Twilight Zone can teach us about our spending habits

Twilight Zone, one of the first psychic/paranormal type shows of the 60s and 70s may be more on target than we ever would have thought. For those who remember it, there was always a weird event that happened at the end of the show and the music da..da..da sang throught the TV, leaving you shivering.

I haven't thought of the show for years, but last night I got a flashback of the one and only story I remember from the show .. which has stuck with me for .. many years.

The story was about a woman who used her credit card frivolously for everything. She was addictive to buying things and was the original “shop alcoholic.” The twist to the story, however, as I told my daughter and husband, was that every time she used her credit card, a ding would go off and instead of acquiring something new, she would loose something. Before she knew it, clothes were disappearing from her closet, her pots and pans were gone, furniture was never seen again, and yet she kept on charging on her credit card. She knew it was happening but couldn’t help herself. Then one day, she realized she had charged so much, she found herself standing in her front yard starring at an empty dirt lot – no house, no car, and no family. She was all alone and desperate with only her shiny plastic credit card in her hand.

Watching the episode back in the 60s it seemed far fetched, but today I wonder if they had it right all along. When I look around and see what has happened to our spending and saving habits and to the way we have been hypnotized into believing we need to buy the latest and greatest; when I listen to the government talk about the national debt and the need for Americans to start buying again to save the economy; I flashback to that woman starring at the empty dirt lot with her credit card in her hand and I get scarred out of my wits.



Suzanne Saxe-Roux