Monday, July 21, 2008

You Can’t Always Get What You Want

Unless you’re this guy. Then you just send off one of your Demonic Minions, the ones you got free with purchase when you signed over your soul, thus enabling you to stay a sex symbol rock star well into your nineties, even though you resemble nothing more than an emaciated trout. Satan has mad skillz, yo.

Tip Of The Day: Instead of buying what you want; try to be satisfied with what you already have. This is a hard concept for me to grasp, as I like to purchase myself a little sunshine on a cloudy day. Or a Totino’s Party Pizza. Same thing.

Tip For Tomorrow: It will be the companion piece to my Fox 9 News at 5 PM segment, LIKE IT IS EVERY WEEK. By now you should all know I’m on TV on Tuesdays and, more importantly, be watching. Please? I’ll give you a dollar. Oooo, and a cookie!

Further Elucidation Of My Cheap Deal: Saturday night I was hanging out with my web designer, talking about the new site and what my next frugal challenge should be. I’m having a hard time finding the exactly right thing to do, and I’ve only got a month left to come up with something.

Digression: My site is almost done! will debut a week from tomorrow on Tuesday, July 29th. Mark your calendars, break out the bubbly, and get ready to party at TypePad’s house!

Digression Part Two: Yes, I was working on my site on a Saturday night. This is what happens when you’re a single 35 year-old woman with no date lined up, and too much stuff to accomplish in too little time. Sometimes, you just sit on your duff and work. Or eat an entire bag of Bulls-Eye caramels. Whatever. Moving on.

My designer had a very simple, yet REALLY FREAKIN’ HARD challenge idea: buy less. Be content with what you have, and don’t obsess over what you want. Humph. Easy for him to say – he doesn’t have a shoe/purse/make-up/shiny object fetish.

But he did get me thinking about rampant consumerism, and how it’s starting to lose steam in this harsh economy. And I couldn’t help but wonder (Sorry! I had to say it JUST ONCE. I’ll never do it again, promise), could we all buy less and make due with what we already own? Because you can’t always get what you want. Otherwise, I’d have my own TV show by now and be married to this guy:

God, even his FEET are gorgeous.
So how do we do it? How do we be content with what we have? Here are a few ideas I had while, naturally, blow drying my hair:

1. Arrange your closets. Take out every item of clothing you own, try them on (checking for any stains that need treating or seams that need sewing) and then carefully organize them in a system that makes sense to you. Do the same for your shoes, making sure to polish or clean the ones looking a bit run-down.
Sometimes we want more because we forget what we already have. Taking inventory or reconnecting with our treasured possessions can remind us of what good things we own right now. So we don’t need to accumulate more.

2. Hang out with a baby or toddler. Preferably one you know, so to avoid potential problems with law enforcement agents. For example, I’m visiting the Glorious Piglet this weekend. My main activity will be watching him play with his vast array of toys, including his favorite – an old wooden spoon from my Ma’s kitchen. He can wave it, point it, emphasize his rantings with it, bang on things with it, jam it in his eye…
Little kids don’t need fancy, expensive toys the way big kids (like me) do. Remember, most kid’s favorite toy isn’t the toy itself, but the box it came in. Maybe we could all find joy in the simple things, like boxes. Maybe this is why I love packaging so much.

3. Learn to love your left-overs. I will never understand people who don’t eat leftover food, choosing to throw it away instead. YOU JUST THREW AWAY MONEY. Here’s an idea, bring your leftovers to MY house and I’LL eat them. That should save me hundreds on groceries each month. Plus, I’ll never have to cook again!
Seriously, though, don’t waste your food. We are so damned fortunate to live a lifestyle that allows us to prepare so much food, we have stuff leftover at the end of our meals. Remember, the whole world, including the United States, doesn’t have it as good. Not to quote your mother, but there are people starving! Clean your plate! Get your hair out of your eyes! Quit hitting your sister!
And at least put your leftovers in a Tupperware container and save it for tomorrow.

Well, those are my ideas for Being Content With What You Have – brought to you by the Instrument of Thought Formation (aka my blow dryer). So what are yours? How do you find contentment with what you already have?


LaRue said...

Well ok then. I will just shop within my closet and NEVER BUY FABRIC AGAIN.

Hah! You are so funny.

Seriously, you know I toss clothing and stuff all the time. Nothing is sacred in my house except the Holy Purple Grommeter. (avert thy eyes)

Ann said...

Ya know...I just remember how truly anticlimactic almost EVERY purchase is, it really is. Wanting it is truly more fun than HAVING it, when it comes to "stuff". I realllllly have to love something now to buy it, and what freedom that brings. :)

Anonymous said...

I've gotta tell you -- the Compact has your name written all over it! (for your next cheap challenge) You'd be surprised how much shiny stuff you can find second-hand.

Anonymous said...

I totally agree. Although it has taken me a good psychotropic medication to release my inner "must buy." I find myself thinking more.

However, the weight fluxuation of middle age did lead to some despiration shopping because, huh, nothing fit. Now, however, the closet organized, I can see what I have and put together smashing outfits that make me want to dance dance dance.

Michelle said...

I never understand why people don't eat leftovers. I love them! It makes it easier to pack a lunch, too.

I'm going to wedding next month and I'm making myself wear a pair of heels I already own. It's really easy for me to convince myself I need new shoes to match my dress--even though I know I have perfectly good shoes in my closet. Keeping my closet organized helps, too.

Melanie said...

This might be categorized as No Fun, but I stopped reading fashion and design magazines. Just stopped, cold turkey. And I am, magically, far more satisfied with my sweet little life. I have no idea why it took me so long to figure this out; I used to working in marketing and should really know better.