• Michael McGowan

I Ain't Gonna Lie, I Just Want a Beer

Driving around in a big city you’ll see all kinds of interesting stuff. People walk down the street at all hours of the night. That goes on everywhere, but the clothes they wear, the hair styles, make-up, accessories they have. Where the heck are they going? Unfortunately, I have things I’ve got to get to as well so I never bother to ask them. One of the sad things you might see in big cities (small ones as well) is large lines of tents that people might call home. It’s sad. Those homes are occupied by the mentally ill, rock bottom people that might have lost everything from their jobs, family, and sometimes their hope.

When I have a few bucks in my pocket and someone is panhandling at the freeway exit I might pass a couple of bucks to them. What am I going to do with it? Probably purchase a few hundred calories of candy that I definitely don’t need. Every time I give this cash away I tend to think I hope this person doesn’t go buy alcohol or drugs. I always justify it to myself by telling myself it’s my actions not his actions that counts.

One day, rolling up to my usual stop light from the freeway I saw a man holding a sign that read: “Shit, I aint gonna lie I just want a beer.” I gave him $5! (And for you math experts that’s not 5!=120). I’m still beating myself up over that $5. All my justifications were thrown out the window with that Mr. Lincoln. Why did I do it? I don’t know. Maybe it was because of the brutal honesty. The variety of signs I see is mostly the same. “Need Food”, “God bless”, “Help me get home”. How many of those people are truthful, no one can say.

My point is this: we lie to ourselves all the time about the little purchases we make. We hide them from our spouses. And in the case of those 250 calories of candy: I hide the candy from my kids and I hide it from myself by not including it in my daily calories counter. We tell ourselves we deserve a treat. How do I know when I deserve a treat? Because I hit a weight goal? Because I worked long hours? Because I hit traffic coming home? All lies, but simple justifications in how to use money.

Is there anything that you lie to yourself concerning purchases?

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