Yesterday I helped a friend shovel her driveway. She's getting older, she has a very long driveway, she always says she's "too cheap" to hire it done, and she needed to get out to visit her elderly mother at the nursing home.
I've always enjoyed this woman's funny stories about her cheapness. She keeps her heat set even lower than mine, never uses her dryer or air conditioner, and has a million little ways of saving money. What didn't occur to me until yesterday was that maybe she does all this because she actually doesn't have the money to turn up her heat or run her dryer.
Now I know this woman isn't starving, she has a nice house and car, and lives a pretty nice life. But I think that inflation may have eroded her savings to the point that she has exactly enough to do what she does, and no more.
Why would stuff like this never occur to me? Am I incapable of seeing past people's facade? I must try to do a better job of actually listening to & learning about people.
Here is an only-slightly-related video about people who are more than their appearance implies. Not quite the original version, but still pretty good.