Monday, November 26, 2012

The Prostitute Called Consumerism

I just received my Winter Anthropologie catalog in the mail! Can you sense my excitement? You’re thinking...what’s this lunatic talking about...Anthropologie: its spelled Anthropology, with a Y. Gosh, get a dictionary

 All product photos from Anthropologie

No, Anthropologie people. The store all us fashion minded gals (and flamboyant metrosexuals) swoon over every time we head to Victoria Gardens. You know, the store that cleans out your pocket book with one trip. The store where I can literally afford one single item and it's usually a printed scarf, a stringy tank top or pair of ridiculously lacy panties from the clearance section that I’ll never wear, a glass mosaic tea cup or some sort of eclectic painted bamboo spoon from Peru that I will never ever use! But I might need it!

This store is like a money sucking prostitute who leaves his burnt out cigarette butt on your pillow. You’re so pissed that it burned your satin sheets but ohhhh the night before (or purchase before) felt so good! No folks, I've never purchased a male prostitute, nor do I recommend renting one (how the hell did I get on this subject again?) but I have purchased items from Anthropolige on impulse that I've regretted in the morning and have often returned a few days later when I got my head on straight.

While on the subject of impulse buys let’s talk about something very real, consumerism. Yes friends, I know it may be hard to believe but I once was a twenty something year old with bad shopping/spending habits (gasp). I frequented Nordstrom Rack, Ross or Marshalls about 5 times a month. That’s like 1.25 times a week. My closet was cluttered with stylish duds and my house had the latest trendy throw blanket and designer pillow. I loved to tell my friends and family about the “great deals I got”. Also, my roommates and I would host monthly sorting parties where we would trade clothes and pack up last season’s items for Goodwill (shout out to you WK & JC). Wow, think about how much money I would have saved if I’d thought through my purchases a little better.

This is where my serious voice comes in. Why do we need all this stuff? Does it make us smarter? Skinnier? Healthier? Happier? Boy, if I could lose weight as fast as my bank account does monthly I’d be a size 4 in no time! Why don't we just put more thought into what and where we buy? (more on my anti-big corporation stance later).

These days, in my life, there is simply no time for frequent shopping trips and frivolous spending. My hours at home are filled with giggles, poop, kisses, tantrums and fun activities with my one year old. The remaining time is spent enjoying a few short hours with my fiance (whom works and commutes horrible hours), doing housework, playing in my vegetable garden or exploring cooking with whole, healthy foods. I am also lucky to be spending a few hours of my time working in a holistic chiropractic community that provides me amazing friendships, resources and moral support. All of this I proudly would NOT trade to be back in a position where I am lured in by the SALE sign. It’s funny how priorities change as you age.

Lets talk statistics:
  • A study reveals women spend tens of thousands of dollars on clothing in a lifetime. The average amount?  $125,000. Despite all of the money spent on clothes, the study shows that 60-percent of women still struggle to find something to wear on a daily basis.
  • Over the years, women buy roughly 3,000 items including 271 pairs of shoes, 185 dresses and 145 bags.
  • The same study also showed that 10-percent of women have admitted to at least buying one item or clothing or accessory, every week, in the middle of the day just to attend an event straight from work. (
  •  Two-in-five (19%) women confess to having more than 50 pairs of shoes.

50 pairs of shoes? Yeah, I’m guilty but I'm working on it. Think about what you have; about what is packed away in your garage, out of sight. Is it really just Christmas and Halloween decorations, bicycles and sports equipment or are you storing items that you should be enjoying on a daily basis? Do you need to buy more?

Ask yourself these questions:
  1. Are you really going to use that item that you’ve been storing for years?
  2. Do you wear every piece of clothing in your closet, every pair of shoes?
  3. Do you need all that mis-matched Tupperware under your kitchen cabinet? ( I know you have a butt load, don’t try to avoid eye contact!)
I’ll make it easy on you. If you’re not living with an item that you use every week or an item that you get to appreciate daily then it’s time to chuck it. I now try to live by this one simple rule: If I haven’t used it in a year, off to goodwill it goes (or to some lucky soul as a re-gifted item, yea I’m that cheap). And if I am jonsing for something from my favorite store Anthropoligie then first I must ask myself why I really want it. 

By keeping and hoarding stuff we are minimizing our enjoyment of life. How so? Think about it; we Americans spend more time buying, cleaning, organizing (bragging about creative organizing on Pinterest) and storing all our stuff that we don’t have much time left for the things that matter; finger painting with your kids, taking a walk outside or saving money for something fun. We have such a short time here in this life and all the amazing relationships, experiences and people we meet add to the beautiful and colorful kaleidoscope of our souls. 

Hopefully I can lead by example. I'm still cleaning out my clutter on a daily basis. But its ok if you still feel inclined to hire that pillowcase burning prostitute (or buy crap you don’t need), be my guest.  Just make sure he/it  has a good return policy because as you grow older and wiser you might be glad that you saved the receipt. 

Because Less Is More.