…but it can buy not-unhappiness. (I’m paraphrasing Adam Carolla, here.) (Yes, really.) (No, I’m not some kind of misogynist. I just think he’s funny, okay?) (Shut up.)
There are rich people who are sad. There are poor people who are happy. To a large degree, our ability to put up with things (or not) is innate. Winning the lottery tomorrow isn’t going to make you a happy person.
Unfortunately, the opposite is not true; not having money can ruin your day. Suppose you’re a little confused about street parking…
It happens to everybody. Tickets in Los Angeles can cost upwards of a hundred dollars. Or, as I like to call it, more money than I’m going to make today.
20% of my week, gone. Not going to be able to go out for dinner this weekend. Can’t surprise my wife with some flowers, or by myself a new video game. The car’s gonna have to go dirty for another week. Hell, I can’t even afford to buy a ticket for the movie I’m working on.
Now, I realize you’d have to be pretty rich to shrug off $100 for no good reason. For someone like my boss, it would be an inconvenience. But she’d pay the ticket and move on with her life. Even that small increase in pay means the difference between mild annoyance and ruining your entire week.
I read on a friend’s blog recently, “Anything that can be fixed with money isn’t really a problem.” In one sense, that’s true. Figuring out how to get your heroine out of that brothel by the end of the third act requires real, creative brain power. Not parking in the loading zone just requires the ability to recognize the color yellow.
But it’s not just parking. Inane issues like this come up all the time when you’re poor. Do I get the large popcorn, or the small? Should I circle the block one more time, or just pay the valet? Do I really need a new cell phone? I hate having to think about nonsense like that.
On the other hand, you know what Biggie say–