Cranky Old Lady Post: I Hate YOLO

There is a body of evidence pointing to the fact that I’m secretly an old woman in a younger woman’s body*: I love black and white tv shows, for one thing. There are many others.

Another piece of evidence: the concept of  “YOLO”? I hate it.

For those that aren’t up on the latest “young people” acronyms, YOLO stands for “you only live once”. It gives people justification to do stupid things, to buy crazy expensive things out of their means, and to do other things they might not ordinarily do with a level head and without the presence of alcohol. Sure, some people use this “carpe diem”-esque phrase correctly (springing for a full bottle of wine at a restaurant instead of a single glass), but many do not.

You do only live once, I get it. Although some religions could argue with the concept altogether (oh hey, reincarnation), I get the legitimate biological logic (ooh, say that three times fast). Should you do a few things you may regret later? Sure, unless you subscribe to the “Rent” lyrics where regret should be forgotten and life is yours to miss. Part of growing up, and then part of living a full life, is occasionally making rash decisions or acting spontaneously, and I’m not arguing that point. But to make these decisions on the basis of thinking, “oh well, money’s no good when you’re dead so live it up now,” is stupid.

Remember, way back in the day (like, our parents’ generations and earlier), when a mom and/or dad placed a lot of emphasis on making sure they left something substantial behind for their children? Money, real estate, investments, etc. You only live once, but your legacy lives on (especially nowadays when your one life is archived for eternity on social networks).

And here’s where the crotchety-old-lady-voice comes in: I’d rather save my money now so that I can be comfortable later in life (and provide some comfort for my family) than living paycheck-to-paycheck as I YOLO away my youth. A bottle of wine at a restaurant? Sure. Bottle service at a bar when I can go across the street and have a great time at another bar for a third of the cost? I’ll do the latter, thank you very much, and file away that extra money for something else. Just because you’ve got money to burn doesn’t mean you have to light the fire. Maybe people see this as the cowardly way to do things, or the cheap way, or the mark of someone not living life to the fullest. I just see it as trying to be smart and thinking ahead. Maybe people say this is easier said than done because I’m lucky enough to have a job and to be able to put money in savings, but I find that the most YOLO-tastic people I know are also the ones that are living paycheck-to-paycheck already and could afford to step back and relax a bit.

Told ya, I’m just a miserly geezer in skinny pants and flats. But that’s just my two cents on the matter, feel free to disagree.

*Ok, to be fair, there is a lot of evidence to the contrary too. Unless you know of a little old lady that loves drinking strong beer and cheering on her favorite hockey team while she eats seitan “chicken” wings. If you find her, bring her to me please, I want to be her friend.


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