Those that really know me understand what I mean most of the time I say, "I love eggnog." What I mean is, "I hate Christmas."
As an atheist, there are plenty of things to dislike about Christmas, but what I like the least, is more about holidays in general. You see, I'm quite the anti-consumer.
I just ate a meal at IHOP. I had their holiday promotion item which involved Banana Nut French Toast with caramel sauce and whip cream on it. The only reason I ate this was because I've been seeing ads on TV for it lately.
I don't own a TV.
What boggles my mind about advertising is that it's worth it. Do you know how much a TV commercial costs? And yet because of it a man who hates advertising, a very spiteful man at that, who doesn't even own a TV, spent $11 at your damn restaurant. Okay, so you won't see any part of that tip I left, but still, tipping means you can pay your servers as little as the government will let you get away with.
I spent $60 on Starcraft 2. The 3 store bought video games I played before that were gifts, stretching back a year ago.
I don't drink. I usually don't spend more than $15 on a meal including tip. I spent $10 getting into an all nude strip club.
I'm an anti-consumer.
Am I just cheap?
"I don't think you are cheap, you are just happy being poor."
Good quote, although I don't know if *I* see the difference.
I'm an interaction junkie. And the best interaction is not the one you payed to get. Although I openly admit I've paid for sex before, and some of those experiences were amazing. You can tip your servers, your dealers (this is Vegas, keep in mind, if some of you out there are tipping drug dealers I know nothing about this) or anyone in the service industry, and you'll probably improve the interaction you get because of it.
The friends I play games with know that if I suddenly became crazy rich, they would all be offered jobs to play games with me. I don't THINK it would be less enjoyable than the gaming they do with me for free, there would just be a lot more of it. Could be wrong though, I'd certainly expect them to play games they normally wouldn't. I don't worry so much about people's motivations though. Money motivates people, and I would pay big bonuses for winners.
I've often wondered if I went into a strip club with a chessboard and told all the dancers, "No, I'm not getting any dances tonight, but any of the girls who can beat me at chess get $1000," just how many would try.
But I'm getting away from the idea of consumerism somewhat. I think that I am cheap. Being cheap comes from (at least for me) this idea that things are just not worth your money. It also doesn't help that I'm obsessed with efficiency and in my life that sometimes translates to a minimalist attitude. How much of the stuff we buy do we REALLY need. I mean NEED.
From my point of view, toilet paper is a complete luxury. I'm not even talking about not wiping your ass. I'm talking about how if you really wanted to, you could probably do all your bathroom business in public places. You pay for the luxury of shitting in your own home, however.
I hoard. It's my natural instinct to save. How did I buy the crazy epic mount in WoW that hardly anyone had? It wasn't because I was getting online and looking up the fastest ways to make gold. I was saving. I didn't need all the little things unrequited bought. I didn't need to spend 100 gold on boots that were 1 stamina more than the boots I had, and I didn't spend another 200 gold to get them enchanted with the same thing I had on my old boots.
No, I want the 5k mount.
I don't understand economics as it pertains to big things like countries. I don't understand why people trading money back and forth all the time makes for a good economy. I certainly don't understand why the government is entitled to a cut EVERY TIME money changes hands.
I just want to save up enough money so that when something good comes along I can enjoy it, and not worry about having to work.
How many more years would my father have worked if I hadn't dropped out of college? What if I went to law school? What if I became that guy? For those that don't know me, please don't think my decision to drop out of college had anything to do with my father. I dropped out despite what people wanted from me.
And what do people want from me now? They want my money. I don't know what I hate more, when the advertising works on me like it did for IHOP, or when it fails miserably. How hard is it for christianmingle.com to figure out I never want to see it's ad on facebook ever again? Is that the point? "Oh yeah, we are going to piss this atheist off so much that he's going to mention our site in some rant, and no press is bad press."
For the vast majority of people in this country, survival is easy. We spend most of our time entertaining ourselves. Most of what we spend is on luxuries. Certainly my job, as many of the jobs in this city do, depends on people spending money they don't have to. It's entertainment.
Most of the entertainment I like to consume is free. I suppose that's bad for the economy, but I really have no clue.