Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Where is That Fine Line When I Need It...

Thrifty or Spendthrifty, Green or NSG (Not-So-Green), Actively Helpful or Actively Hurtful... those are the questions that have been buzzin' about my mind for a while now...

the dilemma: I, like millions of other people, love to decorate our home...and then I love to tweak the decorating...and while this Coastal Georgia Gal is not keen on the fashion world's current obsession with layerin' (Hot does not begin to apply to Coastal Georgia in July or August...sometimes September...Volcanic Super Hot or Broiling On the Surface of the Sun Hot might begin to address how hot it can become around here...Volcanic Hot plus an Extra 25 lbs of Fat do not add up to layering clothing), I do loves to layer stuff upon stuff in the house...that means I add more stuff to the stuff already in place...even if I have to move stuff outta the way to add more stuff...

I also love to rescue beings and things...not so much humans...I probably won't drag them home offa the curbside...well, if
Brendan Fraser were hangin' out by the dumpster, I might invite him over to have some coffee and lounge in the Adirondacks for a bit...but only if he'd agree to help weed the garden...and play with the EBB...

that is the big lead-up to I tend to haunt second-hand shops...or thrift shops, whichever you prefer...and I tend to spend some $ there...

not tons of it...just a bit here, a bit there...

for a while [read=several years] I have patted myself (figuratively...I do not do Yoga...and did I mention I'm 43...and 25 lbs overweight?) on the back that not only was I wisely shopping to adorn the home place but I was also contributing to what I have designated as Second-Tier Retail...buying from thrift shops does not, to my knowledge, put money in the pockets of manufacturers who high-tailed it overseas so their products could be made for pennies with little-to-no repercussions for environmental pollution, hazardous working conditions and, natch, poverty wages...

but a bulb has began to, albeit feebly, flicker on and on in my cobwebby mind...

even if I'm supporting second-tier retailers (and I made that term up on my own...don't go expecting any real economist to understand what that means...or maybe it really does mean something besides what I decided it means), even if I'm keeping stuff out of the landfills and even if I'm stretching our dollars, those poor weakened things, further than shopping at HomeGoods (which, BTW, is simply hypnotic for me) or one of her sister stores...

what would happen if I didn't buy those necessary unnecessities? how 'bout if I only bought half of those frivolous things?

how much "stuff" do I need? and I use "I" because, and trust me on this one, the Husband could not care less...he appreciates "stuff" that hums and beeps and moves...or chops and burns and so on...but he truly does not care 1) what colour the walls are (he will give an opinion if pressed...and I have always regretted when I've pressed...see Blue Cave Room post) 2) he truly does not care what dishes we eat our food from and 3) he truly does not care if we have the Butt Ugliest Couch in the World...

and more importantly...if I were to not spend so much $ in the thrift shops, then what would that money be available to do...*

...my knee-jerk reaction says "Save that Money Because Hard Times They A Comin'"...and saving is important...and we have managed to save up some change...(not enough to quieten down my Hide in the Bomb Shelter with 500 Cans of Beans personality but I'm workin' on it)

...but lately I've begun to feel that Just Not Spending It is not enough of an answer...

lack of action is not always a positive action...the absence of doing harm is not doing good...at least not in my opinion...

don't get me wrong...I believe having "things" about us that we love is just part of our nature...we're kind of like crows...we likes the shiny pretties...and just don't even get me started on how that side of our personalities is pandered to and exploited by so many entities in our society...LOL...we could be here a long long time...

but you know what? another side of me is that I find it very hard to self-regulate...I mean, I will follow the rules in the workplace, at school, or at church (if we ever find one)...and I am the Keeper of the Board Game Rules (which is why almost no one will play board games with me)...but, evidenced by my 25 extra pounds which I've just decided to name "Bianca" and claim on my next year's taxes as a dependent, I do struggle with saying No to things I enjoy...and I think Big Sellers of Lots of Things sort of depend on that aspect our personalities too...

how long is this rant post?

(I'm windin' down...mostly because I need to excuse myself because I drank a lot of that second cup of coffee(and therein lies yet another stick to beat myself up with...the whole deforestation of the rainforest thing vs the cost of fairtrade coffee...I'm seriously considering just abandoning it all the way 'round)...and because I'm feelin' "Snacky"...and my feet are cold because I have no socks on...)

and exactly what is her point? [feel free to insert your own exasperated teeth sucking noise here]

I don't really know...I'm just floundering about here tryin' to find some direction...my putting these feelings/thoughts into writing, printing them out and then staple-gunning them to the debit card might help strengthen my resolve to not just spend less and more thoughtfully when I do but to let go of my fear and let go of some of our money to people who need it more than I need yet another wonderful antique treasure some fool gave away...hah hah hah...it is allllll mine thing to take up the space around here**...tryin' to build some type of solid idea of When is Enough Enough so I don't have to agonize over every little purchase that doesn't involve TP (and trust me...heard the arguments...not givin' up the TP)...


Just another rudderless Conscience Debacle floatin' around Cyberspace...any Wise Thoughts greatly appreciated...

*****************************************************************

Did ya'll see that Byer's Choice Caroler leanin' against the back of the chair? 99 cents at the GW...can you stand it?


*and I do get that there are things that are requirements for alll except the barest bravest and toughest of us...all I'm sayin' is I'm going to fight my penchant for collecting Sets of Dishes...and Pig stuff (did ya'll see that cute little pig toothpick holder in the pix? 10 cents...and, of course, I don't have toothpicks)...and Rooster Stuff...and old Cookie Cutters...

but I cannot promise to fight off my book-buying habit...and I have a strange attraction to fabric...especially toile-ish fabric...God Help Me (seriously because it will only be His intervention that keeps me from whippin' out the checkbook...forget the debit card...take too long to remove all those staples) if I come across a Toile Pig...or Toile Pig Dishes...especially Brown & White Toile Pig Dishes...with a Free Copper Rooster Weathervane...

**we do already regularly contribute to 3 charities...but I know they can always use more money...

7 comments:

Serah said...

Nice to see you blogging again! You've been missed!

Ashley Ladd said...

If I saw Brendan Fraser, I'd bring him home and he wouldn't have to weed my garden. :)

Penny @ Lavender Hill Studio said...

I love the way you think! My mind works like that too - :-)
Penny

The Feathered Nest said...

I often have this conversation with myself. Really how many dishes do I really need (even if they are 50 cents) and yet the thrill of finding a dish I love for 50 cents!! I don't know what the answer is - although I suspect I really should have focused more on saving for retirement and college expenses than buying more pillows.

manuela

DaisyJen said...

I've tagged you for blogging fun! See my blog for details. http://daisysdelights.blogspot.com/

It is odd how we have such a consumer minded society isn't it? Especially when it wasn't always like that. I know everyone probably gets tired of the 30 day trial idea, but...maybe you could try a 30 day trial of not even going into thrift stores or browsing those type of websites. Remove yourself from the temptation. And see (a) how much money you save and (b) if you really even miss it. Sometimes things can be more habit than real enjoyment. And at the end, if you still feel the same, you can go back to thrifting. Just a thought.

Paula said...

I just tagged you. See my blog if you want to join in the fun!

see you there! said...

I've been down the same rock strewn road and have no solution. It was interesting to read what you had to say about it tho.

Believe me tho, if I find and brown-toile-pig-rooster fabric in my wanderings I'll be sure to send it to you.

Darla

it's all about the journey...