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Warning, consumerist frenzy pending.

2003-10-17 - 11:24 a.m.

Gift certificates. They seem like the perfect gift for me as Iím apparently soooo hard to buy for. My charitable husband says I just know what I want, and conversely, what I donít want. And he is right in a way; thereís a lot of stuff I know I need and a couple of things I want in my heart of hearts but donít want to admit I want because theyíre sinful by way of being either frivolous or expensive or both. Hereís the thing though, despite the fact that thereís stuff I want, I donít want more Stuff. Does that make any sense? I have a bunch of Stuff I got for Christmas last year still in a box in the spare room. And itís not that I donít like the things I got, I do, itís just that there wasnít a lot I actually needed and my life seems to constantly fill with clutter so taking more Stuff out of boxes and making more clutter seems hard to face. If I have something thatís old and a bit worn but still serviceable, I just canít get rid of it. It seems wasteful and to exemplify the decadence of modern western society. I know I take lots of things for granted in my day-to-day life but I make an effort to be a little aware of environmental issues and to not waste things.

I still, I kid you not, have t-shirts that I wore in high school in the late 80s. On the very, very rare occasions I go to an 80s night at a bar, (and incidentally, I do not get the whole nostalgia for 80s music that has taken firm hold of so many people in their early thirties; thereís nothing wrong with todayís music and I think weíre too young to be so entrenched in looking back at ďthe good old daysĒ) I can actually wear a Corey Hart or Def Leppard concert T from that era. My Vuarnet shirt may have a couple of holes now, but itís still comfy to wear to bed. Thank goodness my acid-wash jeans wore out a long, long time ago; Iíd have felt guilty at not wearing them any more, but we all have our limits.

This tendency to not replace things until they unravel or break or collapse with a groan in a heap of exhausted parts apparently does not make me an ideal gift receiver. Nor does the fact that I have no real hobbies other than reading, writing and going to the gym. I donít generally buy books that arenít reference books for the simple reasons that Iíve always moved a lot and books weigh a ton, and I read fiction books so fast that itís a waste of money to buy them when I can get anything I want to read for fun at the library. I can always use gym gear but thatís hard for people to buy me as fit is so important that Iíd have to try it on, which kind of ruins the surprise. My gym membership itself is free as Iím an employee.

I donít care much about having the latest electronic gizmos, I donít tend to buy a lot of music, I prefer to rent movies so that I donít have to store them anywhere, and I donít collect anything. I have to admit too that I am picky about what goes into my house. Hm. Now that Iím writing all this down I can see why people complain about how hard I am to buy for. Thus the gift-certificate solution I suppose. The only problem with that is that Iím not a great one for getting around to using them. Right now I have gift certificates to at least 7 different places with a combined worth of literally over a thousand dollars sitting at my house.

BUTÖ

This weekend I am going to try to use up a lot of it because there is, as I mentioned, stuff I want and, more importantly, need, that Iíve been putting off getting. I will go mad, MAD I say, because I need office clothes that fit well, and curtains so that I donít feel exposed snuggling on my couch with my hubby, and dammit, I want matching bedside tables Ė not a small filing cabinet on one side of the bed and a $5 garage-sale special on the other. It will be an explosion of consumerism in the Talpidae household, just wait and see. I want to be cute and professional-looking at work. I want to live like a grown-up in my new house. I want to spend a weekend as a model member of the decadent modern western society I live in.

Next week Iíll do my penance and donate some of my old clothes to charity, and find a home for the $5 garage-sale bedside table which is, after all, still perfectly serviceable.

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