Economical Shopping

That pretty much says it all right there. I intend to tell you about a fun little excursion I had in the VM, (Village Market-the local healthy alternative to Walmart, for any non-Southernites who might have happened upon this post) but since I'm a history major, let's take a little excursion of our own to determine the full meaning of my title.
Economical: This comes from the Greek οικονομία, which means 'house law' or household management. [wiktionary.com] This sounds strange, but to the Greeks, economy just happened as a part of everyday life. Families bought and sold at the marketplace, fished, farmed, or otherwise made a living, traded with the merchants, paid taxes, etc. οικονομία wasn't separate from what they did every day, it was integrated into nearly every facet of life.
Interestingly enough, as you all know, economy has come to mean something completely different today. The world runs on the financial interactions between various, complex national economies. I happen to find the study of Economy a fascinating one, in part because it's like looking at the framework of a house; you can see the underlying structure for current events. But it also reveals a lot about how people work.
Shopping: A dreadful but necessary activity in modern life whereby we exchange money for things we think will make us happier than the money did. [Personal Experience] I personally dislike this activity very much. Oddly enough, I can hike for hours before my feet hurt as much as they do after only 30 minutes of shopping.

So, now that we have our definitions clear, I shall proceed with the story. Ivan and I woke up one Sunday morning feeling rather hungry. This is a daily dilemma, unfortunately, and today we decided to go to the VM to do something about it. Little did we know that shopping was about to AMBUSH us! We wandered around dazedly trying to choose something to eat out of the plethora of edible options. Suddenly we spied a little cart loaded with Silk soymilk. Wondering what was so special about this cart that it required bright green signs on it, we investigated further. Amazingly, this soymilk was on SALE! For only $0.99 a box we could be the new owners of our very own carton of soy goodness! (or two or five or ten) We hurriedly availed ourselves of this unexpected opportunity. (Silk soymilk is normally about $3 a carton) This put us in a deal-finding mood and we rushed around the rest of the store procuring in a relatively rapid fashion certain other opportunities that presented themselves, rather forgetting how trying this activity usually was. Suddenly though, as we were competing with several other ladies for the few remaining boxes of soymilk (we graciously let them have the vanilla and we settled for chocolate), we ran out of shopping steam. "My feet hurt," we said simultaneously*. Back in our room we reviewed our purchases: tomato sauce, pasta, jelly, bread, $13 worth of granola (the most expensive thing we bought, but well worth it!), and a total of 19 cartons of Silk Soymilk. (Never fear, it's supposed to last for up to a year on the shelf:) So, what did I learn from this experience? When taking care of your household (or dorm room); practicing οικονομία, the travails of shopping can be somewhat alleviated by feeling like you're saving money. My recommendation? If you have to shop, make sure you get some good deals and wear comfortable shoes!

*I think this might have happened, but if not, it should have.


  1. *Haha... This is going to be fun to comment on*
    I would be quite interested in hearing the pronunciation of the Greek word that economical originated from. I think if I were going to hazard an attempt, I would pronounce it "OY-ko-vo-pia" although I'm 100% positive that I am completely wrong. But it sounds like a fun way to say it.
    I found your definition of shopping to be more than slightly amusing. However, I don't share your personal distaste for the activity.
    Meanwhile, your account of yours and Ivan's shopping excursion was entertaining :) And I've meant to comment on the newest addition to the links on your page... It's quite fun :) And I'm curious as to how you did it.

  2. Hey Joel,
    I majored in history and took 12 hours of Greek, so I share your distaste for shopping. (can you name the above fallacy? or is there more then one?)
    I wish I had 19 jugs of silk...

  3. Haha! I remember that day well! I espied you two coming across the parking lot with a shopping cart full of goods, you looked like a couple of homeless dudes that had just found a 20 dollar bill in the gutter! :)
    Hope your silk lasts as long as it's supposed to!

  4. Paul- post hoc? And since you took 12 hours of Greek, can you pronounce οικονομία?

  5. that is correct.
    I could two years ago, but I've been eating Petra's dust ever since.

  6. boy, look what happens when you go to GYC and don't have time to check your blog! I don't even get to answer fallacious questions:-/ That's right jon, i imagine that's what we must have looked like, driving our shopping cart full of goodies, although bums with peculiarly healthy tastes in food. I didn't know Petra was taking greek. I think I'd rather learn Latin personally, although right now i'd settle for a better grasp of french!

  7. Sorry Joel... Perhaps it's not the early bird that gets the worm, but rather the night owl ;)
    But really, I'm sorry... Maybe you can take on the challenge of finding the more difficult fallacies in his analogy.

  8. hmmm.... for the most part I perfer not to shop, only for what I need / good deals in random thrift stores... once in a while, and it is usually more fun with friends!
    But Joel, you don't always dispise shopping... I seem to recall that you and Ivan both enjoy shopping for other peoples benefit ;)
    which they greatly appreciate!

  9. Caitlin I think that the shopping that you are referring to here is a very different context from that of the shopping that Joel mentioned having an affirmed distaste for. ;) lol

  10. back to the basic Q:

    who am I?

    why am I here?

  11. and why did you ask those questions?

  12. I'm with Johonn, where did those questions come from?
    Haha, but those questions make me think of whales. One whale in particular who was discovering itself while, unfortunately for the whale, becoming well acquainted with the concept of gravity. Let's see who besides Joel can find meaning in my comment ;)

  13. Petra or Paul? asleep or awake? looking for philosophy or food?

  14. Sorry. Paul and Petra have both been using Paul's blog and login name. Sometimes they get confused. I guess it's part of becoming "one flesh"


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