Alice-Azania Jarvis ; 'Whisper it, but there is a bright side to the credit crunch...'
In The Red
Saturday 07 March 2009
I can't stand positive people. I really, really loathe them. Not plain happy people, obviously, or cheerful characters – they're quite different. The ones I can't stand are those who put a sort of moral emphasis on positive-thinking. You know what I mean – those irritating types who say things like "look on the bright side" or "you've got to have the right attitude". Urgh, annoying, aren't they?
Right now, the worst kind of positive person is the economically positive one – the type that sees a bright side to the credit crunch. Clearly, it can be a bit depressing what with all the job losses, cost-cutting and evil bankers. But most people cope by watching Slumdog Millionaire, eating chocolate, or necking a bottle of vodka. You know, to take their mind off things.
Positive people, however, try to find a bright side. "Well at least we won't be flying so much," they trill, or "at least there's no more 'keeping up with the Joneses.'" They do, admittedly, have a point. But the thing with these cheery-uppy types, is that they're usually the ones with nothing to lose. The ones who either don't have jobs, and instead have a steady flow of money coming from elsewhere, or those that have a job which they are unlikely to lose – like bailiffs.
That said, the other day – entirely by accident – I stumbled across a minor (whisper it) bright side to my financial woes. And before I'd even realised what I was doing, I'd turned to my boyfriend and said: "You know the good thing about the credit crunch? Magazines have stuff that I can afford."
And it's true! It might not be true for much longer – if things get so bad that I can no longer afford anything. But last weekend at least, for that first time in my life, I could open a magazine and find their usually aspiration-only pages full of things I might actually buy: a clock for £15, a handbag for £25, or a pair of shoes for £30. It was amazing.
There are disadvantages. Instead of just mindlessly lying in the bath and flipping through a magazine before chucking it to one side, I've started tearing out the pictures and scattering them around the flat. This means not only that my sitting room has started to resemble a recycling plant, but also that I end up buying things and then have even less money than I did in the first place.
See? Never be too positive.
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