"No matter what you do," said an old friend, "you're always part of the Zeitgeist." This comment was apropos baby names, when I marveled at the fact that when my brother- and sister-in-law went to a Lamaze reunion, they discovered that every girl produced by the group--including my niece--was named Claire. (That was in 1989, so it's safe to name girls Claire again. My own name, very rare until recently, has been moving up the charts of late.)
Needless to say, unless you've been in a very remote area, you must be aware that the Zeitgeist is frugality.
I am here to declare that I've always been frugal, even before the current craze. In fact, owing to my contrarian nature, I am becoming less so now that it is au courant. If all your savings are evaporating, it seems it may have been better to have spent the money on, say, a forest green Lacanche stove ($8000), rather than watching it disappear.
I have been thinking about this because yesterday, at the fancy free lunch we had courtesy of the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities (Mr. DFS received an award), I had the good fortune to sit next to Jan B., head of the St. Tammany Parish Library system. Jan B. is one of those innovative library people; she was receiving an award for the incredibly high turnout for programs at her libraries.
She reminded me of one of the rare failures: when I--and another Jan, Jan D.--led a series of frugality workshops at the library. This was in about 2003. Jan D. and I planned and planned; we put together fabulous materials (food, holiday, kids, on and on). We had handouts. We presented both theory and practical tips.
Truly, a masterpiece. Except we had almost no audience. At the first session, we had 4; by the last, we had 1. Jan B. suggested we resurrect the idea, owing to the "recent unpleasantness." Who knows if anyone will come!
So, dear readers, a survey. Where are you in relation to the frugal Zeitgeist? Are you a long-time frugalite or a newcomer to the joys and creativity of frugality?