Friday, March 15, 2013

Needs and wants

There is a difference.  My kids are doing better, but it's going to be a work in progress.  Still, they currently have a better understanding than most people twenty years their senior.

What do we actually need?  Food, yes.  Shelter.  Water.  Safety.  Sex?  I'd certainly define it as a need.  Comfort.

Let's start with food.  What does a person actually need, food wise?  Protein, calories, and the vitamins and minerals found in fruits and vegetables.  Does it have to taste good?  Not necessarily--but someone's going to be more likely to eat what they need if it tastes good.  A sedentary adult needs about 1,500 calories per day; an active adult needs 2,000 or more.

Chicken is a good, cheap source of protein.  Leg quarters are $.59/pound at Wal-Mart, here in SW Missouri.  Supplement that with generic canned veggies and fruit, and you can feed yourself for about $5/day.  If you have a place to store the leg quarters until you need them, and a place and way to cook them.  But what if you don't?

A good, cheap source of protein and calories (as well as a few vegetables) is a McDonalds burger, if you don't have that.

Shelter.  Everybody needs a way and place to get out of the elements.  And they need more than just a bridge, or a sheltered doorway.

But what a lot of people don't seem to get is that they don't need a McMansion.  All a young, single person right out of college needs is a studio apartment, or a two-bedroom with a roommate.  You're not going to land in the same standard of living provided by your parents (assuming a person starts out from a middle-class childhood) without a lot of work, and a lot of work experience, in a career.  You can't get there as a Starbucks barista or a McDonald's drive-through server.

Water, or better, liquid.  There's a reason why England built a nation on tea and beer--you can get sicker quicker from water-borne illnesses than pretty much anything else (typhoid, anyone?  Cholera? Dysentery?).  You need safe water to drink.

Tap water is safe.  And, in the U.S., relatively cheap.  You don't need to spend a $1 per 20oz bottle of water to have water that's safe to drink.  And it's healthier than beer or soda.  Cheaper, too.

(Don't ask me about coffee.  We all have our weaknesses, and good whole-bean coffee is one of mine.)

Safety is a big one for me.  It resides behind my right hip, in the small of my back.  In either 9mm Makarov, or .38 caliber.  You're not safe unless you're capable of protecting yourself--either by being a large, fit male, or having an equalizer.  Anything else, and the individual in question has bought into a comforting lie.

Yes, I need sex.  It is a necessity.  I am married, though, and still responsible with it--since we can't afford another child right at the moment (diapers!  Oy, vey!  If it wasn't for Sam's Club, we couldn't afford the one we've still got in diapers!), we use a contraceptive.  We thought about it, and the pill is cheaper for us than condoms--especially with the added expense of needing to visit the doctor every month or two for me to get a prescription for antibiotics for recurring UTIs.  It costs us about $12/month.  Well worth it for a sense of happiness and well-being that comes with a close, loving relationship with my husband.

Unmarried sex is a bad idea.  Period.  Bad for women, because of the biochemical bonding that takes place causing emotional issues, and eventually, after enough no-strings casual sex and one-night-stands, an inability to bond with her husband.  Bad for a man, because of the possibility of false rape charges if the girl decides it was a bad idea the next morning, because of the possibility of a sudden, unexpected, unintended child support payment popping up--because the courts don't check to make sure the woman's correct on who fathered that child--and because of gaining a reputation that might hamper him in future attempts to find Miss Right instead of Ms. Right Now.  In general, it's just a flat-out bad idea.

Best for single people to stick to self-gratification.  Better for them in the long run, and cheaper--for them and for those of us who pay taxes.

Comfort.  Yes, we need it.  It's as simple as a hug from a friend, or a favorite food, or an Oreo.  My husband's comfort item is good quality dark chocolate.  Mine is coffee, good coffee.  And yes, decaf is okay.

Those are needs.  Wants are a whole different matter--and I think most of us in my group of blog buddies are aware of where a new iPhone falls.  Or where eating out, or premium cable packages, or granite counter tops fall.

Unfortunately, I can't say the same for the rest of the nation. 

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