Author Topic: How do you defend/explain your lifestyle to others?  (Read 24765 times)

happy

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Re: How do you defend/explain your lifestyle to others?
« Reply #50 on: December 02, 2013, 01:05:23 AM »
I don't set out to specifically either explain or defend. I basically deflect comments, am economical with the truth, make jokes or confuse people regarding my status to put them off balance.

I find as a physician, single mum, working part-time, people have a hard time pegging my income so  this I think throws them a bit. Also no-one knows how much child support my ex is providing ( not much!) and I don't elaborate. As I say, a bit of vagueness about all this means people can't make assumptions/judgement and therefore generally don't ask pointed questions or make pointed comments for fear of offending.

I regard myself as semi-retired, but I don't tell people this at work, in case it affects my work status in some way. Up until now I have just traded on the mother working part-time line, want to spend time with the kids: and thats true.  Kids are getting older, so this is getting a bit lame so I might get called on this sometime soon.

Otherwise I just deflect comments with things like:

Bringing own lunch: can't stand the cafeteria food, too busy to go out to get lunch, need to watch my weight ( all true)
Not buying coffees: now I'm getting older it keeps me awake at night (true)
Parking in the street: the walk up the hill to work gives me some exercise (True, I'm overweight)
No i-phone: I can't stand gadgets,  I'm a technophobe (Not exactly true, but I'm old enough to get away with this one)

Recently I was at an upmarket function, and my son brought up the  issue of our "new" (secondhand) Prius. One of the flashy dudes said "so the Prius is the hire car right?" One of my friends answered "Nope the Prius is the new car". I just laughed and said "Yup, I've always wanted a Prius". This caused a mild ripple of discomfort/embarrassment/tension in the group, which I just enjoyed since it made the flashy dude look like a condescending jerk.


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Re: How do you defend/explain your lifestyle to others?
« Reply #51 on: December 02, 2013, 06:23:11 AM »
I dislike the commercialism aspect of Christmas. I prefer to simply spend the holiday with family -- time with family is the only present I will ever need!  :)

And thanks to everyone who mentioned the positive spin to those odd questions! I am definitely going to use that!

JessieImproved

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Re: How do you defend/explain your lifestyle to others?
« Reply #52 on: December 02, 2013, 07:38:27 AM »
Almost everyone I know takes it very well.  Honestly, most of them are envious (but apparently not envious enough to try it...ahem).  And when people don't get it, well, I have a little bit of a different problem.  I don't really care what they think about me, but I care about them, as in caring about their future.  It makes me sad when people I care about are wallowing in debt, clutter, stress and perpetually delaying retirement.

galaxie

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Re: How do you defend/explain your lifestyle to others?
« Reply #53 on: December 02, 2013, 08:22:06 AM »
I have a spendy co-worker friend who knows about my early retirement plan.  Her opinion is, "well, good luck to you, but I could NEVER manage that."  She's always talking about the new shoes/dress/whatever that she bought.  I don't mind talking about shopping, because she has good taste.  But I save the things I like to pinterest, and maybe I spend a little money once in a while.  She saves the things she likes directly to her closet.  :)

My neighborhood friends, however, are cheap nerds who love to DIY stuff.  Some of them work at startups, some of them are in grad school, some have corporate jobs, but everyone has internalized that you don't impress people by spending money, you impress people by creating cool things or fun activities.  (You should see us at Halloween.)  So we make presents, or throw dinner parties, or do other creative stuff.  It's not free to make amazing crafts and throw parties, but it's cheaper (and more fun) than buying costumes and going out.

MsSindy

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Re: How do you defend/explain your lifestyle to others?
« Reply #54 on: December 02, 2013, 08:27:54 AM »
I think a lot of it has to do with how you carry yourself and the confidence you have.  I think people treat you how you allow them to treat you.

