Saturday, July 04, 2009

Luxuries

I have recently had a discussion with someone who didn't get it that a Monday thru Friday 9-5 job was a luxury. Somehow that wasn't a luxury because he "worked his ass off" to get it.

Well, you are supposed to earn your luxuries, aren't you? If you want something, you aren't supposed to just wait around for someone to give it to you. Just because you worked for something doesn't mean it isn't a luxury.

After a bit of argument on the subject, I was told that my conversation was no longer welcome.

Fine.

Anyway, that discussion and the current economic situation has had me thinking about luxuries. It occurs to me that a lot of things that I have just taken for granted are luxuries, and that there are things that we have earned that are luxuries, even though they have become such common place things that we tend to not think of them of luxuries anymore. But really, they are not necessities, so they are luxuries. The TV, the phone, and now the computer are things that I have had for so long that I would have trouble living without. And at some point, I earned them. I wonder if at some point I might not have them.

It now occurs to me that I have some luxuries that I didn't earn. I live in this time and place totally by accident. I am lucky that do not live in the past or some other country where I couldn't have these things.

So while I am forcing myself to drink two liters of water per day, it occurs to me that I have the luxury of tap water. And that isn't something that I earned, I just have it. While having safe water is a necessity, having pipes bring it right to the house (and usually even to the particular room that I need the water) is actually a luxury. It just happens to be a luxury that I've never done without. But there are still millions of people who don't have it. They have to go to a lake or a stream or a well, and they have to take several gallons of water from the water source to their homes. And then after that they might have to boil it or do something else to it before it is safe to use.

I don't even have to pay that much for it. In my particular situation, I suppose that I have to pay something for it, but it isn't even a separate bill, so I don't notice the expense. I have not only this two liters per day that I am forcing myself to drink, but also just gallons of the stuff for cleaning and such, and in addition to that I have all the water I want to water the plants in my garden.

That's a pretty cool thing to have when you think about it.

And thanks to a gift from my grandmother, I also now have the luxury of a washing machine in my home. For more than twelve years I used a laundry mat, and I got used to do that. But the past few years I haven't had to do that. I have had the luxury of doing the laundry whenever I want it done, and not having to schedule a time to drive somewhere else to do it.

Speaking of the luxury of time, I've had a lot of that lately, though you may have noticed that I am not particularly enjoying it. When you are sick or unemployed, you have the luxury of time, but usually not the means of doing what you want with it. I should make more efforts to use it better.

2 comments:

Ananda girl said...

Good post. I need to think about this myself. I tend to take things for granted and do not think about it. Food for thought.

Hey happy 4th of July laughing!

The guy was wrong... you are certainly right. A job, in these days particularly, is a luxury. Ask anyone who has lost theirs to recent budget cuts.

laughingattheslut said...

Well, no, having a job is a necessity, not a luxury. But having the schedule you want at a job that you like is a luxury. And I have had friends who had the luxury of the 9-5 job changed into something else, maybe even a job that changes shifts every two months, so that they sometimes end up working in the middle of the night, and they don't get paid extra for that. And then I have had a few people not only lose the luxury of the job that they liked, but now they don't even have the job that they didn't like, so now they are also out of a necessity.

So it was all very weird, and this guy was saying he deserved his job, and it was because of choices he made. He probably has the same job as some of my friends, and they didn't choose to have their jobs taken away and given to somebody in India.