Sunday 23 August 2009

How I saved the Singapore economy with my green jeans

When it comes to life, there is one good advice that I can never seem to follow:

“Just because it’s on sale doesn’t mean you have to buy it.”

Yes, I do. I have to.

And I’m not the only one, judging by last week’s MasterCard report revealing that credit card-holders spent almost as much at this year’s Great Singapore Sale as at last year’s GSS despite the recession.

And during that last week of the GSS was when I really should’ve heeded the advice because right now, I’m staring at a new pair of green jeans on my legs I bought during the last week of the GSS and wondering: What was I thinking?

Who wears green jeans except leprechaun cowboys? And there's no such thing as leprechaun cowboys.

And it’s not even a nice, solid green. It’s a wimpy, faded, kai-lan green. I can’t call it puke green because that would be an insult to puke. Even puke has more character.

Why the hell did I buy green jeans?

The short answer is, well, they were 50 per cent off.

The long answer is, well, it was between the green jeans and the red jeans – and I don’t shop for Chinese New Year until the year-end Christmas sale.

Of course, there were also other less circus-appropriate jeans on sale in more socially acceptable colours like blue, black, grey and brown that weren’t crimes against nature, but I already have all those “normal” colours.

Actually, I had another option – which was not to buy any jeans at all.

It was such a crazy idea that it just might work. I mean I already have enough jeans in black, grey and every shade of blue imaginable, even in Can-you-hear-the-’80s-calling? acid wash.

I was about to walk away when I remembered Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong’s words from last November: “If all of us go into a power save mode, then the economy will really go into a recession!

“This is what economists called the paradox of thrift. If you have sufficient savings and can afford to spend, you should continue to spend on life’s little pleasures.”

And that was how I ended up with green jeans, although whatever little pleasure I got turned into regret the moment I signed the credit card receipt.

But wouldn’t you know it, Singapore is now technically out of the recession.

You’re welcome.

- Published in The New Paper, 23 August 2009