For someone like my father (a man who traditionally has the appearance of being socially distressed except when things are strictly on his own terms), Christmas (or indeed any other merrymaking) is at first blush an inconvenience. This at least is the situation if he harbours (or my mother seeks to enforce) the remotest idea that his participation in the event is either required or expected. It’s the presumption of charity that kills him. To succumb to the social convention which attends such ceremony is for him a grave irritation, though I suspect it would be closer to the truth to label it an awkwardness or disenchantment. Whatever the limitation, there is no question that the nuisance value is high.
Friday, November 15, 2013
Wednesday, November 13, 2013
To countenance the expenditure of money naturally calls for some justification especially when the recommendation is conjoined with extravagance. Even the profligate spender harbours the shadow of concern for primary economic theory (though of course he seldom dilutes the strength of his initial devotion). By contrast the close-fisted penny-pincher buoys his preferred fiscal modesty with psychology, likening materialism to Philistinism. Between these two extremes of pecuniary dissolution and worldly deprivation resides the body of people who from time to time have what I believe to be a quite understandable need or desire to reward themselves. Nonetheless with all this talk of late about the incredible amount of debt being serviced by Canadians the idea of spending even funny money may be considered foolhardy. I think however that this is a proposition which needs to be re-examined in a context broader than mere economic principles or the loaded comparison of intemperance and frugality. It is my thesis that spending some money on yourself can be a very good thing indeed.