The Balloon Paradox

Whoever says, “money doesn’t buy happiness” probably hasn’t heard of inflation…. or the sound of my cat rummaging through the 15th Amazon Prime box I’ve ordered this week.

They haven’t tried to rent an apartment in Miami Beach or add two scoops of $2.70 guac to their burrito at Chipotle.

I remember when inflation was simply my dad’s response to a flat basketball or the lengths I would go to prank my brother. And while the balloons may have popped, I still take pride in the 5,000 balloons I had my friend Noah blow up over a five-year-span.

I’ve always had the knack to get people to blow on my behalf. But not always by choice. I didn’t know how to blow a balloon until I was 17. Hell, I still don’t know how to blow a bubble-gum or whistle.

So I was relegated to tying the balloons. My fingers became strong, freakishly strong. My middle finger, in particular, is deadly from the tip to the shaft. When I flick people off, I’m not giving them the bird, I’m giving them the whole flock.

The last time we did it in 2019, the price for 1,000 balloons was around $70. I’d imagine that wouldn’t even get you 500 today.

Inflation is good for balloons and bad for happiness. Because if you can’t afford to fill a room with 1,000 balloons (or Amazon Prime boxes), you’re probably struggling with happiness too.