Comments I get:
Lunch - You're so good, you bring your lunch everyday!  I wish I was that organizedナ.OR I wish my leftovers looked as good as yours, etc.
Weddings - As women are talking about their lavish weddings (or their offspring).  When it gets to me I say, "Justice of the Peace, 12 bucks, been married 23 years.  I like a drama-free life."  They can't argue with 20+ years of marriage.
Cars - I drive a 12 year old Ford Focus (my colleagues all have new luxury brands).  "Wow, your car is so clean" - "Yeah, I take care of it."  I have never had anyone tell me I should upgrade.
Cable - My coworkers are talking endlessly about all the shows they watch.  Me: "You guys are crazy, how much time do you spend watching TV for Pete's sakeナ".  If anyone says, "what, you don't watch TV?", I'll say something like "no, I have a life, don't need to watch other people having one" - always said in a chiding friendly way.
Gift Giving - I don't say much here unless directly asked.  I typically say, "no not really, anything my hubby and I need we just pick up throughout the year.  We prefer to go low-key for the holidays, less stressful that way.  Besides I'm a lousy gift picker-outer"
Kids - We don't have any (I'm in my 40s).  I have never had a co-worker ask me WHY I don't have kids.  When exchanging first-meeting pleasantries and people ask about kids, I usually say something like, "No, we preferred to go the dog route instead" - said with a smile.


The key is to not make your response defensive, more just matter of fact.  Maybe all my co-workers and family are just tactful, but I have never had anyone question or comment on my lifestyle. ナ.or maybe I give off the air of a real bitch and they're afraid of me  :)    I like to think that it is just an air of confidence.

AlanStache

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Re: How do you defend/explain your lifestyle to others?
« Reply #55 on: December 02, 2013, 08:32:30 AM »
Full honesty seems to have worked in my office: "Well if I spend lots less, I can save/invest lots more and maybe retire long before I am 65.  As great as this company is to work for, being retired sounds better."

But also I work almost entirely with engineers, and only a few people go out for lunch and then only once or twice a week.


melalvai

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Re: How do you defend/explain your lifestyle to others?
« Reply #56 on: December 02, 2013, 09:09:47 AM »
I'm glad someone mentioned just being honest. If you are careful to present it as YOUR choice, that you're not judgmental of anyone else's choices, you might be surprised to find other people are interested in it.

Brown bag lunch: "Well, we realized we were spending $400 a month eating out. Packing my own lunch earns us $4800 a year, invested over 10 years is...(I forget the math)."

I don't know what kind of people you work with, but in my world, that would be enough to get anyone's immediate interest. I've never met anyone who questioned the desire to save money or to earn more money, except for some hippie friends who would like to overthrow capitalism. (I love my hippie friends and their motivations are noble, even if I don't agree with their conclusions.)

As far as explaining the goal of financial independence, in the work place, it's important to emphasize that you're making yourself recession-proof. You like your job at the moment, you don't have any fears for your job security, but you never know what life will bring, and so you want to be financially independent. Put something like that, and it is non-threatening and non-judgmental.

AlanStache

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Re: How do you defend/explain your lifestyle to others?
« Reply #57 on: December 02, 2013, 09:28:10 AM »
Yes and when being honest I have seen a few light-bulbs turn on in the face of coworkers.  I like the recession-proofing line too. 

Lots of people take it as a given that they will work till 65 and it never occurred to them that there are alternatives.  I know it did not really occur to me till this year.

infogoon

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Re: How do you defend/explain your lifestyle to others?
« Reply #58 on: December 02, 2013, 10:34:06 AM »
I honestly don't know how the people here who have "high emotional iq," or who seem very upset when others disapprove of their lifestyle, stay mustachian.  I couldn't if I was constantly swayed by consumerism, commercials telling me how to make other people like me and fit in, etc.

That might explain the significant proportion of engineers/STEM types around here. For the most part, careers like that tend to attract people who don't care too much about social convention.

Bakari

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Re: How do you defend/explain your lifestyle to others?
« Reply #59 on: December 02, 2013, 01:05:30 PM »

I honestly don't know how the people here who have "high emotional iq," or who seem very upset when others disapprove of their lifestyle, stay mustachian.  I couldn't if I was constantly swayed by consumerism, commercials telling me how to make other people like me and fit in, etc.

I don't know the exact official definition of the term, but someone who gets very upset when others disapprove of them seems to me by default to not have a high emotional IQ.  It doesn't mean "highly emotional"!
« Last Edit: December 02, 2013, 01:46:23 PM by Bakari »

Ottawa

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Re: How do you defend/explain your lifestyle to others?
« Reply #60 on: December 02, 2013, 01:21:29 PM »
I use a combination of the bolded areas in the following excerpts:

When I was working in an office I was pretty eccentric anyway (eating "dinner" food at breakfast time, not wearing shoes, doing weird stuff for charity) so people didn't really care about whether I brought lunch or bought new shirts as regularly as they did. I also very obviously didn't give a **** what they thought about me so any petty bullies pretty quickly gave up (it also helps that I have a quicker and nastier wit than almost anyone).

