Friday, October 15, 2010

The American Dream - buying without regard

In my very first post I talked about The New York Times article that got me thinking about simplifying.  One point brought up in the article was about 'conspicuous consumerism--buying without regard.'  Apparently this was a huge thing in the 90's with the breakout of Starbucks and an increase in credit card use.  This is a method of buying for visualized luxury, showing society you are 'up with the times.'



Since I was really young during that time I don't quite remember the roaring nineties of buy whatever you want.  My first thought was "I don't do that, I don't care about what other people think of me, let alone my possessions."  And then I took a quick look of my surroundings.  The first thing that popped into my mind was our current residence.  My better half and myself are currently renting a pretty big old house.  While our reasoning seemed valid at the time (too many belongings, extra room for visitors, a backyard for the puppy) it seems in hind-sight we were trying to keep up with the Joneses.  Especially me.  If I were honest with myself, my thoughts were there was no way I could go back to an apartment.  I am a professional!  We must have room for visitors and be able to show I can be a good hostess.  I need my own bathroom.  I have tons of stuff and I am NOT taking the puppy on a leash out in the rain.....
The puppy
After that initial first look I shamefully covered my face with a pillow and went to sleep.  I am hanging my head as I post this confession this morning.  I've realized maybe I am further interwoven into the society of consumerism than I wanted to admit at first.  But I have renewed strength with the dawn.  This is the whole reason for the journey, right?  Working through my past of consumerism and starting a new chapter.  Boy is this going to be a long journey....

Squelching my pride,
lg

2 comments:

A said...

On consumerism and the 90s conspicuous consumption, you should check out the book "Deluxe: How Luxury Lost its Luster" by by Dana Thomas. It was written pre-recession, but it talks a lot about the drive to display wealth, and how we all fall into it.
Another good one: "I Want That: How We All Became Shoppers" by Thomas Hine. This may be out of print, but it should be findable on half.com or through the library.

Simplifying in the South said...

Thanks! I just added those two books to my list of things to read. I appreciate the suggestions.

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