Dear Jack Reacher: Advice for the Girl Who Wants Everything

This week's guest advice columnist is Jack Reacher, who's sipping black coffee at a diner in Omaha, Nebraska as he watches a pretty woman with a gun and a badge get out of her rented Impala and wipe blood from the knuckles on her left hand.

Dear Jack Reacher,

My husband works, while I stay home. I'm a traditional girl, but he insists on buying used cars, clothes from thrift shops, and second-hand books, and he keeps complaining about our credit card bills when I buy the latest fashions.

How can I convince him to end his cheapskate ways?

Jimmy Choo Girl

Dear JCG,

Owning expensive clothes means having a washer and dryer to clean them, which means paying a mortgage every month. And, that requires showing up to work, five days a week, fifty weeks a year.

You don't own clothes or other possessions. They wind up owning you.

I buy cheap, sturdy clothes—brand new. When they get dirty, I throw them away and buy new ones. Because if you do the math, it's cheaper than the washer and dryer, the house and the job. 

Your husband has done the same kind of math. He could work overtime or get a second job to support your addiction to the inflated prices of bits of cotton, silk, and leather.

Or—he could make smart choices to have more free time and not be forever in debt.

I own one thing: a folding toothbrush. Sometimes, people with more testosterone than brains break that toothbrush. 

It's the last mistake they make.

Don't make that kind of mistake with your husband. Ask yourself what's more important: the right labels on the shoes in your closet or the ring on your finger and the man who keeps you warm at night?

If you want to buy expensive things you can't afford, get a job, open up a checking account, and pay for them yourself. It's a lot cheaper than a divorce.


Guy Bergstrom is a speechwriter and reformed journalist. He's represented by literary agent Jill Marr and can be found on Twitter @speechwriterguy or at his blog, For etiquette questions you want answered in this column, try

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