Saturday 18 March 2000


Maybe not shopping

Pic of the day: SHOPPING - or maybe not. I am virtually broke, when I have paid the rent I only have enough money left for food, and nothing advanced at that for the next three and a half week, until next payday. It is the nature of bills to come in droves, I guess. And it is my nature to buy stuff while I have money. I still have a couple of credit cards that I may use, but I do not do that quite as lightly.

My computer is still not back from repair. I took the first bus to the city in the morning to play The Sims on the office computer. (No, I don't get paid for that.) I did not take the last bus home, though. In fact, I was home fairly early, a little past three in the afternoon. I won't say that I have grown tired of the game already, but it doesn't exactly hurt to leave it either. When the critters have one hour to reach the school bus and they find something else they absolutely must do instead, I'm tempted to just let them starve. But then I remember that I surely don't always impress my own Ceator, either. :)

" It's taken me some time to try to comprehend
a love that doesn't change, a love without an end
a love that keeps forgiving
a love of sacrifice and giving
... "
(From First Love by Petra)


I wonder if shopping really makes us happy. I mean, shopping is fun while it lasts, but after that? Obviously, some things like food and clothes are necessary to avoid discomfort. Others are pleasing to the senses: Perfumes, wallpapers, colorful clothes and advanced food. But in this generation, much of our income goes into another class of products, and it is these that I view with a particular scepticism. It seems to me that we spend long days at work to buy stuff that is supposed to save time. Why not save the time immediately and work less?

I am not just talking about bread baking machines and egg boilers here, but even supposed essentials like a private car for the average office or factory worker. Sure, even if you look for a parking lot, you may actually arrive a few minutes earlier at work with your car than I do with the bus. On the other hand, I have read a good book while commuting, and it's way cheaper.

"Yeah, but you are single. The rest of us have to deliver kids to the daycare and fetch them after work, and it is always on the other side of town." That's a point; but it's not like you have daycare age kids for thirty years, unless you're a Smith's Friend or seriously Catholic (in which case you probably try to raise your squabbling little valuables yourself). More likely you are using your $30000 car to drive to a remote mall to save $0.50 per pound of beef, and while you're there you buy a carload of stuff you didn't know you needed.

It's not like I complain; it's the habit of especially Americans to do all this that keeps the world economy growing at a good speed, and gives work to millions of people who otherwise would have scraped by (or not) on subsistence farming and fishing. But you will excuse me if I don't rush to work overtime when the bag of gold is empty, but instead decide to shop less for a while. And while I'm here, I might as well enjoy the view from the moral high ground, because it's not likely to last. :)


It's not like I am suffering, anyway. I may, as my best friend put it, "belong to the labor class except that you are single". And true enough, I no longer have any clothes lying around that I haven't unpacked (except possibly one Christmas present). I may have to wash some of those I have used once or twice. But I am not starving, or freezing, or bored.

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