Hobo month is experiencing a slight snag. One that goes by the name of MY HUSBAND.

When I proposed that we reset our spending habits by taking a shopping hiatus, kind of like a grapefruit sorbet palate cleanser but for your wallet, he was all like, “Yes. Of course. What a great idea, you are truly a brilliant, not to mention beautiful life mate.” –or something close to that (I may have paraphrased a bit.) The point being, he agreed to a spending freeze on everything but the most barebones of necessities.

Less than a week later, he’s already called me after work from a suspiciously noisy locale. Hmmmm, interesting. Turns out he missed his train home, so instead of waiting the 15 minutes for the next one, he sought shelter from the elements in a nearby bar. Beer, though delicious, is not on the approved list of “necessary” expenditures…and judging from the flattering and sentimental compliments issuing from the phone, I’m guessing that it wasn’t his first beer, either.

Today, we went to the end of the year awards ceremony at our eldest children’s middle school and since my dear offspring returned victorious with what can only be described as a “buttload” of trophies ( they take after their mama, clearly) we stopped at the grocery store to let them pick out lunch. In the car, I noticed a subtle munching sound. Both my hubby and my son were happily eating packs of M&Ms. Again, NOT on the list. Frustrated, I threatened to check the online records of both our check and credit cards which hubby quickly suggested I not do.

This is doubly frustrating to me as I recently read an article on the difficulties of going “green.” How so many of our actions are offset by other, unexamined choices. For example; saving a few gallons of water by taking a pitifully short shower is more than obliterated by, say, your (my) daily caffeine habit. The author suggests that the water used in growing, processing, transporting and selling coffee amounts to about 37 gallons PER CUP! All I can say is, I’m going to need a little more documentation, because if that’s true, the results are just too awful to contemplate. This year alone, I’ve probably gone through enough coffee to irrigate all of East Africa. Don’t even ask me how much water is required to make a pair of leather shoes! (4,400 gallons.) At this rate I’m going to be taking sponge baths for the next 80 years.

It all makes me think that you can’t really shop “green.” That the way to true stewardship of the planet (and yes, I loves me that old timey concept) is to consume less. Period. You want leather shoes? Fine. Get the leather shoes– but maybe just the one pair. (Oooh, that cuts on a personal level. Excuse me for a moment while I go and pet my pretty, pretty shoes. Ah, my lovelies, I adore you all…)

So hobo month is slowly evolving for me, though less so for my husband. If you asked him, I’m sure he’d agree that ME buying less is a great idea. Convincing him to do the same might take a little more doing…anyone know how much water is used to produce a gallon of beer???

The Rise & Fall of a Momocracy

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