2008-08-06

Consumerism


I'm a willing victim of consumerism. I admit when I am sad, going shopping is therapy to me, even if at the used book store. When I am happy, let's celebrate, go out and buy something special. Let's go out to eat. I show my affection with consumerism. I buy stuff for my husband to tell him how wonderful he is. I buy my brothers and sisters things and give them money for holidays and birthdays.

I know that on my husband's salary we should be able to live fairly comfortably, but it is never quite enough, we have to have new cars, new furniture, the biggest TV possible, and every game system known to man. We have to go on vacation, and we can't "rough it", we gotta stay in the four or five star hotel. I know many married couples who on paper seem to make enough money, but never seen to make enough money, as they fall into the same trap we do. We never feel we save enough or at all, but we are quick to want to go eat dinner instead of cooking at home, or go shopping for things we don't really need, just things we want.

I know I buy out of boredom at times. Don't look at my itunes purchases, it would make your head swim how much I spend on music. The other day I bought color contacts because I wanted to know what I would look like with green eyes. Per my husband, I look like the Incredible Hulks girlfriend, and I will go blind wearing $20 color contacts from the beauty supply store. The sad thing is typically I am against color contacts, as I feel it reinforces the standard European ideals of beauty, but because I was bored, that was thrown out the window. I know I am not the only one who has clothes in my closet with the tags still attached to them. Nor do I feel I am the only person who has bought something with no real purpose for buying it. Me and Target's little dollar spot have a love/hate relationship.

Why is it we spend so much? In the past months, I have sincerely been trying to cut back, but I feel we haven't been able to. My husband isn't willing to give up his HD cable, his City of Heroes Account, I'm not willing to give up Netflix or my itunes addiction. We both are addicted to the internet. He won't give up his allowance that he uses to buy his "toys"(I don't know why I put "toys" in quotations, the man really does buy G.I. Joes). The only way I have cut back personally is my addiction to being a product junkie and makeup addict. When I do want to celebrate something by staying at home and cooking dinner, my husband wants to instead go out, so I can relax and not have to worry about cooking or the clean up afterwards.

It seems the younger folks have bought more into consumerism than previous generations. It seems kids are more and more obsessed with status and celebrity at younger and younger ages. My 10 year old sister asked me for a Coach purse. She just loved mine, and just had to have one like it. That purse was a "just because I love you" gift from my husband. Again, showing how we equate money spent to love.

Why is it when we celebrate, we have to go out to eat, go to the movies, or go to the mall? When and why did we decide spending money equates to happiness and love? How do we express love, happiness, or celebrations without spending money? I truly don't know. I know people can spend time together, but they have to be on their blackberry's, texting on their cell phones, listening to their ipods, and playing their PSPs. How do we curb it?