Monday, May 30, 2005

Wealth Where it Matters

I have nothing against having stuff. All else being equal, owning something generally proves better than not owning it. Sometime, I grant, the else does not equate. I thus try to avoid high-maintenance property that serves mainly to signify status, such as expensive cars. I'd rather drive my well-functioning, high-mileage, slightly beat-up 4-Runner than some fancy-pants car that requires aromatherapy every 2500 miles. "Don't let your stuff own you!" I warn.

If you think of material wealth in terms of functionality, rather than mere dollar signs, you will soon realize how incredibly wealthy we've become. Allow me just one example. Ten or fifteen years ago, I would have had to have hire a professional and waited a week or so to get this:

Invitation to AJ's Party

Thanks to a digital camera, a computer, and a few handy programs, however, I was able to make that invitation myself, in a few hours. Or, I should say, "we" made it; d and AJ took part, too.

Does making a party invitation with your family count as a "functional" result? Oh, my, yes. Functionality covers a lot more than, say, shipping pig iron. Moving bits—especially in ways that delight your birthday girl—can mean a lot more than moving atoms.

(By the way, with all due respect and only to avoid an unfortunate misunderstanding, please let me clarify that are not, by dint of viewing the above, invited to AJ's birthday party. Sorry.)


Anonymous said...

No professional would have used Papyrus :-)

Anonymous said...

Tom, she is sooo adorable. But she looks older than 6 turning 7. And from the things you and d write about her, she sounds really precocious and mature for her age. She even looks older than her age to me. But then again, girls develop faster around that age.


Tom W. Bell said...

Anon: Quite right. A professional probably would have foisted some illegibly artsy font on me and billed me extra for "relevance."

SK: Well, she *is* wearing make-up in the princess image. And you can hardly tell what she looks like in the upside down one. But, granted, everytime we (her parents) see photos of her, we exclaim, "My gosh, she looks so *old*!" Maybe she just has that sort of face.

Anonymous said...

yeah, i thought at first it was some sort of an advertisement when i saw the upside down picture of her b/c i can't really see what she looks like, so i thought it was some adult until i saw the princess picture. that little pink outfit is cute. i want to stick chopsticks in my hair too. actually, i used to do that.

i have nothing against luxury cars because god i love being in them (boss's and coworkers). but good for you for opting to drive a sensible car. i'm kind of the same way, although my reasons are mainly because i'm more elastic (price sensitive buyer). my boss who's really rich is one of the most price sensitive person i've met. but i think that's a good practice. i think it's not bad if you can afford to drive a very nice car; i only have problems with people that drive really expensive cars that they can't afford. i have a friend who drives a lexus suv and living way beyond their means. i think that's really silly. it's more of an LA thing. i'd rather buy a nicer house.
my two cents that no one asked for. =)