My close colleagues / direct reports actually used to joke about how I must be super rich because I never spent money on anything.

and this:

I'm glad someone mentioned just being honest. If you are careful to present it as YOUR choice, that you're not judgmental of anyone else's choices, you might be surprised to find other people are interested in it.

Brown bag lunch: "Well, we realized we were spending $400 a month eating out. Packing my own lunch earns us $4800 a year, invested over 10 years is...(I forget the math)."

I don't know what kind of people you work with, but in my world, that would be enough to get anyone's immediate interest. I've never met anyone who questioned the desire to save money or to earn more money, except for some hippie friends who would like to overthrow capitalism. (I love my hippie friends and their motivations are noble, even if I don't agree with their conclusions.)

Basically a combination of objectivity, trenchancy and thick skin...and yes...the delivery is important.  Am I chiding?  Am I serious?  I like to make this ambiguous...people tend to stop asking questions...unless they are interested...

What do people think of this approach?  I'm not too sure for the people who don't enquire further (and naturally I don't care).  Generally the people that enquire further are interested (in whatever the topic happens to be). 

dragoncar

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Re: How do you defend/explain your lifestyle to others?
« Reply #61 on: December 02, 2013, 02:10:02 PM »

I honestly don't know how the people here who have "high emotional iq," or who seem very upset when others disapprove of their lifestyle, stay mustachian.  I couldn't if I was constantly swayed by consumerism, commercials telling me how to make other people like me and fit in, etc.

I don't know the exact official definition of the term, but someone who gets very upset when others disapprove of them seems to me by default to not have a high emotional IQ.  It doesn't mean "highly emotional"!

Fair enough- I was going based on some pop-psych magazine article I probably read on a plane 5 years ago.  Wikipedia says there are three competing models so I don't even want to get into it.  These types of people who really internalize the emotions of others really do exist however, whatever you call them, as evidenced by a lot of worried threads in these forums.

Eric

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Re: How do you defend/explain your lifestyle to others?
« Reply #62 on: December 02, 2013, 03:05:57 PM »
Like others, I just tell people that I'm cheap.  I'm an accountant, so they kind of go together and no one really questions it after that.


I have begun to share some of my financial goals with a co-worker, and I excitedly tell her when I find money (which I seem to often do, as I get around town either on a bike or on foot).  She responded by hiding a few pennies in my (messy) office, so that I can be thrilled later when I find them.  Hmmm...not quite sure what to make of that.  But that's OK--for me, those "found" pennies go right in the "Other Income" column in my spreadsheet!!

Hahhahaha.  That's funny!  Sounds like a great person to work with.

Melody

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Re: How do you defend/explain your lifestyle to others?
« Reply #63 on: December 02, 2013, 04:15:30 PM »
I say that I am saving for a house (true - but I am already way beyond the 5% most first home buyers would put down) and a holiday (true - but my holidays are reasonably frugal affairs, so it's not like I need to save that much for them. My last EuroTrip was $3,200 including flights from Australia.) If people ask more questions I will expand on savings techniques... I feel like in our society we congratulate spendy purchases but not savings. So if someone says "I'm saving for a trip too" I'll try and swap some hints with them :)

I also defend aspects of my lifestyle as fun (e.g. cooking, riding bikes) which is generally true.
And other aspects through being lazy - e.g. the car is reliable, I can't be bothered taking a out a bunch of cars on test drives etc if this one is still reliable.
Housesharing - I would be lonely if I had to live alone. (True).

I do spend money on networking and looking socially acceptable for the office though. After all, I'm there 5 days a week, I might as well enjoy it. (I'm targeting semi-Fi in 11 years... I want to enjoy the next 11 years ideally in this current role. I work with great people! If I hated my job and was targeting FI ASAP this might be different.)

Elaine

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Re: How do you defend/explain your lifestyle to others?
« Reply #64 on: December 04, 2013, 08:53:26 AM »
Someone in another thread (please identify yourself as I cannot remember whom to credit!) suggested answering with positives like "I bring my lunch because I love cooking so much!" This way, it's explained as a positive for you, not something that brings their choices into question.

