We’re coming to that time of year again.
A lot of people think I don’t like shops, or retail in general. Not so. What I don’t like is consumption for consumption’s sake.
There are things we still need, and things I’m very grateful to shops for supplying. This weekend we took to the streets of London as that poor ageing sofa-bed in the lounge looks ever more tired and dirty than it ever did. I sinks as we sit, part consuming us in its cushioned body. I little deeper we sit than last time, a little harder we have to tug on the cushions when we get up, to stop them being swallowed never to be seen. It wasn’t new when it arrived, and its one of those things that I’m afraid we need, rather than want.
The rain poured as we dashed from one showroom to another, sitting and then sitting some more, and dashing in and out. “I’m hungry”, I announced in the last shop, feeling light headed. The shop keeper suggested we eat, as whilst he could help with a sofa, he couldn’t feed us.
We ate, bought some stationary for the business, and gave up on sofas.
As we sat on a packed tube, opposite rolls of wrapping paper and bags bulging, I turned to my partner and said. “I worry that we’ve lost the true meaning of the season, that consumption has taken over. How many of these things wouldn’t be in those bags if it wasn’t for a feeling of pressure to buy, to measure gratefulness and affection in things ?”
Now, I’m sat reading the essay from my fellow Minimalists, it reminded me of the shopping trip. Their topic the same, their Friday perhaps blacker than ours. They are perhaps more forward looking than my reflections on the tube ride, but it encourages me to write.
We didn’t buy a sofa, we still haven’t. We’re busy this weekend visiting friends, and working on a party to celebrate another weekend, looking forward then to snow at Christmas. The sofa can wait until the January sale can’t it ?
I’m rambling, labouring on getting to the point of this post. How do I explain to people that experiences and people are far more valuable than things, even the ones you need. I don’t want to preach, or feel I’m telling them what to do with their lives.
Maybe, I’ll just leave it here. No sofa, but an idea that some of those ‘things’ can wait, sometimes months, needed or otherwise. Maybe some aren’t really needed at all.
The post; consumption and waiting first appeared on the blog: Two Less Things