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Monday, October 01, 2012

Cheap Date

When I read the book The Millionaire Next Door, I remember one of the characteristics they cited for the accumulators of wealth they wrote about was that they were a cheap date.

A substantial number accumulated great wealth without having fantastic incomes, but they enjoyed the simple things in life, knew how to cut corners and maximize returns.

It's the get rich slow strategy you don't hear much about.

One of the things that let me know Corinna was a keeper when we started dating was she was, above all else, a cheap date. I think the first time she let me buy her dinner out, she steered us to the Hyvee salad bar, true story. When I balked, she said, "What, you'd love me more if you spenta bunch of money on this dinner?"

Saturday afternoon, she wanted to go on a freegan binge, harvesting walnuts, apples, crabapples, wild grapes, chestnuts and whatnot. I went with, not so much to help with the harvest which was pretty boring for me, but to hang out with her and play with my camera. A lot of times when I want to set up my tripod and play, she doesn't want to stay in one place long enough for me to experiment. Fruit picking and nut gathering evens things out, I guess.

I got to thinking, it wasn't my A-list choice, I would have gone on a different sort of bike ride. One that didn't take the trailer on her bike, one that involved more miles and less scavenging.

But I know couples where the guy has to take his mate shopping on a weekend afternoon. To antique malls, auctions, furniture stores, plain old box stores, whatever. And in most of those situations, the guy can't bring along his camera and tripod and do his own thing, he's just stuck. Plus, it's expensive.

All the stuff Corinna and I went shopping for this warm September afternoon was free. No 'bargain' $1000 pieces of furniture, no overpriced nonfunctional shoes, and I didn't have to sit around waiting for her to try the stuff on and ask me if it made her ass look fat.

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