While that doesn’t seem like a really interesting subject for a blog, bear with me. You’ll see as you read along.
My daily routine starting a bit earlier with the spring sun arising is the same as it has been for years. As I use the excuse of going to the grocery store to force myself to get dressed and out of the house, the routine is the same. Same sweatshirt and same jeans and same gloves and same helmet and same path are the routine. The view changes by the seasons, but the route there and return are always the same. A few faces pass when the weather is good and all alone when the winter wind blows.
Now you are saying, “What does this have to do with toothpaste?” Well, I’m my mother’s son. I do go to the grocery store every single day to try and find something to have for my daily meal, for I do not keep a refrigerator full of food that will go bad and be thrown out. Buy only what you need to eat and don’t eat anything bigger than your head.
The toothpaste reference is that I really didn’t need to buy toothpaste. There is still toothpaste in the tube I’ve been using for months, but I just decided to splurge.
Now my mother grew up in the depression with 12 brothers and sisters so she grew up financially frugal. She squeezed every penny as I was growing up but I just saw the 50’s adoration to consumption. Credit cards, cheap loans, refinancing were all my monetary sirens and I feel for all of them.
Then as the years start to wane, the ghost of the forgotten savings brings the worries of the remaining days. All the lust of spending and the joys of vacant pleasure like a consumption orgy have come to bear. The financial institutions are all to ready to use your last pents for promises that will never be made.
Having come under the penitence of the vigilant tax collector, I count my pennies and pay on time, just as my mom would do. I have wasted more than I can ever explain but at the time it was worth it. The bankers have fed on me with fees and interest and whatever they throw my way, but I’ve come back and bet them all.
Among our gods, the almighty dollar seduces all, believers or not. Even with our past history of inflation and depression, our love for things we cannot afford is our greatest sin. Education, housing, transportation, etc. all hold temptations to spend more than necessary to survive. The stress of survival creates all sorts of other demons.
“So why is buying a tube of toothpaste so important to the economy?” you ask. It is because I went out and frivolously purchased another tube of toothpaste when I didn’t need one. I’ve got a good couple of weeks worth of goo coming out of a tube if I squeeze it right, but I decided to be proactive and purchase another tube.
I think how wasteful I was but it wasn’t my first purchase of want and not need. My house if full of dusty items from excursions into the shopping adventures. The ultimate satisfaction of owning a desired object is fleeting.
So the windows are open and the birds are singing and the trees are filling in as the old winter disappears and the sun shines again. A new fresh spirit overtakes the world, at least what I see everyday on my way to the grocery store, and there is a full tube of toothpaste sitting on the shelf ready to go.