One of the funniest and most insightful routines George Carlin ever offered us as a comedic observation was a house was a pile of stuff with a cover on it. Like all classic Carlin 'bits' there was an edge beyond the laugh point if we wanted to feel it. And, of course, he was spot-on. We become possessed by our possessions, despite the best of intentions otherwise.
That's always pretty evident this time of year as I gather income tax forms, college loan statements and bank reports and punch all the numbers into Turbo Tax, typing everything very carefully with my fingers crossed, hoping for the best and fearing the worst. I'm always astonished (thunderstuck is my current favorite descriptive) by how much money I was paid in the course of a year (and at how little of it I have any personal recollection of spending). Same for you?
I'm wondering if anyone has ever said to the IRS, 'nope-don't think these gross earnings numbers are accurate; where is all of this money I supposedly got?' Make 'em prove it to you. Satellite images of you buying stuff, serial numbers from the money, all the minutiae we see on the CSI shows and The Real Housewives of Orange County (you know what I mean).
But as I said earlier, we are prisoners of all of these possessions, purchased with colored pieces of paper we have more or less agreed mean something. Barbara was right, all those years ago with a sign on her desk that said "I am now starving to death on the salary I once dreamed of making." And it all seems to come down to when is enough too much? Put your hand down, we're not looking for answers why do you think you have trouser pockets? To put the fun in?