Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Milky Way Mentality (And Other Human Oddities)

These human traits first came to me years ago having nothing to do with Milky Ways, but that seemed the best analogy. Goes something like this: If one Milky Way is good, then two must be better which makes three best and that's why I'm going to eat four.

Small Example: Two ladies shopping for hubby's new fancy handkerchief.

"Oh look Mildred, this one's nice. I'll get one."

"Yes, I agree Fran. But get two."


"Oh yes, Fran, one for show, one for blow."

Fran looks pensive. "Well..."

"You know what, Fran?" chirps Mildred. "Just get three. One for show, one for blow and one for you-never-know. Best be sure!"

The Milky Way Mentality means: If a little is good, a bit more must be better and the whole lot must be best.


There's another one, The Trump in a Teapot. Very common. A guy has exactly what he needs - not alot, not a little, just what he needs to live. Pay rent, food. His "oldish" clothes still look just fine and he has friends he can trust. Wants for nothing more.

Then he wins a million bucks. First thing he does is look for a way to MAKE MORE!! He's got more but somehow feels he now needs to increase it, now that he HAS more. Yeah! More than more! He can't even imagine spending a million bucks so he surrounds himself with "people who know" what? Why? Yet the human impulse says, "Make it work for you, invest, diversify, expand, etc."

The Trump in a Teapot means: You may think you're happy with "just enough" but what you really want is more more more.


Here's another: Porcupine Promises. At some time you find a need to elicit a favor from a friend, let's say a promise to help you move in two weeks time. "No problem!" you get. Two weeks go by, you call your friend. He starts:

"Oh no, you mean to DAY??"

"Well, I did say in two weeks, and its...."

"You meant this COMING two weeks?? Oh no I thought you meant, well I didn't think you meant two weeks from that exact DAY now, I mean...O dear..."

"I was counting on you, pal."

"Yes, but something sticky has come up, very prickly situation here, I misunderstood what you meant, oh this is really a mess, I have so much to DO!" (Here comes the transfer of guilt): "What am I going to do NOW?? O no, this is awful...." making you feel somehow it's your fault.

The Procupine Promise means: Always made with "barbs" attached, surely meant well at the time, but get too close and they start shooting darts..


Here's a good one: The Narcissistic Navigator. This is the guy who steers his life-ship through those rough seas we all do, meeting other "sailors" in this great and glorious adventure we're on, but whose basic philosophy is: If I don't agree with it, it can't be right. Smug sob.

This one is crafty, they disguise their words in platitudes of "That's a good point" or "Oh yes, I can see how that could happen" or "maybe so, maybe so..." but inside, silently, and with unattractive smugness, they are convinced the only answers that count are the ones they've arrived at, however the method.

The Narcissistic Navigator means: He will never learn anything of import in life, as he believes he already knows it all. And should he pick up a bit of sound wisdom, he can't digest it because he's too full of himself.


Now we have The "I Paid For It Anyway" Shoplifter. I'm shamefully familiar with this thinking. This is an adult who'll polish off a bag of candy while shopping, or pop in a few grapes (which ends up being a dozen) or eat something from a package already opened, etc. When they look at the bill they feel perfectly justified having that can of salmon in each pocket (or a few Milky Ways) Anyway it's pretty much the same mode of thought: I really paid for this over and over with these high prices, so I don't feel bad.

The "I Paid For It Anyway" Shoplifter means: It's a feeling of entitlement, since we all pay now for things that used to cost half as much. We're told we're making more, it should even out. "Trickle down" theory was a deceitful sham we all fell for. This type makes it seem fair.

Aren't we humans wonderful? We find ways to deal with life's incongruities, judgments, unfair tactics, and all the general everyday mess we're forced to confront. It's heartening to see how diverse our choices are in dealing with this, the Great Experiment of Life!

Repost of 9-18-07


natalie said...

Dear Cathy,
what a charming set of stories!:):)
thank you so much for visiting my blog! Please come back and give us your opinion of Saint Nicholas the little man from Turkey!:):)
p.s. it sounds like you had a good Thanksgivng. I'm grateful for you here my dear friend, cheers! nat

Donn said...

Brilliant and thought provoking as usual.
*tips hat

I understand the feast or famine mentality to a degree. We cannot seem to outrun our genes. Evolving out on a very dangerous savannah meant that when opportunity arose you needed make hay.

I am visualizing the archival film of a Chimpanzee trying to collect too many bananers and the excess keep rolling out of his arms...much to his perplexed annoyance.

Nowadays our economic model is based solely on having it all and then some. Screw the old keeping up with the we need to have waaaay more sh*t than them because our self worth is measured in dollahs!

We're ridiculous. My Grandparents generation lived through the Great Depression and never bought anything until they saved up enough money..usually hidden from the bank and stuffed in a pillow case.

Now most people only "own" trenuous morsels of volatile equity on over inflated homes that are mortgaged at 125% of their value which they borrow against in order to pay off their credit cards and then go out and load them up again!

Less IS more.

Here endeth today's sermon please turn to page 63 in your Hymnal and let us sing It's Money I Love by Randy Neuman.

DB said...

I'd like to add "Funny, I thought of that last week myself." The idea stealer.


Gerry said...

I laughed when I saw Milky Way candy bars in this entry when with what I know about you, I expected another Milky way! You got me. Porcupine promises, had not heard of that, but I do believe it is an apt description.

Trees said...

What a great entry my friend, milky ways and porcupines, if u really look at our lives, we do live like milky ways sometimes smoothly and at times the porcupine quills come out in diffrent guises and it is up to us to get back to the milky ways. I loved the different anaologies you have put in this post and as always you amaze me with your knowlede and gift of writing.

natalie said...

I love your blog!

Big Mark 243 said...

After reading thru the entire post, I think that the title is quite appropriate. Especially loved 'porcupine promises'. There is always something attached, even when it is done for another's benefit.

natalie said...

dear Kathy Do yo think that the ancient Egyptians were evil and that they enslaved people in the spiritual world?
ok just checking

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