Many times when the news talk about the current economic crisis, some mention of past crises would be made. There was some stock market crash in the 80's then there was 9/11. Truth is I cannot honestly say I felt any impact when those crises happened. In the 80's I was still in college and I suppose keeping up with all the homework and projects was enough to keep me busy. I was living at home and had some spending money from summer jobs and scholarships to meet life's basic necessities. After 9/11, surely we did not travel anywhere for a year but it was because of the nature of the terrorist attacks. Both the wife and I still had a job to support our baby son, the mortgage, the second-hand car's maintenance, etc.
It makes a lousy pick-up lines at singles bar but the thing is I simply have been living a relatively simple life. Simple compared to the rest of consumer-oriented America, that is. Yes we have broadband Internet access, a few computers, paid TV services, vacations, dining out, etc. But then again we don't constantly throw out old stuff just to make room for new stuff. Well, my wife's occasional shopping sprees leaves much to be desired but I hope to make up for that by spending little on clothes and shoes. My 10-year-old tube TV's physical volume control is getting wacky, lowering actually makes the sound louder, but I have no plan of getting a flat screen TV, as we can live with using the remote to control volume. It was years after music CDs first came out that we had a CD player. Same thing for DVD. BlueRay may be in our household, oh, maybe five years or more from now. While I would love to get the latest unibody MacBook, my PowerBook G4 running on Tiger is still working. Slowly some apps are available for Leopard only, but so far nothing critical enough for me to make the jump.
It helps to grow up in a different world, like Viet Nam, where life was more difficult compared to the U.S. You appreciate things more, don't take things for granted, and are less wasteful. Eight months in the refugee camps of Indonesia made us appreciate the relatively good life we have now even more. At least I am. I know Vietnamese living in the U.S. who quickly adopted the wasteful lifestyles that many people in the U.S. have.
Of course should either I or the Wife lose our job in the next few months, we will certainly feel the effect of the current economic condition. Our Son probably whines a lot if we have to give up DirectTV or have fewer vacations, but as long as we have the basic necessities like food, electricity, gas, heat, a roof over our heads, enough gasoline for the weekend usage, and broadband 'Net access I think we will be OK.