When I was little my Dad would go through a little ritual with me when I’d ask for something. “Those that ask don’t get,” he’d say, “and those that don’t ask don’t want.”
Tiny Rustichello asked a few times how you got anything then. “You don’t,” he’d conclude. Later I didn’t go through with my part and he’d answer the question unasked.
Nowadays there’s lots of asking, and there’s a lot to go round. There’s enough stuff to buy, and enough other stuff to buy it with and not too many reasons to say no when the question is put.
No-one needs all this stuff, either kind. But the thrift, the improvisation, the make-do, the going-without when I was a kid, what was it for?
It might be supposed that it was just meaness and a certain kind of habit. And that may be accurate, Methodist upbringing and all, but I suspect there was a less thought in it than that.
The silent boy brave enough to ask, and been denied, always thought the old bugger just didn’t want to share.