Monday, April 2, 2012

Like they're better people...

Over the weekend, I was walking to work. This normally takes me about 2 minutes to get from my car in the parking lot to the front door. Somehow, on this particular length of trip, I was joined by two women in my wake who were very loudly complaining about the mall, the people in the mall, and the fact that people were shopping at the stores in this mall.

Granted, the mall I work at is pretty swanky - as the kids say. There are luxury department stores and luxury/high-end boutique retailers and lots of stores where I feel like you have to have a certain number of 0's in your checking account just to walk through the doors. When I first came to that mall, I felt I needed to get dressed up just to go, just to be seen. I felt I couldn't really walk around in shorts and a tank top during the summer months. Or, at least, not just any shorts and tank top.

Over time, that mall has become 'my' mall, however. It's where I work. I know just about everyone in mall management, most of the security, and at least have a passing acquaintanceship with half of the various employees.

But, the two women behind me were pretty loudly deriding anyone and everyone with a shopping bag.


"My god, look at all these idiots with their shopping bags," said one.

"I know! Like buying all that expensive stuff makes them better people," said the other.

The conversation went on from there. At one point, I thought My gods, it is a very good thing I'm such a patient person. Then I thought No I'm not. Who am I trying to kid? Then I thought about saying something snide to them like "If you hate this mall and the people in it so much, why the hell did you come here?"

Then I kind of laughed to myself, because I'm defending the mall and the shoppers and the expensive things. Expensive things that, in other moments, I would probably make fun of, too. I laughed, because for a second the words 'class warfare' passed through my head, but I knew I didn't think this was class warfare, nor do I necessarily agree with the Have's version of class warfare.

I suppose I have come to a point in my life where I like to own nice things, and I save for them, working very hard and denying myself a lot of other entertainments along the way. I think that's why hearing someone gripe about people shopping in the abstract pissed me off so much. To be fair, are there people that think they are superior to others because they can afford a leather coat for $3,000? Probably. I've met some who would be pretty good candidates for that post.

I wonder from the Rioters, though, is there an inherent problem with buying expensive things? For me, I might forego buying 2-3 cheaper sweaters to buy one very nice sweater. I might wait 6 years to get new plates, but then finally get nice dishes - albeit still on sale at the swanky department store.

I suppose the problem is whether you can still appreciate the value of the expense. Have you become so out of touch with what is actually expensive and what is actually cheap that you go on television and talk about how many cars you have at each of your homes?

What do you think about expensive things?

Love and Lyte,

Fire Lyte

13 comments:

  1. I think these people are passing judgment on others without having all the facts. Money is not bad. People with money are not bad. Most did NOT obtain that money easily. Many work hard for it. Some have money at the expense of someone's life (as in inheritance.) I bet if you asked that person whether, if given a choice, would they pay back the money to get that person back, they wouldn't even have to pause before answering. How do they know what these people are buying at the mall? Maybe it's a gift for someone they love, or a robe for someone in the hospital. Is it a crime to buy things now?

    And who is better - the person who buys lots and lots of cheaper items, more than they need, or the person who buys a few good things that will last longer? People like this, who think buying lower quality, cheaper merchandise are partly responsible for our economy being in such a mess. Consumers have been tricked into buying low priced junk made in other countries, and now they are forced to buy them as there is little choice for the average wage earner. This has resulted in manufacturing moving out of the US and Canada in many people losing their jobs. It has resulted in more and more polution as a larger quantity of low quality goods are manufactured. Plastic, a big cause of pollution, is used in place of other materials in cheaply made goods. Plastic production pollutes, and plastic is polluting our oceans, as we are taught to "throw away" these things that do not break down. We hope that they are being recycled but we know that not all are.

    So - how can others pass judgement on those who buy less, but may buy quality goods? It angers me when people make remarks without knowing all the facts. There is nothing superior about being poor. I've been poor and I've been very comfortable financially. I HATED being poor. It made me think about money all the time. I worked hard and over the years made a little more money until finally, I could live without worrying every day and night about money. Am I supposed to feel ashamed of that? I don't think so.

    Sorry for the rant - but I just hate this crap. :)

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  2. That's the first time I've heard the argument from that side! Lol! I grew up with a mother and sister who thought you were trash and shit if you weren't skinny or had all the highest quality (aka priced) clothes, car, house, jewelry, sunglasses, etc. That's probably how I grew up not giving a shit about what people do or do not have but instead I care about they way they treat me and other people. I should note that both my mother and sister are fat and we grew up in the ghetto with a broke down van and wore Goodwill clothes. Lol. Now as an adult I will be moving out of the ghetto here in a few months but I still wear Goodwill clothes and you can't get me to shop anywhere else without a fight! Lol

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    1. no shame in goodwill I got 7 pairs of good fitting jeans and the brand I like (old navy) that fit me better for 21$ there :) but it all depends on the goodwill really

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    2. No shame at all in Goodwill! I actually have money to shop for once in my life and I still go to Goodwill first, not only because you can save money but because you are not creating demand for new stuff and you are saving unwanted items from the landfill!