That was me! Yes I use positive statements, like, "I just love saving money!" "I'm just so weird, I love my packed lunch", etc. Instead of the potentially more truthful, "I don't want to spend $10 a day on food because that's fucking insane and unproductive and dumb."


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Re: How do you defend/explain your lifestyle to others?
« Reply #65 on: December 04, 2013, 09:47:17 AM »
I say that I am saving for a house (true - but I am already way beyond the 5% most first home buyers would put down)

People put down 5% on a house???! I thought 20% was the normally accepted standard....if there is such a thing.

Elaine

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Re: How do you defend/explain your lifestyle to others?
« Reply #66 on: December 04, 2013, 11:06:48 AM »
I say that I am saving for a house (true - but I am already way beyond the 5% most first home buyers would put down)

People put down 5% on a house???! I thought 20% was the normally accepted standard....if there is such a thing.

I'm right there with you, I thought 20% was totally standard until I talked to a very un-mustachian co-worker who said she wanted to buy a place and had 5% down. I asked and she said most people she knew only put down 5%. I don't understand why you would save so little for a down payment, but there you go. 

Dr.Vibrissae

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Re: How do you defend/explain your lifestyle to others?
« Reply #67 on: December 04, 2013, 02:24:49 PM »
I say that I am saving for a house (true - but I am already way beyond the 5% most first home buyers would put down)

People put down 5% on a house???! I thought 20% was the normally accepted standard....if there is such a thing.

I'm right there with you, I thought 20% was totally standard until I talked to a very un-mustachian co-worker who said she wanted to buy a place and had 5% down. I asked and she said most people she knew only put down 5%. I don't understand why you would save so little for a down payment, but there you go. 
Should I admit we put 5% down on our house? (Sheepish grin) Our mortgage plus taxes and insurance is $400 (30% less) a month less than our neighbors pay in rent for the EXACT same house (all the houses on our little street are identical beyond minor variances that I chalk up to builder indifference).  Plus I now save on gas and parking since we can both bike or bus to work (another $100 a month easily with the cost of gas and parking passes).  Would I do it again, probably.

clutchy

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Re: How do you defend/explain your lifestyle to others?
« Reply #68 on: December 04, 2013, 02:41:14 PM »
honestly you should probably go eat with your colleagues at some point.  Just bring your lunch.  It's always good to be sociable and connect with people at work.


other than that there's no need to justify yourself to people but I probably wouldn't put it out there that we don't buy gifts(we do).  I'd probably just be happy for people and let them enjoy what they have. 

Melody

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Re: How do you defend/explain your lifestyle to others?
« Reply #69 on: December 04, 2013, 04:00:11 PM »
I say that I am saving for a house (true - but I am already way beyond the 5% most first home buyers would put down)

People put down 5% on a house???! I thought 20% was the normally accepted standard....if there is such a thing.


Yeah, it's quite common for first home buyers here... average house price is $535k. Average rent is 500/week (assuming you can even get a rental, vacancies are just over 1%, but back when I was looking was 0.6%) making it hard to save that $110k you need for a deposit. Also many low income earners do not qualify for a rental (as you need to earn 3x the rent) whereas they can qualify for a loan to buy a basic house in the $350k range.  In many neighborhoods the interest on the loan is less than the rent and banks do not insist on 3x mortgage payments.

[City has under gone significant population growth with insufficient development resulting in a housing shortage The rental vacancy thing would be even worse if it wasn't for the fact that the price has forced many people out of the rental market - either into buying or being the 30 year old that lives at home after a stint out on their own - called "boomerang kids" in the local media. Many of my 25-27 year old co-workers are moving out of home for the first time this year and it will be into their own apartment - I only know one couple other than the "live at home" kids who managed 20%.]

But I also work with people who are paying PMI on their second home... WTF? I can understand pulling the trigger on first home and going in with a small deposit as long as once you are in there you are making loads of extra payments to hit 20% as fast as possible (which to be fair is what a lot of my friends do seem to be doing). But upgrading when you can't put down 20% is crazy. Why not stay in the old house?

melalvai

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Re: How do you defend/explain your lifestyle to others?
« Reply #70 on: December 04, 2013, 04:55:42 PM »
honestly you should probably go eat with your colleagues at some point.  Just bring your lunch.  It's always good to be sociable and connect with people at work.

