I was going through old magazines and got distracted by a story in an issue of Good Housekeeping from several months ago. The more I read, the more amazed I got. The author, Kym Croft Miller (whose first and middle names are together so similar to my nom de guerre as to make my head spin) convinced her family to go an entire year without buying anything other than food or depletable goods like medicines and lightbulbs.
They then described something not unlike the life I’ve lived most of my adulthood.
Miller describes a lifestyle where they didn’t buy needless things on a whim and marvels about things like reusing vacuum cleaner bags and the cotton from the tops of medicine bottles. These are tricks known to any person who has had to struggle to build up a business or pay for graduate school or deal with being laid off by the school system or with having unexpected babies. The lives of many of my friends.
The fact that to Miller this lifestyle is deemed worthy of a cute article and turned into a fun, family experiment (after which they were all to be rewarded with a trip to Hawaii) struck me. Large sections of Americans live that way every day. They take sandwiches to work in brown bags they reuse, neatly folding them after the meal and tucking them back into an inexpensive purse. For many, many people it isn’t a game. It’s a means of going on.
People must not understand how other people truly live.