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  3. Where to being, or rather how to being.

    I work in a big box hardware retail store in one the richest zip codes in our state and country. I hear women like this all the time because we are located in with the largest mall in the central portion of our state. Walk out at anytime and you see the massive SUVs or the nicest sports cars. The people that work inside are obviously too stupid to have anything other than a retail job. Look at those losers in their work clothes covered in pine straw or paint. On a daily basis I encounter the people that DO think they are better than I am because they have the $3,000 dollar leather jacket or the 1.2 million dollar home.

    That being said, I do not believe there is anything inherently wrong with having money, but rather what you do with it. I too would like to be able to afford the nice thing, the newest technology, but I sacrifice that for trying to get back in school. Being without money is no more of a virtue than not worrying from one paycheck to another. Saving to buy quality is in the long run much better than buying cheaply, poorly made products that break soon forcing you to buy said cheap products more often.

    Society has placed the into our heads two very contradictory points of view. To have money makes you something, a hard worker, while at the same time it makes you shallow and vapid. To be poor means you learn better life lessons, but you are also uneducated garbage to be walked upon. In reality neither life style trumps the other, although it is easier to sleep at night when you don't worry if you have enough money to feed your children or pay your rent. Have or have not, rich or poor, in the long run we are usually striving for the same goals.

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  4. When I was 14, Keds were the hot thing to have. I wanted a pair so badly. We had very little money. I wore the white canvas tennis shoes that they sold at the blue light special for $3.25. Well, for my birthday, my grandmother bought me a pair of 60.00 leather Keds. I was so excited and couldn't wait to wear them to school!! After 2 weeks of owning them the blue Keds label had already peeled off. I actually hot glued it to my cheaper canvas shoes just to seem cool. I realized that year, that labels were just that....labels. I learned from that experience that I didn't need labels to be a good person. I learned that name brand didn't necessarily mean better. Now that I am grown I buy things for the quality, not for the price tag and label sewn/printed on them. If other people want to waste money on expensive, but not always better items, then that is their prerogative. I don't think any differently of them. I would rather donate my extra money than to wear a $3000.00 coat. I would rather make 15 people warm than fall into the "label crowd". Most of the time when someone wants the biggest, the best and the most expensive it is simply to be able to show off the brand. I don't always buy the cheapest now that I can afford more, but I don't always go for the best either. I do my research and buy what seems to be the best for the money. JMO :-)

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  5. expensive things... make sure I REALLY want it. then save up for it and then use it until the thing DIES or is essentially unusable, such as really old laptops or computers that take forever to click on something.:3 its funny though because in 8 days I have a big purchase planned (pre-purchasing the collectors edition of Guild Wars 2 squee!!) of 150$, but that doesn't make me better or worse than anyone else, and hell in-game people won't even be able to tell I got the CE over the Digital Deluxe Edition because they are the same thing except the CE has physical stuff to go along with it. I just want it, and that should be enough. (yay!! gw2! >.<)

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  6. To me, it doesn't matter too much where I shop, as long as what I'm getting is a high enough quality to preform in the way I need it to perform. If it's something semi-disposable that I can find for the cheapest at the dollar tree, then YAY! My money doesn't disappear so fast. I am a student, ya know. On the other hand, if I need nice basic black heels to wear with my choir dress/for my job/etc. that have to last me a few years, chances are I'm not getting them at Payless, because most things I've gotten from there fall apart in a matter of a few months, and that's not fair to someone who gets so emotionally attached to her shoes. :P I do have a limited food budget, but I would much rather have a more strict diet of slightly more expensive organic produce than to have all the cheap junk that I crave. Like I said, it's about quality, and sometimes that high quality can lead to a feeling of a higher quality of life. For expensive clothing, I wouldn't do it unless I really felt it was essential to keeping my wardrobe interesting and was something I would wear often enough, though sometimes the expensive clothing is really better made.

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  7. I think other people's shopping habits should be pretty firmly placed in the "none of my business" category. You may save 6 years for your Totally Awesome Dishes, and my aunt might go out and buy them on a whim, and then... do I really need to make a value judgment between the two receipts? You both have Awesome New Dishes! Invite me over for dinner, and let everyone be merry. :)

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  8. The two caddy girls so like you and Velma on Inciting a Brewhaha. Sitting and talking judgement of other people without having all the facts while also being mean and especially rude.