It's pretty awkward to go into a restaurant with your own food. I feel like if I'm sitting at a restaurant's table, I ought to order something.

clutchy

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Re: How do you defend/explain your lifestyle to others?
« Reply #71 on: December 04, 2013, 05:50:38 PM »
order a water.

mm1970

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Re: How do you defend/explain your lifestyle to others?
« Reply #72 on: December 04, 2013, 07:02:16 PM »
honestly you should probably go eat with your colleagues at some point.  Just bring your lunch.  It's always good to be sociable and connect with people at work.

It's pretty awkward to go into a restaurant with your own food. I feel like if I'm sitting at a restaurant's table, I ought to order something.
Eat lunch before you go, and order a drink, or water.

dragoncar

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Re: How do you defend/explain your lifestyle to others?
« Reply #73 on: December 04, 2013, 07:05:45 PM »
honestly you should probably go eat with your colleagues at some point.  Just bring your lunch.  It's always good to be sociable and connect with people at work.

It's pretty awkward to go into a restaurant with your own food. I feel like if I'm sitting at a restaurant's table, I ought to order something.
Eat lunch before you go, and order a drink, or water.

Don't do this if it means they bump you to a bigger table.  It's not very nice.

Da Man

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Re: How do you defend/explain your lifestyle to others?
« Reply #74 on: December 05, 2013, 12:59:21 AM »
I'm in my mid 20s and today I was hanging out with a friend of mine (who is 23) who was reading this book she bought for $20 at the large chain bookstore:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Wealthy_Barber

The book says to save 10-15% of your savings and shift your perspective to reduce rampant consumerism. Of course, she thinking she's being very smart about her finances, I couldn't help but to share the gift of mustachianism with her. Unfortunately, she retorted with "But I want to live while I am young." I find this to be a very common belief within a lot of people my age (early to mid 20s).

I don't know what to say to that, other than "hey I am happy and I don't spend a lot!" and then they usually respond with "well I don't spend a lot either." And the conversation just ends there.

This must be how Christians feel when they try to convert people. It is very frustrating because I want to share my joy with her because we are good friends, but all I can do is stand by and watch her spend more and more to "live while she is young".
« Last Edit: December 05, 2013, 01:00:52 AM by Da Man »

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Re: How do you defend/explain your lifestyle to others?
« Reply #75 on: December 05, 2013, 02:22:57 AM »
I say that I am saving for a house (true - but I am already way beyond the 5% most first home buyers would put down)

People put down 5% on a house???! I thought 20% was the normally accepted standard....if there is such a thing.


Yeah, it's quite common for first home buyers here... average house price is $535k. Average rent is 500/week (assuming you can even get a rental, vacancies are just over 1%, but back when I was looking was 0.6%) making it hard to save that $110k you need for a deposit. Also many low income earners do not qualify for a rental (as you need to earn 3x the rent) whereas they can qualify for a loan to buy a basic house in the $350k range.  In many neighborhoods the interest on the loan is less than the rent and banks do not insist on 3x mortgage payments.

[City has under gone significant population growth with insufficient development resulting in a housing shortage The rental vacancy thing would be even worse if it wasn't for the fact that the price has forced many people out of the rental market - either into buying or being the 30 year old that lives at home after a stint out on their own - called "boomerang kids" in the local media. Many of my 25-27 year old co-workers are moving out of home for the first time this year and it will be into their own apartment - I only know one couple other than the "live at home" kids who managed 20%.]

But I also work with people who are paying PMI on their second home... WTF? I can understand pulling the trigger on first home and going in with a small deposit as long as once you are in there you are making loads of extra payments to hit 20% as fast as possible (which to be fair is what a lot of my friends do seem to be doing). But upgrading when you can't put down 20% is crazy. Why not stay in the old house?

A colleague of mine is doing this. She bought a starter home an hour from the city, ended up depressed and isolated, and has just moved into a rental while their new home was built. They also went through unemployment resulting in credit card debt; they no longer use credit cards and her spending patterns are better, but they still believe in working their whole lives.

dude

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Re: How do you defend/explain your lifestyle to others?
« Reply #76 on: December 05, 2013, 08:29:18 AM »
I don't actually care what they think about me . . . . Then people get the wrong idea about me through the grapevine.

