I don't know where this life is going to take me but I am certainly enjoying navigating the path.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Windy Days sure got me thinking..

This all started with Windy's post about the morality of spending money on voluntary surgery vs. helping the less fortunate. (read her post b/c it is much more interesting than my recap)

Here's my two cents (who am I kidding, here is the whole quarter) plus the added bonus of me playing devil's advocate. I know you can hardly contain yourself.

Jumping in head first with a personal disclosure; voluntary plastic surgery is on my radar. Not the face lift or butt implant type of plastic surgery more the “these boobs are weighing me down” kind of surgery. I have always wanted a breast reduction & now that I am done having babies this could be a reality. I was never a little boob kind of girl in fact I had my first bra in 3rd grade - don’t even get me started on the joys & scars related to that unwanted male attention. So after going up to a ‘H’ while nursing both boys (They were true working girls), my ta-tas have lost their girlish qualities if you catch my drift. They measure more like pants now – 38 Long. Anyway, I am at a point where I am thinking of having a breast reduction and I struggle with the idea of voluntary surgery – what if something goes wrong – and the overall cost which seems wasteful, but yet I can’t quite convince myself to give up on the idea.
I also know many women who have had nose jobs, boob jobs, etc. and they are generous, kind ladies who were just unhappy with their appearance. For them it was nirvana and I can only admire the positive change it made in their psyche. So again, this issue is near & dear to me because I too struggle with the concept of plastic surgery.

But back to my original thoughts …
I am all for lending a helping hand; those who know me know I am always the first in the crowd to rally for foster children, the elderly, the disenfranchised, etc. however I can't really share Windy’s disgust with K-K-Kathy's desire for voluntary surgery. Who am I to say she shouldn't? Can she afford it? What does it mean to her? Is it my business? I don’t know her financial situation but maybe to her spending money on a mini-lift is like me pulling out my debit card at Publix – something done on a regular basis without much thought. Or maybe she has $50k in credit card debt & doesn’t have a care in the world. Does it matter? Should I begrudge her the opportunity to have a face so tight she looks like Joan Rivers?
It’s a slippery slope …
If we judge her than how do we view the parent who can't afford health care for their kid or can't escape the cycle of public assistance yet still buys a beer at dinner with friends? Does that make her a bad person? Does she not deserve to have a cold beer? Should we all collectively sigh with the heavy thought that perhaps she should have water & put that $4 toward her household bills instead of a Sierra Nevada? That would be awful. Besides, if we are being honest with ourselves aren’t we all guilty of spending money that could go to a better cause be it charity or self improvement? Does anyone really need to eat out more than 1x per week? Isn’t that wasteful? I could feed a village with the $50 it costs to feed my family of four when dine out.
Most days when I go to Pet Smart I add a couple of bucks to my bill to help feed homeless pets but some days I don’t – does that make me any less charitable? I can afford the $2 so am I selfish? I don’t think so.
Should the person behind on their mortgage or credit card bills not spend any money on any "nice to haves" & just stick 100% to the "need to have" list? I don't know. I think there are arguments on both sides. Balance is tricky & whether we want to acknowledge it or not we all have a sense of entitlement that we satisfy every now & again. If we didn’t imagine what a plummet the travel industry would take.
When I was struggling living on my own making $18k a year paying $490/month rent & another $150/month car insurance not to mention essentials like food & gas for my car so I could get to my sorry ass job, I was BROKE. So broke that I often needed to ask my landlord for an extension on my rent, yet I still scraped together a few bucks to go out with my friends on a Friday night. Was that awful? No. Irresponsible? Maybe. But was I despicable? No. I just needed an outlet & and escape from the crapper that was my life and some dancing & a few Buds helped take my mind off my troubles if only for a few hours. Is that so bad?
Really, what is the magic number of charitable deeds that abolishes all self indulgence – 20% of income? 10 hours per month? It is silly to think in terms of black & white.
Ideally I would love it if everyone were charitable. Imagine the impact we could make if every person in the US sent $1 to the same charity – approx. $304 million dollars would make its way to that organization. Now imagine if we did this every month or if we asked people to skip the Starbucks latte or the McDonalds Happy Meal & instead donate that money to cancer research. Imagine the impact we could make. Maybe we could change the world so no one ever has to hear the words “You have cancer” ever again. That would be nirvana.

So off my soapbox I jump and propose that if Kathy with a K is willing to accept the financial responsibility of her Mini-face lift & she is happy with her decision than I say "Go for it!"

I certainly don't have the answers.

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