Less is More- Weekly Writing Challenge

(One more Monday, and again I look to the Weekly Writing Challenge abyss and wonder if it stares back.  This time they encourage writing about something different.  I don’t normally talk too much about my opinions, and I try not to rant, so this will be some sort of amalgamation of the two.  The fictional stories are coming later this week, honest.)

Plain question and plain answer make the shortest road out of most perplexities.” -Mark Twain

**********

“’Tis a gift to be simple, ‘tis a gift to be free.”  That’s what I’ve been taught for years and years.  The older I get, the more I find it to be true.  At the same time, I’ve noticed that there are more voices than before shouting at me in defiance of that notion.

I like to consider myself a fairly simple guy.  Okay, my work schedule with four jobs at three places is completely insane.  Everything else is normal though.  Honest.  Sundays are made for jogging, church, and if I’m feeling fancy; a visit with my best friend.  Breakfast is normally cereal or oatmeal; scrambled eggs with ketchup if I have extra time to lounge about.  Kim Kircher offered up a quiz on her site to see how much of a thrill seeker people are.  Out of a possible score of forty, I scored a three.  What can I say; it takes very little to keep me content.

Now, I know that there are different ways to approach things.  Some folks like to keep up to date on all the new stuff.  I am aware of people that buy a new car every few years or purchase a computer to keep their gear top of the line.  Nowhere is this more prevalent than with cellular phones.

I use my phone for two things; texting and phone calls.  If I’m having trouble staying awake at work, maybe I’ll play Carmen San Diego.  (It turns out that my memories of high school geography are still accessible when ushering an eleven p.m. movie.  Who knew?)  I do not need internet access.  I do not need a program to tell me when the bus is coming when I can simply memorize the schedule.  And I don’t need to get updates from people I haven’t seen for two years.  That sort of thing can wait until I’m sitting in a comfortable chair with a computer that has a reasonably sized screen.  Again, that’s my preference.  My newest phone is the only one that my provider offered for free without having to sign up for a data plan.  Clearly I am in the smartphone minority.  The lines at iStores have proven that.

Part of why I raise an eyebrow at people increasing their possessions, is that I have seen how much it really costs them.  I know people that have a tablet, a smartphone, and a laptop, but have problems paying their bills.  Folks will come up to the register with an armful of merchandise and lament how they shouldn’t be buying as much as they are.  A new trend that I’ve noticed are consumers that will pay part in cash and part on a credit card so that their spouse doesn’t realize how much money they are shelling out.  I start to wonder about the issue of self-control that we, the buying public, have over our wallets.

Bumblebee says, “Hand over the dough!”
(Photo from Wikipedia.)

The less is more approach didn’t always come easily to me.  In high school, I bought pretty much every country CD that I came across and had even the slightest interest in.  (I’m looking at you, Garth Brooks and Tim McGraw.)  For some reason, my parents decided to pay my way as long as I was in college.  That meant that all the funds that I got from work could go wherever I pleased.  So, once upon a time, I spent over a thousand dollars purchasing old Transformer toys on eBay.  Not my proudest moment.  I later sold them all to others online for a fraction of what I paid.  It didn’t take me long to buy a clue; purchasing more knick-knacks didn’t make me any happier.

At the end of a long work week, I don’t wish that I had more cool things in my apartment.  Come and visit; you’ll see hand-me-down furniture, used books, and a cat that wants nothing more than a bowl of food and a warm pair of jeans to knead.  I still have more things than I like and try to think of ways to get rid of them.  My friends know that my hundreds of DVDs are available to loan, as are the countless comic books.

Any gal that enters into a long term relationship with me is going to quickly find out that I’m no sugar daddy.  I will never be rich.  I’m going to be working multiple jobs for a while because the thought of a high-paying office job, complete with the corporate stress and “earning your outrageous salary” holds absolutely no appeal to me.  I want enough of a paycheck to keep the debtors away and the cat stocked in kitty litter.  That’s all I really need.

Take a look at my workplace.  People come and see movies at my theater because it has a big screen.  Sometimes I look at what we’re showing and tell myself that it really doesn’t need such a fancy presentation.  I didn’t really love Titanic the first time, and I sure didn’t think that Titanic 3D was any better.  One of my favorite movies is How to Train Your Dragon.  The last time I visited my nieces, they strongly suggested that I simply had to watch it in 3D.  I did, and I still like the 2D version better.  I don’t need seats that movie in synch with the action of the film, I don’t need custom 3D glasses, and I certainly don’t need some waiter coming up to me and offering me another beer during the film.  I just want to watch a movie without any frills.

For those folks out there that enjoy the finer things in life; I get it.  I do.  New and shiny things hold a great appeal.  I don’t think there’s anything wrong with having nice things.  If you can afford to upgrade your lifestyle every so often, then you’re certainly allowed to.  My family thinks their 3D T.V. was worth it.  Speaking for myself, my ’97 Dodge works just fine, my original Kindle is still souped-up enough for me, and I have no problem patching holes in my clothing.  By all means, do whatever makes you happy.  Personally, I’ve slowly learned that there’s not a lot for sale that makes my life any richer.

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About anecdotaltales
He's a simple enough fellow. He likes movies, comics, radio shows from the 40's, and books. He likes to write and wishes his cat wouldn't shed on his laptop.

8 Responses to Less is More- Weekly Writing Challenge

  1. nrhatch says:

    You have a kindle?! I didn’t see that coming. 😆

    Less is MORE! The earlier in life we learn that simple less~on . . . the happier we tend to be.

    • anecdotaltales says:

      It took me a week of hemming and hawing to decide whether or not to buy it. I thought it was a little extravagant. But what can I say, it makes it much easier to turn the pages on a crowded bus.

  2. nuvofelt says:

    I have yet to indulge in a kindle. Do I need one? Will it give me more time to read? 🙂

    • anecdotaltales says:

      Well, I still read all my comic books on paper and there are some authors that demand hardcover treatrement for me. But it let me read the 1300 page The Stand without throwing my back out and all the public domain books are available within seconds for free. The new problem is that the latest Kindle tablets (Fire, et. al.) are made for playing games as well. That might get you distracted and give you -less- time to read. For me, with my simple Kindle, it makes reading on the bus/ on the go -much- easier.

  3. yaykisspurr says:

    hehe funny post! I couldn’t agree more. I don’t even have a kindle! 🙂 Cheers!

  4. s1ngal says:

    Would have loved this post even if it were fiction. Me thinks what happened to this –> “I do not need a program to tell me when the bus is coming when I can simply memorize the schedule”
    Seriously, I can’t memorize a thing these days while there was a time when friends/ family used to call me “a walking-talking Yellow-page” :sighs:

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