Have you ever had other people's expectations de-rail your Peak Oil preparation efforts or your goal to live more lightly?
Social expectations permeate all we do, even in our own home. It's awkward to explain the 17 buckets of rice, beans, and wheat berries (and the grain mill) to clueless in-laws. Some neighbors have a grudge against veggies or fruit trees in the front yard. It can even be illegal or against code in some areas to have compost bins or vegetable gardens, raise bees or chickens, or hang clotheslines on your own property.
On the job, at school, or in public, it seems even more important to look "normal", not only for the sake of our salaries, but for ease of getting along and fitting in. Letting the yellow mellow just won't cut it in most offices, let alone bringing your cloth t.p. (Wow - that'd be brave). It's hard to bike to work when there's no shower and you need to wear a suit. Unless you live in Boulder, people expect the ladies to have neatly shaved armpits and legs.
A radical change to improve your finances can leave your friends and family scratching their heads. Irritating questions arise, like Why won't you go to happy hour anymore? How come you can't make it to the Mets game? Why don't you want to have the usual Christmas consumaganza this year? Why do you buy all your clothes at the consignment store?
The raising of children can be an especially sensitive area. Everyone's got an opinion. To some, themed birthday parties and fashionable accessories are totally necessary. Asking people to buy your children "gently used" presents can seem gauche. And just try explaining why you are not encouraging your kid to incur $40K in college debt.
The judgement of your closest loved ones - spouse and kids - can be the worst of all. Perhaps your husband won't even watch A Crude Awakening with you or read the Energy Bulletin articles you send him, much less pony up the $1000 for insulation or dig holes for your fruit trees. When two visions of the future diverge so completely, it can be hard to come to an agreement on finances and expenditures.
So what say you? Are these opportunities for education, mere annoyances, or serious obstacles? Has anyone else's opinion or negative comment changed your course? How about HOA or local ordinances - obey to the letter or go guerilla? How do you handle being the crazy one in the family :)?