The boyfriend and I went apartment hunting yesterday. I have to say I think we struck gold. We found the most perfect 2BR 2BA condo, on a quiet street, in a great neighborhood. Exposed brick, new appliances, fresh paint and clean hardwood floors. The back door opens up to this court yard of back porches; clean, freshly finished wood and all private. I don’t think words can describe how excited we were to come across such real estate gold. In order to beat out the hippie couple and two young Asian girls, boyfriend and I RAN to a FedEx down the street to scan the applications and send them to the owner. We find out by Wed if we got it!
After this wonderous moment, we decided to go get something to eat. Muscles. OH MY GOD were they good. Regardless, that is not the point of my rambling this morning. Following great eats and some beers, boyfriend wanted to show me this little hole-in-the-wall pub, Parrots. We love hole-in-the-wall bars, but I personally don’t love how they all seem to have that same stale scent. Inside we had the usual clientelle: 2 normal young 30ish looking girls with a guy (returning from the beach), old woman bartender (quick tongue and bad haircut), old regular (who ended up engaging boyfriend in a round of Jacks), and then the one random kid at the end of the bar (not talking to anyone, and he was sipping either a bud light or a PBR).
This is the part of the day where I wish I was not so friendly all the time. I start talking to the gals/guy our age. I’m not very engaged in the conversation and my eyes keep wondering to boyfriend, who is chatting up the old man. I don’t know how it came about to me talking to the random kid at the end of the bar, but I did, and this was when I learned probably the stupidest thing I have ever heard in my entire life; This kid was an advocate and practitioner of voluntary poverty. Are you kidding me? I was completely in shock. There are people in this country who VOLUNTARILY want to be homeless and without ANY means??? I probably was scaring the shit out of this kid with my line of questioning; Why on earth would you do that? Do you have any goals in life? You’re telling me that you have no ambition to make a life for yourself? You LIKE having no money? How the hell are you even in a bar right now?? Feeling guilty about my abrasive nature- I bought him a Sam Adams. Screw the PBR shit; we’re not in Georgia or Mississippi. I probably came off like an asshole, but I couldn’t help it- actually I think he was smiling at first, but I can put money on the fact no one had ever got him thinking like that before, as his smile faded and the pensive expression replaced it. He was doing it for some girl, I guess. Hell, I am all about doing things for the ones you love, but poverty? Forget about it. I woke up this morning and did a Google search “voluntary poverty” and the results opened up to a bunch of sites on “Simple living.” LAZY living more like it! Is that this kids excuse to not pay taxes? Great- thanks for letting me do the work for you.
Here is what Wikipedia had to say on the matter. (For the record, I still call bullshit):
Simple living encompasses a number of different voluntary practices to simplify one’s lifestyle. These may include reducing one’s possessions or increasing self-sufficiency, for example. Simple living may be characterized by individuals being satisfied with what they need rather than want. Although asceticism generally promotes living simply and refraining from luxury and indulgence, not all proponents of simple living are ascetics. Simple living is distinct from those living in forced poverty, as it is a voluntary lifestyle choice.
Adherents may choose simple living for a variety of personal reasons, such as spirituality, health, increase in ‘quality time’ for family and friends, reducing their personal ecological footprint, stress reduction, personal taste or frugality. Others cite socio-political goals aligned with the anti-consumerist movement, including conservation, degrowth, social justice, ethnic diversity and sustainable development.
Simple living can also be a reaction to materialism and conspicuous consumption. Thorstein Veblen had denounced the materialistic society in The Theory of the Leisure Class (1899); Richard Gregg coined the term “voluntary simplicity” as one path to simple living, in The Value of Voluntary Simplicity(1936); E. F. Schumacher argued against the notion that “bigger is better” in Small Is Beautiful(1973); and Duane Elgin carried on the promotion of the simple life in Voluntary Simplicity (1981).
I do remember him saying that he wanted to make a difference and felt the government would hear him if he denounced everything in his life and lived in poverty. I think he would have a better chance at being heard if he chained himself to a tree outside the White House- rather than living in poverty, in California, and not having the technology to tell anyone that he is doing so…he is hoping to be found and inspire someone. Well buddy, you inspired me…to get angry at your lack of American values and work ethic. Your lazy demenor and liberal thinking. I hope he doesn’t get that girl pregnant; words cannot describe how horrible that would be for that poor baby. He should not have been in a bar, in Chicago. Wouldn’t that be against his thinking? The girlfriend wasn’t around, she was in California, which also makes me think that this guy was not using his own brain in this decision. Grow a backbone and get out of my country. YOU are the polution MY tax dollars are supporting.
Damn hippies. They better not get my condo.