“Who are you?” my cousin Duane asked me on Saturday afternoon. We'd spent the day playing nerd games together and were taking a break for pizza.
“What?” I said. I wasn't expecting a philosophical question over supper.
“I don't think you know who you are,” Duane said.
“What do you mean?” I asked.
“I don't think you know who you are,” he repeated. “You write about money and frugality, yet you spend $200 on dinner.” Duane was referring to the fancy meal we'd had in May at a Michelin-star restaurant in France. I knew it had been bugging him, but he hadn't said anything about it until now. (And that meal cost $267.41 for the two of us, not $200.)
“You paid $1900 for your used pickup, but you don't wash it. It's filthy. You buy new clothes that you don't need, but you leave your old clothes on the floor so that your cats pee on them.” It's true. Kim and I have a cat that will, from time to time, pee on my clothes.
“You say you don't like attention, that you don't want to be a celebrity, yet you're always taking on new work that puts you in the spotlight. You're thinking of doing a course for Audible, for instance, and you're talking about doing more speaking gigs — even though you hate speaking gigs,” Duane said.
All of these things were true. I couldn't argue.
“Who are you?” Duane asked. Well, that's a mighty fine question, Duane. That's a mighty fine question. [Read more…]