.

Once I got over my shock and horror at this new malady gnawing at the very loins of our Great Nation, I was stricken with a vision, a clue, a prophesy if you will about how to cure Frugal Fatigue without the help of physicians or pharmaceuticals.

So here's the wickedly simple fix for Frugal Fatigue, America-

GROW THE HELL UP.


Yep- I've had to pinch pennies all my life and other than the times I've been caring for newborns or working 2 full time jobs to make ends meet, I've yet to be fatigued for even a second.

In fact, I'm generally tickled pink to find a deal- I consider it the height of the shopping experience to see something I like, then find it at a deep discount (or at Goodwill) before making an actual purchase. I love Goodwill. I get a very real and physical thrill at coming home with a huge bag of clothing- all name brands- and having spent under $50 for what would be $500 worth of stuff at the mall.

Shopping wisely and making every penny count two or three times isn't a burden- it's good budgeting and fiscal responsibility. To give it a medical name is the first step.

That's "Recognizing the problem".

The next step is to find a drug to fix it.

Disgusting.

I can't stand all the advertisements- anti-depressants, anti-insomniacs, what the hell? "Do you find yourself sad and worried most of the time?" "Do you lie awake at night unable to sleep?"

OF COURSE WE DO, YOU ASSHOLES- OUR COUNTRY'S IN THE SHITTER AND WE'RE EFFECTIVELY HELPLESS TO FIX IT OR CHANGE THE COURSE OF OUR OWN MEAGER LIVES.

*ahem*

I'd be horribly remiss if I didn't share the handy hints to stave off the dreaded "spending binge" Frugal Fatigue may trigger, so here they are-

-allow yourself a small luxury now and then- sort of a valve release so you don't just one day go ballistic in Dillards and need a UHaul to get yer stuff home.

-only carry cash- that way you have a very tactile sense of spending money- you aren't just slapping the plastic on the counter, you're counting out actual greenbacks.

-(this one's my favorite) only carry big bills, because you'll be less likely to want to break 'em into change. Notice it says "bills" plural. Like we've all got a mittful of Ben Franklins to walk around with.

That right there told me how very far removed the expert psychiatrist and the hosts of Good Morning America really are from the reality most of us move around in.

The heartbreaking thing is that people are sitting around watching this drivel and thinking "Hey- I'm pretty pissed off and tired of not having any money- I think I've got this here Frugal Fatigue" and simultaneously "Someday I'm gonna be just like those people on the TV- that's the "normal" we're all supposed to be shooting for".

No. It's not. None of the above. If you get up every day and work your ass off to keep your family fed and clothed and happy, and you do it by shopping the sales racks and discount stores and never having a slim dime to put in the "entertainment" column of a budget sheet, YOU ARE A WINNER AND A HERO.

And don't let any talking head or PHD or TV ad with a computer generated moth on it tell you otherwise.

Rock On.

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