A Chilling Moment

For the sake of the argument, imagine that you’ve just won an “all expense paid” trip to the Caribbean. Warm sunny weather, beautiful beaches; the works. In fact, the only caveat is that the air conditioner in the lobby of your hotel is on the fritz, creating an uncomfortable chill for the 30 seconds it takes you to scurry across the corridor. (That’s it; that’s the entire scenario.) Which part of this experience will you dress for? The minute or two out of the day spent shuffling across a nippy hallway, or the remaining 23 hours and fifty-some-odd minutes of warm leisure?

In the interest of sane judgment, I’d like to assume that no one would show up sporting a thermally insulated jacket, snow pants, and a trapper hat, but as it turns out, sanity is… subjective. The aforementioned scenario mirrors the average Joe’s winter circumstances in that it’s warm where most of us live, it’s warm where most of us work, it’s warm where most of us shop, and it’s warm in most of our cars. Save for the 30 second chill as we scurry across an outdoor parking lot, we’re warm 24 hours a day, and that’s certainly what I dress for.

Cut to Walmart, where even in the dead of winter, the ambient temperature lingers in the upper 60s, then cue the goofy lump of GORE-TEX staggering past me with a quizzical gaze fixed on my shorts. “Oh my god, aren’t you cold?” Nope. I suppose I might’ve been if I was stuck outside like your idiot kid, pushing on the “PULL TO OPEN” door for the past 5 minutes, but I’m in here where it’s nice and warm. Aren’t you hot?

Aim at foot. Pull trigger.

When purchasing a car from a dealership–unless you’re paying cash–there eventually comes the part where the dealership reaches out to a number of banks in an effort to get you approved for the loan.  (Which, if you have ANY sort of credit, they eventually do.)

For better or worse, my philosophy has always been to spend only what I have, and to operate on borrowed money only as a last resort.  Consequently, my credit history is virtually non-existent, so the dealership had to check with quite a few institutions before eventually finding one that would offer me the loan… which is fine; that’s just how that works.

Here’s the part that BLOWS MY MIND:  The financial institutions that declined my application–many of which I’d never even heard of–each took it upon themselves to write me just to tell me that they couldn’t give me a loan, effectively sending me an introductory letter in which they establish their brand as unable to fulfill the ONE service they exist to offer.  If that’s not a stunning example of shooting yourself in the foot, truly, I don’t know what is.