So far outside the box you can't even see the box from here.
Thursday, November 29, 2012
How much is too much? How big is too big?
Remember when the McMansion was all the rage? During the housing boom the trend was to buy the biggest house you could almost afford. With easy financing, some of those houses were big indeed.
At some point a house is no longer your home. A small house serves the owner. It provides warmth and shelter and doesn't take all the owner's time and money. As a house gets bigger, you don't own it, it owns you. All your time and money go into maintaining it. Just keeping it clean becomes a full time job. The rich can afford hired help to do all that stuff. There are cleaners, cooks, landscaping crews -you name it. At that point, it's not a house anymore. Too many other people come and go at will. Often a few rooms are off limits to the help so the owners can have some sense of privacy. At that point, they've recreated the small house within the big house.
I see the same trends with sailboats. The glossy magazines like to feature these monster boats that require a crew to sail effectively. Even with a crew, the boat relies on lots of power equipment to take the place of even more hands. On the other end of the scale, (where I live) are the boats that can easily be sailed with one or two people. Since there are so few gadgets in the boat, there's very little that can go wrong. With a small boat it's easy to go sailing a lot, and what's a boat for anyway?
Humans are only so big. They only take so much space, water, food, or shelter. Beyond a certain point, the human no longer fits in his life. They go around like a kid wearing their parent's clothes. Sure, it's cute for a short while, but after that it's silly.
So why do we strive to acquire more than we reasonably use? It's a matter of status and one oneupmanship. Stupid way to compete. Why don't we compete on who could be the nicest, most generous, or the most clever.
I live in an area of NH known as the Great North Woods. I'm in my dome-i-cile out in the county with my lovely wife and a varying number of family and friends
-part red neck, part hippie but all country. Experimenting and enjoying the adventure of life.