Bean counting and bag lady dreams
When does healthy financial caution become pecuniary paranoia?
Oh, we had a few other foods -- primarily vegetarian minestrone, homemade spaghetti sauce, baked white or sweet potatoes, scrambled eggs and occasionally a chicken leg quarter that I'd buy and roast for my daughter. The meat counter guy used to kid me: "Come on, live it up -- buy two!" I'd laugh along with him, but he would never know how I hoarded change just to be able to buy one.
After I married, it was years before I could even think about beans. But for the two years it took to get divorced, I was back to bean soup. The Bag Lady showed up then too: in a recurring nightmare about my being broke and alone, with nowhere to go and no reason to live. A therapist I know says this dream is common among middle-aged divorcees.
I paid off my debts two years ago. And I'm still eating beans. That's not to say that I don't eat other things, or even eat out on occasion. But occasional Bag Lady reruns keep me from living too large.
Do men have these dreams, I wonder?
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That's where I am now. I pay my bills, help a couple of relatives who are struggling financially, make some charitable donations and, yes, set money aside each month. But from time to time the nightmare comes back: I'm being evicted from my apartment. My daughter cannot be located. No one will help me. My money is gone.
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Thus I doubt I'll give up beans any time soon. However, I would like to stop counting them -- asleep or awake.
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