ADDICTED TO SALES

ADDICTED TO SALES

“Save more money at Menards”

Capitalism’s adrenalin rush

has easily become

America’s greatest epidemic.

When I was a little boy

in the after-years of the

Great Depression

my grandma gave me

a piggy bank

and started me off

with a few pennies.

“When you get enough saved

you can maintain

your very own

bank account

and earn interest

on your savings account,”

she said.

I proudly and regularly

visited

that pint jar

in the top dresser drawer

next to my socks and underwear,

depositing my pennies

and nickels.

I made my own bank deposits.

As my pennies grew

I experienced a certain

satisfaction

and a subtle sense of security.

Eventually

as a youth

 I capitulated, I

looked for good sales

and spent my savings

on Stuff.

Exciting Stuff—

Stuff for my girlfriend,

Athletic stuff,

Fun Stuff,

Stuff that made me

look good,

smell good,

eat good.

In my late 20’s

Lorraine taught me

to

save 10%,

give away 10%

and

live on 80%.

A challenge well-taken

with four children to educate,

we paid our bills,

we gave to others—

and neglected to save

on a regular basis.

I can only imagine,

in my retirement years,

how different it would be now,

had I invested more

and spent less

on all that

“Good Stuff.”

“Saving…”

means spending more

today.

“Save more money at……”

To hell with delayed gratification.

Like buried mummies

of a forgotten past,

saving money

 has become

 an ancient fossil

in our value system.

There is little incentive

to save today.

While meeting

(or not meeting)

basic needs,

the everlasting “big sale”

captivates

and enshrines

our illusion

that instant “good buys”

are more important

than saving

for some unknown

and unpredictable

future.

We are “Stuffed” people;

our garages, closets and basements

are buldging showcases

of all the Stuff

we bought

during wonderful

sales.

We did have fun

with all that Stuff;

and we also flouted

delayed gratification.

Oh well.

I need and desire

less and less

as I celebrate

my wonder-filled

old age.

Its simplifying time now;

Goodwill Stores

do prosper

from folk like me.

-Hal Edwards

January 21, 2016

Wauconda