20190826 00102f 5 minutes
Musings, Life

Life is like Rummy. Different people have different strategies: the careful, neat player will do well with basic Rummy. They will pick up only a strictly useful card; one that actually makes a three- or four-card set. When playing against another neatnik it will be a real contest. When against me they will usually win, hands down.

However, if we are playing the other version of Rummy, I play it like life: if there is a card deep back in the pack that can make a set with something in my hand, I have no compunction about taking the whole succeeding pile, and ending up with a fistful of cards. As long as there are couples to make with what I already hold, that’s good. Usually succeeding discards or pick-ups will more than compensate for the risk of being caught with half the pack in my hand.

That is how I play life.

If I see something that I “know” I will need, eventually, and it is a good deal, I will acquire it. It might be a while before it gets to be used. Even quite a long while. But eventually it will (almost always) have its day in the sun.

But the mores of our tribe do not condone keeping anything that hasn’t been used for six months or a year. A friend the other day said if he hasn’t used something during the last year, he disposes of it; his house is like an impersonal hotel. Then, if he needs it again, he replaces it. Problem is, I know I won’t be able to replace it. He agreed that makes a different playing field..

We all do what is most important to us at any given moment. The mores of one’s tribe usually having an important influence on what takes priority.

My problem is that frequently my priorities don’t necessarily coincide with what society considers appropriate. The rules usually get to be made by people who wish to make others conform, in this instance the neatniks, and of course, Hollywood and the corporations, not by people who are happy to live and let live. They convince those who are willing to be led that they are right and that anyone who doesn’t toe-the-line must be BAD.

The other aspect of my non-conformity is that I’m not too worried about keeping up with the Joneses. I know that I can’t and it usually doesn’t bother me. Visiting stores makes me realize what I can’t have, so I keep away. Since I have food to last for ages, I only regularly need to go to the farm or supermarket for milk, eggs, yogurt cheeze and bananas. Most everything else is either in the root cellar, the pantry or the freezer. When it needs replacing I go to the farm and buy in bulk and get back into preserving mode.

As for clothes, I have enough to last until Hell freezes over! In fact I have started disposing of both clothes and books, of which I have many too many.

But we are learning all sorts of strange things about the brain, how it works, and how it is wired: what predisposes us to various inclinations or disinclinations. All I can say is that my brain was wired funny, and apparently there isn’t too much I can do about it. Only when my priorities coincide with those of the tribe will life cease to be a constant contest with the value system the neatniks have successfully installed.