Imagining “The Dark Side”

Sometimes I wonder what it would take to spend money every day. Probably not much, just enough pressure coupled with an absence of awareness. It seems like this week I am already on my way: derby on Monday, drinks on Tuesday, coffee today, derby on Thursday, coffee on Friday (for work this time), Saturday and Sunday the usual errands. That leaves only tomorrow to manage.
Sometimes I wonder what it would take for me to go completely off the rails: to blow all the habits I keep trying to develop and swing in the opposite direction. What would I have to do to develop serious credit card debt? What would I have to do to live like the “Average American” cited in so many news reports? Get a credit card would be top of the list, and then willfully buy all the things I want but no I can’t afford. Clothes. Drinks. Coffee. More clothes. Books. Possessions.

I wonder how quickly it would take to lose what I’ve gained, how fast could I spend what I have. I’m sure it would take less time than I could predict. A quick flight somewhere would blow it, a sufficiently ridiculous shopping trip (actually I am not sure that I am capable of spending that much on clothes). I’ve spent a lot of time in the past imagining what it would be like to have large sums of money (even just comfortable sums of money), but I’ve never really considered what it would be like to spend the money I actually have in one fell swoop.

In my imagination, excessive spending spins into a host of other vices. Cigarette smoking. Heavy drinking. Dereliction. Wrecked relationships. Probably this dark daydream demonstrates how irrationally highly I’ve learned to value personal finance, that the idea of excessive spending on clothes and chai lattes becomes a monster of alcoholism and homelessness. It’s a little hyperbolic, I’ll admit, but I have an active imagination. I’m not saying this happens every time or that this is what would happen to me. I’m just imagining what’s possible on the dark side of the spectrum.

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