Sunday, February 3, 2013
How Did This Happen?
I try not to think about it, but— gee whiz— I have so much stuff. How did I get so much, all of which I love despite the amnesia of its accumulation? This little illustration says it all. We have so much stuff because stuff costs less than it used to. We have more exSPENDable income to buy it with. And we live in a disposable society.
Our favorite— movie/book/music/celebrity/cuisine/— has a short shelf life. Even if we aren't trying to keep up with anyone or anything, we don't ever seem to be satisfied. We still hunt for the "perfect" whatever. Never mind that we imperfects are always changing, ourselves. We learn and supposedly get smarter, but the "stuff" keeps coming.
My 1950s mother had two suits: a winter brown and a spring navy. She wore them for years because styles didn't change overnight and neither did she. She bought good handbags (very few) and shoes (ditto). They cost more, I noticed, but they lasted. Buying to last was considered a virtue.
I'm not suggesting we go back to the old days when you shopped, very thoughtfully, only a few times a year. That barn door was shut long ago. I'm not going to make promises I won't keep either. I just wondered why I have so much. And figured it out— because I can. That alone makes me feel both very grateful and very guilty.