Wednesday, September 24, 2008

being the donkey

In Farsi, the word for donkey is khar. Its pronounced HAAAR. We use it a lot around here to to discuss stupid people. Its a thing my family does.

This evening I called my dad to get his take on Bushie's speech. He said hold on tight, the market will come back. This is a man who has gained and lost way more than I could ever dream of having in volatile markets. However, these days I'm thinking that not only are we who gamble in the long term are going to get the shit kicked out of them, but those who think that everything is going to be ok.


We as a nation are khars. Yes, we are. Its not just predatory mortgage lenders and Goldman Sachs's interns who came up with the derivatives that the Kingdom of Brunei bought and sold that caused the recent financial crisis.

It is us, stupid stupid us [the US populace].

Those of us who thought that we would take money out of our hideously overpriced home not to send our kids to college, but to finance our new televisions, ATVs, trip to Alaska (moose hunting?).

It is us, who thought that we could afford that 500,000 dollar house in the burbs as as starter home bigger than anything we really needed or wanted, but it was there.

It is us who jumped from credit card to credit card to get the better deal and then forgot the introductory period lasted 15 seconds.

It is us who just didn't wait the 5 minutes to think something through and pressed the buy it now button on the computer and ended up with major buyer's remorse.

It is us who just couldn't remember what it was like to learn to keep something for another few wears, another season, another person even if we had the money to buy the latest thing.

It is us who needed the latest thing because everyone else had it.

It is us who not only bought a house with no money down, but also financed a car we couldn't afford, ate out every lunch, bought food that we ended up throwing out at the end of the week because we forgot we bought it because we were eating out and not really thinking.

It is us who used our credit cards, debit cards and fast pays at Starbucks, au bon pain and Peets daily because we just couldn't bother to make a pot of coffee at home and bring our own cup.

It is us who thought that things would just go on and be fine even as we saw our portfolios dwindle and those little dips in our retirement accounts grow bigger.

It is us who laughed at our grandparents and parents because they lived through hard times -- Depressions, occupations, revolutions and hardships and now have it so good. These same people realize the value of a dollar, shekel and toman and still think before committing one penny to it.

It is us who thought that the person who chose to live simply, not upgrade their house with every promotion and chose to pay off their mortgages to have that safety net were insane.

Yeah, we're all khars now.


Anonymous said...

right on darling - but I liked a commentary from 2 old (90's) men- we figured it out and this generation will figure it out - but there will be massive pain - vote, vote, vote - and additionally, brava on your long and intensive walk - thank you for walking for me and many other women. I saw and talked with women in Portland who had done their walk - you all have my gratitude and respect. - Madeleine

Mony said...

you're right on, especially the collective 'we'

I thank God every day that I married aneconomic conservative--
mentally an old man but a khar--no!!

He, who enjoys his ten year old car enough to call it a whoop-D

KikiRiki said...

Right on lady. When will we learn to take responsibility for our actions and quit whining when our mistakes catch up to us. I'm happy to live in my small yet affordable house, drive my paid for car, and bring my lunch to work every day. Luckily I have a father who taught me to appreciate what I work so hard to earn.

jk said...

well, i appreciate all i earn---but i don't appreciate losing 40% of it. I'm no better off than my friends who didn't scrimp and save and spent it all instead. Well, the same, but they had a bit more fun getting there.