Now that my ears are attuned to it, money advice is everywhere, even at my academic conference. Today I chaired a panel on British Literature (not my specialty) titled “Goblins and Vampires.” I was prepared for some typical gothic analysis with a dash of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but that wasn’t what we got. Our last panelist was really interesting.
His reading of Christina Rosetti’s 1862 poem “Goblin Market” centered on the song the goblins used to lure young women into their fruit market.
“MORNING and evening
Maids heard the goblins cry:
“Come buy our orchard fruits,
Come buy, come buy:”
Lizzie, the heroine, makes up her mind before entering not to spend her money and, while the goblins try to force the fruit on her, she comes out happily holding on to her penny.
In a smart, ache, tingle,
Lizzie went her way;
Knew not was it night or day;
Sprang up the bank, tore through the furze,
Threaded copse and dingle,
And heard her penny jingle
Bouncing in her purse, —
Its bounce was music to her ear.
Listening to the presentation, it was a great moment where I suddenly saw yesterday’s airport experience in terms of Rosetti’s “Goblin Market.” Like Lizzie, I made up my mind before I entered not to spend any money in the airport. Though the airport goblins tried to tempt me with their fruits of Starbucks and sudoku, I resisted and happily made it to St. Louis with my penny jingling in my purse. One of the keys, I’m finally learning, is to make up your mind about how much you’ll spend before you enter a marketplace. That way it’s much easier to keep the goblins at bay.
Who knew that I’d find great financial advice from a bunch of literary scholars?!