To Kill A Good Idea

Readers, a super short bonus post today. Imagine overhearing the following (partly hypothetical) conversation:

Person A: Hey, I was reading the other day about this thing called The Great American Apparel Diet. It sounds like people decide they want to cut back on their spending, and so they just decide not to buy any new clothes for a period of time, like for three months or six months, or whatever. Or even for a year. Pretty cool idea, right?

Person B: What? Wait, no clothes for a year? A year? [Pauses, trying quickly to think up something witty/snarky] People don't even buy any underwear [pauses for maximum effect] ... for a whole year?

Readers, what can we learn from Person B's response? Why do you think Person A's idea died the moment it entered Person B's mind?

Update: There turned out to be a lot more going on in this conversation than I initially thought! I've written a follow-up piece on this post that you can find here.

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chacha1 said...

I'd say Person B heard "reduce spending" and immediately went to the "I can't do that" place.

Drilling down (so to speak) to underwear is just a front for overall resistance to change.

Anonymous said...

Too tired, but somehow there should be a joke in this with a punchline involving a kilt. :)

Anonymous said...

I've been Person A on few occasions in my life. Very effective cost reduction option, but in all honesty, very boring too.

Anonymous said...

To paraphrase chacha1:
I'd say that Person B heard only the longest time mentioned by Person A, and immediately went to the "I can't do that" place. Rather than imagining what it might be like to not spend money on new clothes for 3 months, (s)he heard only "1 year", and was so overwhelmed that (s)he simply wrote it off as too extreme to even be possible.

homefire said...

Oh, good heavens! What Person B said is the most inane thing I've ever heard. They were insinuating that there is something *wrong* with wearing the same clothes for a year, which is utterly ridiculous. They were trying to make it sound like you never *washed* them or something! There have been MANY times that I have gone over a year without buying clothes, including underwear--possibly longer than two years, though I don't know for sure--and it's absolutely no big deal! Anyone who doesn't wear clothes longer than a year is probably either an impossible spendthrift or growing fatter at an atrocious rate.

Whenever someone pooh-poohs a frugal idea as being impossible, I tend to lose much of my respect for them.

Sarah C said...

I think the 11:52 response was dead on - Person 2 heard the extreme and shut down.
Is there something wrong with me that I don't throw out underwear until it gets holey? I feel like I missed a memo about underwear expiring even if you wash it with each use (I swear!). I honestly have underwear from 1997 that I still wear occasionally...okay maybe it is me.

Daniel said...

Good comments so far!

This is one of those conversations where LOTS of things are going on. The more I look at this back and forth between A and B, and the more I think about your comments, the more I see.

In fact there's so much going on here that I started typing up a comment here and it grew and grew into another post. I'll run it in another day or two.

I want to thank each of you for your thoughts and comments. I love my readers: you have great, great insights and you make me think.