||[Dec. 14th, 2005|11:48 am]
Whatever happened to the misers?|
Back in the 18th and 19th centuries people loved their misers. There was a whole literature about them. They were mean, they stank, they hid guineas in dung-heaps, they made pies out of long dead sheep. Mr Boffin in Our Mutual Friend is an avid collector and consumer of miser-porn. Daniel Dancer, John Elwes, Vulture Hopkins- these guys were famous.
There were famous fictional misers too- Scrooge, Silas Marner, Uncle Ebenezer Balfour.
But then along came the 20th century and misers- both real and fictional- dropped out of sight.
So why don't we have them any more?
I get spasms of miserliness.
I panic about our finances and decide I'm never, not ever, going to spend any more money.
I think miserliness is triggered by insecurity. That would fit with your situation that first year in Japan.
I don't know y'know- to me it feels more like getting down to the roots of what I NEED as opposed to what I WANT. Not indulging whims. Getting away from that whole- eating so many chocolates you make yourself sick- thing. Because if you don't do that, and you go without for a while, then like Charlie, you appreciate the chocolate all that much more when you get it.
If I eat 3 meals a day, I never really (not REALLY) get hungry, and I never REALLY get full. I'm eating 3 meals a day not because I WANT to but because people say you should. And you can't get full (to bursting) 3 times a day, without getting enormously fat. So I eat 1 massive meal a day, for which I have to wait the whole day, get enormously full, and it sees me through til afternoon/evening the next day.
Miserliness is more like that for me than like insecurity, I think.
But eating one huge meal a day isn't true miserliness. The true miser (the Dickensian miser) never ever eats a huge meal. He subsists on crusts and water and pies made out of rancid sheep.
And the money he saves gets squirreled away in dungheaps, under floorboards and up chimneys.
then i shan't claim to be dickensian. perhaps i'm not even a real miser. i never deny myself something i need- like- not having enough food. i just like to delay gratification on stuff like that.
money i save- that goes in the bank. i don't have a dungheap! your scroogian miser seems like he trusts nobody at all. well, you know what they say. miserliness is next to miserableness!