:-)  You do see the contradiction here, right?

scottydog

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Re: How do you defend/explain your lifestyle to others?
« Reply #77 on: December 05, 2013, 10:51:02 AM »
I'm in my mid 20s and today I was hanging out with a friend of mine (who is 23) who was reading this book she bought for $20 at the large chain bookstore:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Wealthy_Barber

I can remember reading this book when I was 22 or 23.  Compared to MMM it seems pretty toothless, but there are still lots of great ideas that will put its adherents well above average - and yes, I know that's not saying much...  Maybe the Wealthy Barber can be sort of a "gateway approach/drug" to the MMM lifestyle. :-)  Don't give up hope!  Everyone travels their own path.

clutchy

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Re: How do you defend/explain your lifestyle to others?
« Reply #78 on: December 05, 2013, 01:34:19 PM »
I don't actually care what they think about me . . . . Then people get the wrong idea about me through the grapevine.

:-)  You do see the contradiction here, right?

quoted for exceptional clarity.

jybaatl35

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Re: How do you defend/explain your lifestyle to others?
« Reply #79 on: December 05, 2013, 05:03:04 PM »
I don't actually care what they think about me . . . . Then people get the wrong idea about me through the grapevine.

:-)  You do see the contradiction here, right?

quoted for exceptional clarity.

No need to be rude.  It actually does make sense.  No, I don't care what they THINK about me...yet I care about my reputation!

Richard3

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Re: How do you defend/explain your lifestyle to others?
« Reply #80 on: December 08, 2013, 01:04:57 PM »
So how is your reputation different from what people think about you?

Dicey

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Re: How do you defend/explain your lifestyle to others?
« Reply #81 on: December 08, 2013, 01:21:46 PM »
This is more on the defensive side of the question. I wash and re-use zippy bags for DH's lunches. When the family came for Thanksgiving, there were a few (new ones!) in the sink drainer, waiting to be washed. Later, I noticed the bags were gone. Turns out, my brother saw them, made fun of my ways to our other sibs, and then threw them out.

It did hurt my feelings, but I just had to remind myself that it was unimportant and laugh it off. Funny, when he needs a bridge loan, he comes to me. Not sure how I'll respond next time he needs an interest-free loan. How does he think I have the money in the first place?

Thanks for giving me a place to get this off my chest. I haven't said a word to anyone, but this is a site for kindred spirits. I feel better now.

yyc-phil

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Re: How do you defend/explain your lifestyle to others?
« Reply #82 on: December 08, 2013, 01:53:59 PM »
I am at a stage and age in my life where I don't really give a damn about what other people think of me. I am also lucky that in my field of work (environmental science, natural resources.) and in the place I live (Yellowknife), I am mostly surrounded by like-minded people who think positively of my lifestyle, or at the very least appreciate my eccentricity, although unlike them, I mostly buy whatever is on special at the store whereas they buy everything organic. The other half of town is the pick-up truck-driving, snowmobile, power boat and ATV riding, smoking, junk food eating, mostly obese crowd who usually spend their free time at Mall-Wart or in front of the idiot box watching NASCAR and munching on cheezies. I feel sorry for these guys because they live their lives on credit, from paycheque to paycheque, and will probably die early of heart disease or other self-inflicted lifestyle illness. I never see them. I am sure they yell some very intelligent expletives when they see me riding my bike on "their" road at -30. It was the same in my 5-year stint as a flight attendant. The vast majority of FAs try to pack healthy lunches and snacks, not only because it is healthier when on the road (or more appropriately in the skies) but to save our meal allowance which usually averages $1100 a month. While pilots eat most of their meals at the restaurant (they spend the whole day in the cockpit by themselves so they want to go out after a day of flying, while FAs are always socializing so they tend to prefer a healthier lifestyle which prioritizes working out and eating right), we all know our differences and all was good.

mm1970

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Re: How do you defend/explain your lifestyle to others?
« Reply #83 on: December 08, 2013, 09:20:20 PM »
honestly you should probably go eat with your colleagues at some point.  Just bring your lunch.  It's always good to be sociable and connect with people at work.

It's pretty awkward to go into a restaurant with your own food. I feel like if I'm sitting at a restaurant's table, I ought to order something.
Eat lunch before you go, and order a drink, or water.

Don't do this if it means they bump you to a bigger table.  It's not very nice.
We don't eat at these kind of restaurants...