One night when I was out with Eleonora, I bought a pack of gum and received some annoying penny coins for change. Lacking any pockets and with no homeless people in sight, I simply threw them on the ground rather than carry around some dirty coppers all night. Eleonora was absolutely shocked. A lengthy discussion followed about examples of excess, starving children in Africa, arrogance, etc.
The upshot: I still maintain that my decision was a rational one.
Cut to Monday night: I’ve been wanting a black scarf for ages. Seriously, they look good and, more importantly, it is obscenely cold here and a scarf would really make me more comfortable. Eleonora and I had met up with Chiara at a French cafe for coffee (Well, I had hot chocolate, but that is beside the point). As we were exiting the cafe, I noticed a gorgeous Italian cashmere scarf lying on the ground right in front of me. Even though it was raining hard, only the edge of it was wet, meaning it hadn’t been there all day and been trod upon by hundreds of people. It was great. I picked it up and brushed it off while commenting on my good fortune. Eleonora was horrified.
“You don’t know who might have worn it. That’s disgusting.”
“I don’t think a homeless guy would have a scarf like this. Besides I’m not going to wear it right now, I’m going to take it home and wash it first”
This in no way mollified her. My girlfriend reacted as if I were an animal. Her reaction was as if I had told her that I killed a pregnant woman and dumped the body in the Thames.
I tried a different approach: “I have this friend named Ian that furnished his whole apartment with the cast-offs of other people. He even got a free TV that someone wanted to get rid of. It’s sensible from an ecological perspective and why should Ian go out and buy a TV when he can get a free one? It’s the same with the other things he acquired, just as it is with this scarf.”
Eleonora responded, “It’s completely different. You don’t wear a TV. So, what if someone offered him something like a used mattress, he would take it? Yeah, right.”
“Ummm, well, actually…” (Eds. Note: Ian did, in fact, acquire a used mattress for free on Craigslist. With no regrets, I hasten to add.)
Now, she acted as if I told her that Ian had helped me kill the pregnant woman and dump her body in the Thames. Man, Eleonora criticized me for ridding myself of the burden of carrying around dirty pennies all evening, but now I’m a barbarian because I picked up a scarf from the ground? Where’s the consistency there? Chicks just don’t get it.
The upshot: As all chicks do, she got over it. And now, your dear editor is looking dashing as hell with his new (and laundered) scarf. Oh, and I still maintain that I made a rational decision in this case as well.