What is it about our culture, our modern age, that makes it so hard for us to hear the word "No"? Is this quirk of our nature a modern plague? Is it made worse by the sales and service world we live in? Look at the sales and marketing section of any bookstore, and you'll see dosens of books on how to get a customer to say Yes!
Lately I have been going back to "No." It isn't just that the economy is in a slump; it's that I am overrun with stuff. Heck, I spent most of my weekend cleaning stuff, reorganizing stuff, getting rid of stuff. How much better would my weekend have been were I to live my life more simply, with more No's and fewer Yes's?
I'm itching to go to a bookstore, now that I've finished The Constant Princess, but I found many books this weekend that I haven't even read yet. I picked up the anniversary edition of Roots, a couple of new books by Lisa See (wonderful writer who writes about ancient China), some Rita Mae Brown, a couple of books by Barbara Kingsolver (another of my favorite writers)... Those books have been gathering dust, waiting for me. I have a tendency to make several impulse purchases when I go to Borders or Barnes & Noble. I will see one book I want on the "3 for 2" table and will buy those other 2 just because it's a package deal. (See how they got me to say yes? A clever ploy). Well, I'm staying away. (God, this is going to hurt).
Hubby and I almost went and bought a new TV last week. We are so behind the times. We have two Sony WEGA TVs which were all the rage in 2001 when we bought them. We got one for our bedroom and one for the living room. We paid a pretty penny, too, but now flat panel LCD or plasma sets are all the rage. Well, we don't have one. We resisted the cunning salepeople. We avoided filling out the credit app that would give us 18 months same as cash. Boy that is tempting, isn't it? But we want to pay a few things off and then pay cash for a new set, just as we did with the new refrigerator, just as we did with the new washer and dryer. Cash is king with us now. The salespeople don't understand. "You don't want to charge it?" they ask with a bewildered stare.
The credit culture we live in is so scary. It means we can all live beyond our paychecks. We can have things RIGHT NOW. We never have to hear the word "No" even from our own lips. I watched a video this weekend called, "Maxed Out," which is about the way Americans pay for everything with plastic, some making only the minimum payment every month and never ever paying off that TV, that appliance, or that furniture. Scary. Sad. We are such suckers for a pretty bauble. I don't know what it's like in other countries, but one of our problems now is the presence of credit grantors on the college campuses at check-in time. They hand out plastic like nobody's business to kids who may have never been away from home or had a job before. In this video, two moms talked about their kids who ended up killing themselves over credit card debt they incurred after going away to college. So sad!
So I am trying to learn the word "No" again. With less debt, I would have less worry. When I pay cash for something, I get to just enjoy my purchase without hearing that little voice in my head saying, "Okay, now my own personal deficit is up to $____, 000." I don't like the word "No," but I also don't like the stress of debt.
I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on this topic. What is debt like where you live? Are you facing any kind of economical crunch the way we are in the USA? Do you pay cash for things? Do you like to tell yourself no about things?
For now, I'm saying no to the computer. Need to take a break after a long work day.
Peace (out) - D