Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Buy Nothing

I didn't nag you all on Buy Nothing Day (Nov 27th), but don't forget that if you are short of cash, or short of temper, or not in the mood, or think the fun has gone out of it, or whatever, you would not be alone if you decided to buy nothing for Christmas - and it's not just anti-capitalists - there are even Christian campaigners for this approach - look at these Canadian Mennonites...
I know it can be tough to rebel against the revel's alone - and I sometimes succumb to the pressure right near the end, and feel like I have to go get some little thing for the nearest and dearest - especially if they are hiding some large item in the cupboard!

If you want to test your ability to resist social pressure, here's a little winter game I try. When someone sneezes, resist the temptation to say "Bless You!" It's not easy. It sounds like a stony silence. The really superstitious people (after all, they haven't got the plague, have they?) then say "Bless me!" because someone has to say it! I have managed to keep that up for weeks sometimes, but I notice I have slipped back to saying it recently (working with a Christian) although I have taken to mumbling it as a throwaway (splitting the difference).

Try it! It's like resisting picking up the phone. It's instructive. Conditioning, and all that.


pentaphobe said...

funny you should mention that, I've been playing with it a little myself recently.

Though I don't really say "bless you" ever - I tend more towards "guys in tights"

the explanation of which tends to cover up the urge for either party to say it right.

Toby said...

Well, I guess as Gesundheit means 'good health!' it is less offensive to me than appealing to some sort of deity thing - although I guess the social strokes behaviour is much the same...


[Pliny, Natural History, AD 77]
Why is it that we salute a person when he sneezes, an observation which Tiberius Caesar, they say, the most unsociable of men, as we all know, used to exact, when riding in his chariot even?

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