a little and a lot

Thursday, March 12, 2009


This morning as I was in my tiny closet-bathroom, my brain was blessed with an epiphany.  I was thinking about New York City (one of my favorite cities in the world).  My muddled morning brain was pondering upon all of the wonderful resources in NYC, and how many awesome Craigslist items there must be (free amazing couch, must move today!)--so much more beyond the slim pickin's of Memphis.  The epiphany was when my thinking (predictably) moved to "I wish we could live there for an era of our life."  And then it hit me.  A living space such as the one I inhabit would be COVETED in Manhattan.  (Especially for the price I pay in rent!)  Property is expensive and cozy (aka: teeny-tiny!) on that fabulous island, small kitchens with no dishwashers are common, and air conditioning units are a given.  My house is standard, and even more, a MANSION compared to what we could afford in New York!  The revelation left me feeling slightly giddy.  And while Memphis is no Manhattan, it is a city I love and in which I cherish residing.

Not 5 minutes later, I was watching the leading news story on The Today Show as I sipped my strong-brewed Sumatra with half & half and a dash of Toffee Nut syrup.  Bernie Madoff was showing up in court today to face the music.  They interviewed a heartbroken couple whose money had been swindled.  It was reported that they had lost a couple hundred thousand dollars thanks to old Bernie.  "We lost EVERYTHING!" the poor woman sobbed, as the camera zoomed in on her crestfallen face.  

Her Botoxed, professionally-cared-for-hair, pearl-earrings-clad face.  Perched atop her body adorned in a cashmere turtleneck.  With an antique armoire behind her, as well as a suede sectional couch, a stained glass lamp, and other comfortable items in her luxury home.  She lost everything.  

Now, I'm not necessarily trying to make light of everyone's hardship in the midst of this economy.  But hasn't something shifted in the American standard of living if "losing everything" means that's what you're left with?

A few stories later, it was reported that the city of Sacramento is "shutting down" a tent city filled with city residents who have found themselves homeless over the past year.  (It is threat to public health and safety, apparently.)

Losing everything.
Having nothing. 
Being poor.  

It's all about perspective.


Ashley @ pure and lovely said...

VERY good point. I have been saying for a while now (whilst feeling a bit cramped in our house with no. 3 on the way...) that people live in half the space of our home in manhattan and other parts of the world with more kids! its crazy. and then I decided to organize EVERYTHING in my house to make it work, because we WILL be here for a while and there is nothing wrong with that! I am kind of thankful for the economy right now (because I have no option BUT to be) because in a bitter sweet way, I think its really causing people much like myself to refocus on what really is important.

and talk about craigs list sucking...try MONTGOMERY. UGH.

just had to throw in my amen.

Marty Rhea Hill said...

OH, Jesse, SO TRUE!!! I have been taught my whole life that when I leave, I won't be taking anything with me....and somehow I have a great feeling I will be unbelievably happy through the pearly gates.

Thanks for the post.

Katie said...

I have had the exact same thought about my apartment vs. an apartment in NYC...too funny, but so true! I agree with Ashley--I think God can use the current condition of our economy to help us reevaluate what are NEEDS are...versus our WANTS. Live simply is my new motto!

Unknown said...

hey... come look in those trash bags if you'd like!

Jane said...

Well said and so true!

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