I received a message that was out-of-the-blue and full of vulgar putdowns. Someone read my recent posts and decided I was “just like Ann Pratchett” and “fetishized the poor”.
I figured out that the American author Pratchett had written an op-ed in the New York Times called “My Year of No Spending”. (It’s behind a paywall, but here is the NPR interview.) After listening to it, I understood that my correspondent thinks I’m a well-off white woman with first-world problems of over-abundance, playing at being poor. And I may own multiple Chapstick lip balms.*
My correspondent is ridiculous. My interest in frugality is because I have two financial concerns.
First, I want to pay off the mortgage on La Casa de Tontería (aka The House of Nonsense) EARLY. I want to keep living here even if I lose my current employment. Guess what? Housing isn’t a “first-world problem”; it’s an Everybody’s Problem.
Second, I need to fund my own retirement, not just rely on the Factory’s pension plan which has changed drastically since I began working. In my neighborhood, this is an Everybody’s Problem, too. The construction worker, the cook, the nurse, the parochial school teacher, the custodian, the licensed manicurist, the unlicensed babysitter, and the odd jobber wonder how to they’ll prepare for retirement. Because my income is stagnant, frugality is part of my plan.
If my correspondent is reading, feel free to respond in the comments. But if you refer to me in derogatory language, I won’t approve your comment.
*Ann Pratchett told her audience that she ran out of Chapstick and, in searching drawers, discovered several that she had forgotten buying. As for her year of no spending, I think she likes to discover things about herself and uses time-based challenges to gain perspective. I came across another of her opinion pieces in which she tried a different writing regimen.