My buddy John hasn't bought a new shirt in about 20 years. And the reason he hasn't bought a new shirt in 20 years is because he buys used shirts at the Disabled Vietnam Vet store.
His logic is irrefutable;
"I don't care to find a wife. I don't go out to bars or clubs. So why spend $20 on a new shirt that will just go out of style in a year when I can buy a used shirt for $1 and help out the disabled vets?"
But his logic also applies to other wares and services, especially when you don't care to go to boomchicaboom bars and just want a beer or just want a burger.
God bless the VFW and American Legion.
For if there are establishments that stand to gain from a recession, it will be the American Legion and the VFW.
I've started frequenting the VFW's and American Legion's in the area simply because of three reasons;
1. I don't "go out" anymore "trying to meet girls" and therefore have no reason to pay $9 for a martini.
2. You can not only get a martini, but a burger, fries, a soda and tip for $9 at an American Legion or VFW.
3. I'd rather give my $9 to the vets than some young preppy putz on daddy's dime who thinks they're going to make it big by setting up a bar and charging $10 for a martini in down town. Additionally the conversation and company of veterans is insanely more intellectual and less painful than trying to converse with Bambi the cosmetology major about who should be voted off Teen Idol.
And that's why I like Jim.
I met Jim at the American Legion in town. He was an older guy, WWII vet and dapperly dressed for his age. We got to talking and I noticed after five minutes of conversation that he had a wedding ring on. The problem was it didn't add up. It was approaching midnight and he was at a bar sipping away at some kind of bourbon talking to my skinny Irish ass. Where was his wife?
Unfortunately I knew the answer, but thought an old guy like him might like to talk about it.
"Where's your wife?"
He paused and with no change or inflection in his tone said, "She's dead."
"How long ago?" I asked.
"Three years." he said.
I didn't want to make a comment about him still wearing his ring. Not that I wanted him to "go out and find another girl" or that "he should get over it and move on." Quite the contrary. If I would have said anything it would have been, "Hey, I respect that you're still wearing that ring and being loyal to your wife, even after her death." But I didn't deem my political observation necessary. Based on how many drinks he had, I figured he was bidding his time and numbing the pain until he could see her again.
That being said, I'll be damned if I don't applaud him here and now. For I could never figure out, for my self anyway, if I got married and my wife were to die, how I could re-marry. Maybe I'm too idealistic. Maybe I've watched too many American movies where the good guys win and there's some semblance of justice or honor. But if I lost my wife, I don't think, let alone see how I could marry another gal. No disrespect to all you other gals out there, but that concept of marrying "the one" (not to get all chicky on you guys) means "the one."
And I tip my hat to Jim for having such a lovely wife that he could accept no substitute.