I am a fine example of “penny wise and pound foolish”.
I hate to pay for parking. I will go to any necessary means to avoid spending even a few cents.
I re-use paper and plastic bags. I use a cloth bag to buy bread, avoiding the offer of a paper bag. I use the same bag for grocery shopping, which I have used for years.
I am happy with left-overs...and left-overs of left-overs. I hate to throw away food. My family criticizes me for ignoring dates on packages. I’m still alive, so they must be unnecessarily cautious.
My cellar (as well as other parts of the house) are crammed with items, which I refuse to discard. They might be useful...someday. I have stuff from the past forty years. Their time might still come...
I buy most of my clothes on sale. Why pay more? Men’s fashion rarely changes. And, when it does, it changes back in a few years. That’s why tie width and lapel width gets wider and then narrower over time. What else can designers do? So, I keep my ties and wait for fashionability to return.
I could be much worse, if I did not have a family to criticize me and urge me to spend money. There is often a struggle with my conscience, which demands frugality vs. dear ones urging me toward profligacy.
Then, I turn around and fly first class, stay in the best hotels, and enjoy meals at leading restaurants. I must be schizophrenic...or worse. I could be...normal....
It seems that German waiters and waitresses expect certain behavior from their guests and do not know the children’s rhyme, “Jack Sprat can eat no fat; his wife can eat no lean.”
My wife and I often confuse serving personnel with our orders, because their world is ruled by cliché and habit. The beer that my wife usually orders ends up in front of me, while she is presented with my water. I must usually push the steak to her side, after the plate has been deposited in front of her, and wait for her to push the plate with salad to me. I have spotted a rolled eye or two, when the server notices this game.
And, in this male-dominated society, it really messes up their minds to see my wife grab the check and pay with a smile on her face. It’s tough to be different…especially when bucking eons of male/female restaurant behavior.
Prior to writing novels, the author enjoyed a multifaceted career: from decorated combat aviator to advertising professional to global communications director of a major consumer brand. He has traveled the world and met sports, film and television stars, political leaders, and royalty. He graduated from Middlebury College, is married, lives in Germany, and has two grown children.