I wanted to share something funny that happened to me yesterday (and why I think it applies to this hobby). So, my father-in-law occasionally buys groceries for us while shopping at Walmart. He has my credit card, so he just pays for our stuff separately. This time was no different…mostly.
Before I tell you the story, keep in mind that my father-in-law is very cheap. He grew up poor and his parents usually bought his clothes and furniture at Salvation Army sales. They did dumpster diving for food on occasion, and his room was the size of a closet.
Anyway, here is our phone conversation:
Me: I need bananas and a tub of butter.
Him: Are you sure you don’t want me to buy margarine instead? It’s cheaper and tastes just as good.
Me: Thanks, but I don’t like margarine.
Him: Are you sure? It costs way less.
Me: I’m sure.
Him: Hey, I see a margarine brand here that’s called “I can’t believe it’s not butter!”
Me: I still want real butter.
Him: Fine. Well, at least I tried.
For some reason, it made me think of my blog. I’m sure this is how I come across at times:
Imaginary reader: It sure would be nice to vacation at Hyatt or Ritz-Carlton beach resorts. There is no way I can afford something like this without points, and my spouse and kids would definitely enjoy it. Can you help?
Me: No! You want Holiday Inn or Wyndham motels on the beach. Just as good and better value on points.
Imaginary reader: But I don’t really like Holiday Inn or Wyndham. I was hoping this hobby would present opportunities that we can’t afford otherwise.
Me: Forget Hyatts. Pfft, overrated. Holiday Inn is what you want. Cheaper and just as good. You like, you like!
I really hope my posts don’t across that way… I’ve said before that my blog is biased. Not in a way that I try to intentionally mislead readers for personal gain, but that my content is influenced by my preferences and cheapness. I’ve mentioned before that I grew up poor, but I never gave any details.
Well, the thing is, we didn’t have indoor toilet or hot water till I was ten. Yes, we had to use an outhouse and boil water in order to get a bath. Every day. Funny thing is, I never thought it was a big deal. Our house was clean and we always had enough food, which is more than many families in the world can say.
As you can imagine, that shaped how I view material possessions and luxury. I’m not super picky when it comes to travel options. I’m fine as long as hotel is clean and there is working toilet as well as hot water. Even after many years of living in America, I still get giddy thinking: “We are staying in a hotel at the beach!” The brand of the hotel is of secondary importance.
But most of you probably grew up in middle-class families and took vacations during your formative years. And I bet you anything, many of them were at a Holiday Inn. So, it’s no surprise that now that you have a bit more money and points, you want something a little fancier. There is no shame in that, friends!