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Thursday, February 28, 2008

OK, I Know But...

Am I the only one who is noticing that we, Americans, have been and are presently, totally obsessed with STUFF? I have been hammering around at this subject for years... mainly, probably, because of my lack of it...

I was just talking with the Mother (mine) about this and with S.O. the other night... remember a Time Before Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous? That damn program started it all. Remember it was on Saturday afternoons when absolutely NO ONE was watching TV because not programmer ever thought anyone would be interested in rich people - how boring! Now it seems that is all we are interested in. And as Michael Moore has so aptly pointed out we all think that someday that might be us, rich that is.

Am not religious, wasn't raised that way, but I am beginning to understand that passage about the rich man and the eye of the needle and milking the camel and whatnot... But maybe them biblical peoples were really talking about us. I mean, how pious, how balanced, how peaceful can you really be when caught in the throes of envy, or greed, or debt? All so stressful, in'it?

Where is the peace in stress?

I remember the peace I felt - and the possibility I felt - when I was a little girl B-LRF (Before Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous) - when I felt successful and pretty and OK with myself... that last time was about, oh, 7 or 8... But how can anyone who watches, listens to, reads any media anymore really be OK without tremendous effort?

And can we just stop pretending that the media has no influence. Can I just mention a few things you NEVER would have wanted: an iPod, an SUV, an infinity pool, a Carnival cruise, Taco Bell... do I have to continue to make my point? Really, what was wrong with taco night at home with the family? What was wrong with a road trip and seeing giant dinosaurs or the world's largest ball of string? What was so awful about seeing all your friends from school one summer when you hadn't seen them in weeks at the community pool? What was wrong with the station wagon you could lay down in the back of and look at the clouds as mom drove? What was wrong with the surprising randomness of the radio when suddenly in a totally blue funk and yous absolute favorite song comes on the radio?

OK, OK... so, let's just face it. Let's just admit our sins and come clean. We have been dazzled by the shinny thing across the room and we have not been paying attention to the life right in front of us. Can we just admit that having all the stuff is way more work than we ever expected - that the 3,000 sq. ft. house is way too big to clean alone and we feel guilty nor can we really afford to have Conchita come in and clean. Can we admit that the SUV gets dirty and ratty too, just like any old car? Can we admit that even if the vacation costs you $3,000 you are just as likely to fight and not get along if that's what you do as if it's a $300 weekend? Can we just admit - oh please someone else admit this too! - that a $100 blouse gets stained as easily as a $12.50 from Old Navy and you can't throw it in the laundry? Can we just admit that inside a rich person is a beating heart, a spirit, a love, an ambition, a hope a dream and there is the exact very totally totally SAME! thing inside a poor person?

Come on, what is all the stuff for... really?

1 comment:

demondoll said...

I agree the need for things stems from several things-
yep- advertising is crazy everywhere. you'd have to never turn on the tv or computer to not get whomped by it all...
- the act of buying stuff gives you a high. Then a while later, the thrill of the new purchase is gone and I'm stuck with one more book with no shelving.
- one's possessions/housing/entertainment somehow fit you in to your group of friends. If you all have the same stuff/go to comparable places/live in the same area everyone feels safe and equitable.
Personally I find it all so taxing. I have way too much junk, and it's just gross.
You're so right, it's just as easy to dirty up or break a really expensive thing. The big trick for me is simple care for the things I already have. I am unencumbered by the rigors of excess funds, so I want for nothing! ;-)