Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Dainty nibbles

We don't like to call other people greedy, do we? Firstly, it's obviously insulting. Who wants to be thought of as greedy? And secondly, it's a matter of opinion. What one person sees as greed, another sees as a natural and understandable desire for something they don't have.

I guess we'd all agree the fabulously wealthy are greedy. I mean, who needs to accumulate millions or billions of pounds? You can only spend so much on having a comfortable lifestyle, and beyond that it's just money in the bank, money the less fortunate could desperately do with.

But when it comes to ordinary folk, what makes them greedy? Are they greedy for wanting a bigger car or a bigger house or more holidays or more clothes? Or are they just after the good things in life, the things seen as part of a normal, run-of-the-mill lifestyle?

I wouldn't call myself greedy. As I see it, I have just enough of everything I need and enough to make me happy. I have a spacious house and garden, sufficient money, plenty of good food and wine, some beautiful paintings, hundreds of books, regular holidays. What more could I want?

Of course greed also encompasses those little everyday things, like asking for an extra slice of cake, or another cup of tea, or more potatoes. If everyone else has finished eating, will they think I'm greedy asking for more or will they just think I have a healthy appetite?

When it comes to alcohol though, you can drink like a fish and nobody accuses you of greed. If you stop at a glass or two, you're seen as a hair-shirted killjoy. Suddenly greed is just fine.

And greed is always more acceptable in a man. A man can happily stuff his face, while a woman should stick at dainty nibbles. Nothing too un-ladylike....

15 comments:

Bijoux said...

It can definitely be hard to define. I think of greed as taking more than one needs.

tammy j said...

I see Americans in general as greedy. the robber barons that took so much of the land for their own purposes. and it just escalated from there as a mind set I guess.
the "more of everything is good and bigger is better" type mentality still prevails.
"everything's bigger in Texas!" and they mean that.
though the tiny house movement is catching on. but very few cities in most states will accept zoning for them without a fight.
you can build all the ugly huge McMansions you want to however. huge places to store their 'stuff.'
"I want this. even if my attic is full and every cupboard and closet and drawer is full and even if I have to rent a storage unit... I still want it."
that to me is modern greed.
like a whole room for 300+ pairs of shoes? which is crazy and sadly not uncommon. especially sad when thousands of children over the world have no shoes. or not even enough food to eat.
the line Michael Douglas said in that movie back in the 80's... "greed is good."
wow. what a way of looking at life. but many people apparently do see it that way.
you can tell this is a hot button topic for this minimalist!
sorry to preach. :) well.
not too sorry apparently. LOL!

John Gray said...

Where a scotch egg is concerned I m greedy MIGHTY GREEDY

Wisewebwoman said...

I don't quite get the point of your post. Is there one?

XO
WWW

CheerfulMonk said...

I don't think about it. Too busy playing with my toys/projects, making good use of the time I have left.

tammy j said...

well after my dissertation on American history and stuff! LOL.
in the South women used to eat at home before going to any function. so they couldn't hold much. so as to not appear greedy but ever so dainty!

nick said...

Bijoux: I agree in theory, but then "need" can be defined in all sorts of ways.

Tammy: I know, everything has to be endlessly bigger and better. "Success" is still equated with more of everything, rather than emotional well-being or happiness or self-acceptance. Who in this world actually needs 300+ pairs of shoes?

nick said...

John: So what's your record for the number of scotch eggs eaten at one sitting? Five? Ten? 109?

www: Of course. The ambiguity of the term "greed". One person's naked greed is another person's routine purchase. My impression of you is that you're not at all greedy.

nick said...

Jean: I'll leave you to pursue your projects....

Tammy: If they were heavily corseted, I doubt if they could eat much anyway!

Rummuser said...

I am not at all greedy and my late wife was what you call a dainty eater. I still follow a 6/18 programme which means that I eat between a window of six hours ie 8 am to 2 pm and only consume liquids during the rest of the 18 hours unless I have to take medicines after some food only. In the latter case, I take some fruit or dry fruits.

Greed I understand is a psychological problem. A sense of dearth that has to be covered up by a behaviour of excess consumption, or seek legitimacy by excess purchasing.

nick said...

Ramana: I hadn't heard of the 6/18 programme. It sounds good. I think Ian Paisley used to say he never ate anything after 5 pm.

"A sense of dearth" is an interesting idea. It's a good explanation for why some people have to keep buying stuff they really don't need.

Polly said...

“If everyone else has finished eating, will they think I'm greedy asking for more or will they just think I have a healthy appetite?” This sentence brought back memories of a WI lunch we had last summer. We all contributed to the meal and very delicious it was, so much so that I couldn’t resist a second helping of some of it. I soon became aware that I was the only one left eating! In my defence my first helping wasn’t a lot, but still I did feel a tad greedy and actually thought “I hope they think I have a healthy appetite rather than greedy”! I would like to add I'm not a greedy person, I just enjoyed the food.

nick said...

Polly: Exactly the dilemma! Of course if there's a lot of uneaten food, they're probably only too glad you're having a bit more of it so there isn't a mountain of leftovers....

helen devries said...

Finally I am able to read you blog again. While in the U.K. my service provider informed me that your blog was unsuitable for anyone under 18 and demanded my credit card should I wish to pursue my interest in it!

I wonder what roused their interest....

nick said...

Helen: That's most mysterious. What could possibly be unsuitable for anyone under 18? It's not a sex blog, it's not homophobic or racist. Totally bizarre. Anyway, I'm glad you now have access to it again!