    But I digress...personally I think if you can afford it go for it! Just don't put yourself in debt to do it b/c its just not worth it in the long run.

    ~ Maria

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    1. Maria, exactly how have we been mean, rude, and judged others without having facts?

      FL

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    2. Have you actually listened to your own show? You guys sit and belittle anyone you feel is doing "bullshit" as you two put it. God forbid someone disagree with you then you take 30 minutes of your show and insult the people that just happen to disagree with how you two carry yourselves. You even said that there is little information / fact and its just "your opinion". Well I don't agree with being mean. I don't agree with how you two sit there and go after people that you like to call "Big named Pagans" b/c you disagree with them.

      You also ask for viewer feedback and if by chance, someone does not bow down at the temple of FireLyte you deem them stupid and therefore not worthy of being in your brilliance. Get over yourself. You are NOT always right. Just because you have google doesn't make you a world renowned journalist. You are a blogger with too much time and too much bandwith. I have to give that to Velma b/c she could give a damn.

      And don't worry...I already did unsubscribe. So you can save your "snarky" comeback for someone else. I read your blog b/c I find it very enjoyable and not nearly as mean.

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    3. Well, Maria, I'm very sorry that you seemed to have missed much of the point of many of our discussions. Should Velma and I launch into a discussion of stereotypes or of calling bullshit, we are the first people to point the finger at ourselves. We label ourselves with multiple stereotypes and not only own our own fluffiness, but make fun of it in ourselves as well.

      IABHH is an entertainment show. We discuss things, yes, that are of interest and value to the community, but we use that vehicle to entertain more than anything. It's like a topical comedy podcast, full of sarcasm and satire.

      I will tell you that I have never once called anyone stupid on Inciting A Brewhaha, and I have only done it once on Inciting A Riot - in regards to conservative politicians and talking heads saying that an Islamic community center was equivalent to a terrorist monument to 9/11. That is an incredibly powerful word, and one I would not use lightly.

      By the way, the folks that write in and disagree with us or challenge our thinking - that we then spend 30 minutes responding to - end up writing us Thank You emails. We usually read them on the show. If not, they'll send us responses on Facebook or Twitter saying they appreciate an honest approach.

      At the end of the day, that's the kind of people Velma and I are. We rarely sugar coat things, especially when it comes to Paganism, because far too much of Paganism is sugar coated to the point of overwhelming. Sometimes we believe too much of what other people say, we don't check out the claims made in books or by people touting BS as fact, and we should. We absolutely should be just as critical of our own religion as we are of others; I would venture to say we should be more critical. How do we know what we believe is true unless we've tested it? Unless we've done the research and compared it to what else is out there?

      And, yes, we have some fun along the way. But we are the first people to make fun of ourselves and of each other, and absolutely nothing we say on the show is said out of malice or with an intent to inflict harm. We very much love the Pagan and spiritual communities, and we poke fun, sometimes, out of love.

      To the idea that Velma and I don't have any facts... Between the two of us, we have over 3 decades of experience being Pagan. She's read just about every book out there on magic, Paganism, and nearly any topic tangentially related to the two. I've read countless academic articles and books on religion, spiritualism, religious history, and I've also kept up with dozens and dozens of Pagan books, too. When we say on the show that we do it without prep, that means that we'll sometimes get a fact or two wrong because we're not bringing notes to the recording. Usually, however, one of the two of us will catch the mistake, or we'll discuss it in a later episode if it is of merit. To say that we simply have no facts, however, would be wrong. We have quite a bit of them. Facts, sadly, can be to the detriment of the spiritual community, too. For that reason we encourage - me especially - understanding the facts so that they might at least influence your world view.

      But, I digress. You've unsubscribed, and that's your choice. If I find a show to be incredibly distasteful, I unsubscribe as well. To be honest, I'm confused as to why you'd read this blog, as I'm the same person here as I am on my show(s). I have very little time, actually, to blog and even less to podcast. Thus, the show comes out only about twice a month. I have the bandwidth that I have for two reasons: 1) I have enough listeners to merit the amount of bandwidth and 2) generous folks have donated to keep the show running - which means paying those pretty expensive hosting and podcasting feeds. I don't have bandwidth for the sake of saying I have a lot of bandwidth.

      Enjoy whatever podcasts and blogs inspire you. There are a lot of great ones from which to choose.

      Love and Lyte,

      Fire Lyte

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