Last year during the Bernie Madoff scandal (as in he “made off” with other people’s money!), I read something that shed light on his psychological makeup, which might explain what partly motivated him to steal billions of dollars from others (including his friends and charitable organizations—UGH).
The article quoted a “friend” who said he asked Bernie why he HAD TO HAVE so much stuff (I’m paraphrasing): Why so much jewelry and watches? Why so many cars, boats, and planes?
Bernie answered, “My mother wouldn’t buy me a pair of Keds.”
Whoa! That sounded familiar. When I was 14 and starting high school, my Mom said to me, “You want new clothes? Buy them yourself!” That pronouncement sent shock waves through my financially-distraught DNA that still reverberates today.
I think it’s the reason I STILL buy too many clothes and shoes.
Like I was as an insecure teenager, I STILL can’t stand to have unhip, unfashionable clothes. Even when I’m home alone in my writing room, I still look halfway decent. And ALWAYS have cool shoes on.
My Mom’s pronouncement also jumped started my foray into corporate America immediately (at Quaker Gardens, a retirement home), which is probably why I got sick of corporate scene sooner than most.
But unlike Bernie, I’ve never spent anybody’s money BUT MY OWN. I also don’t hoard stuff and give away my clothes and shoes when I tire of them or run out of closet space—sometimes with the labels still attached!
And unlike Bernie, I also DON’T NEED expensive digs, furniture, Steinways, cars, yachts, airplanes, and diamond jewelry. I’m just addicted to clothes and shoes. It makes me feel better about myself that I’m somewhat restrictive in my overspending.
And unlike Bernie, when the economic times take a downturn, so does my spending. I do take into consideration the word “affordable.” (Most of the time…)
That said, I have been rewarding myself for writing blogs. As mentioned previously, I buy one pair of shoes per 50 blogs. I was so immersed in writing about baseball lately, I forgot to post my new pair of shoes for my 350th blog earlier this week.
Better late than never, here are my new shoes. The label is Everybody by B.Z. Moda, an Italian shoemaker.
This is my eighth pair of this brand. The leather is always buttery soft; the styling eclectic; the sizing small; the price so-so—usually around $200; but you can always find them cheaper (up to 60% off) on-line.
I like these shoes way better than the pair of black velveteen slippers owned by Bernie Madoff that will be auctioned off next month by federal officials—as a way to repay creditors and people Bernie has ripped off.
If you’re interested, 400 pieces owned by Madoff will be on the auction block on November 13th at the Sheraton New York. I think I’ll pass. Even if I LOVED a particular pair of Ruth’s shoes, the BAD KARMA that would accompany them would not be worth any bargain price.
And unlike Bernie, my less-lavish overspending (and without a Ponzi scheme to support it) will not land me in prison for 150 years!