Monday, March 12, 2012

I cheated.

Well we all knew this was bound to happen. I cheated, on my own quest. If I make the rules - is that even possible and who wins? It's like cheating at solitaire - you win the game in the end, but you know in your heart what a dirty-little cheating card peeker you are.
So what tempted me off course in my quest? A purse/laptop bag handmade by one of our neighbors, purchased at the local farmers market. Seriously, how can I even feel guilty about this - its the most ethical kind of consumption there is...or something. I know, I'm on some stupid "self improvement" journey. Blah! I want to be cute and self improved. Thus begins a very dangerous line of so-called reasoning.
The impetus for the bag purchase was a trip to New York. I was bound to break the rules the moment I booked the trip so I might as well look good going into it.

(me & said beautiful bag in Central Park)

A friend suggested to me before leaving that I should think about the farm and the things I realistically might require in my daily life on the farm when I'm being enticed in NYC by fancy somethings. This seems like a logical perspective, but logic has nothing to do with it. Its all about the fantasy, the fantasy of the beautiful things and their ability to enhance my life. Really?! Is this really how I think? I suppose it is.

Truth is, I guess I have been missing that consumptive aspect of my life where you buy some new thing and it adds to your closet and your 'self'. Why do I look for that in stuff? Because its easy? Probably. I mean, its more satisfying to cook a great meal, have a great ski or run, read a book or spend time with friends/my partner. But all those things take considerably more effort AND you can combine them all with the simple bliss of buying something pretty! I also had the unabashed support of my partner when it came to buying stuff, this is one of the many reasons I heart him so much.

So what were the consumptive results of the trip? I'll make you a list:

1  beautiful black stretchy cotton pencil skirt from American Apparel (sweatshop free - c'mon!)
1 "I <3 NY" souvenir t-shirt (its my 3rd time and I've never bought one before, I also bought one for my love)
1 navy blue lovely dress (Anthropologie sale rack - sweatshop filled)
1 cute, fun orange shirt (ibid)
1 chartreuse cashmere cardigan (ibid)
1 pair of black Chuck Taylors (random store)
1 Tiffany & Co. Toggle bracelet **NB, this was a gift from my mum ** (god, I suck)

Total goods purchased and acquired while away: $635.00

Now. I've fully fallen off the wagon here and I know it. I'm also sleeping well at night and feeling good about myself. So where does this leave me in the quest? Am I off my own team? I'm not sure. Here's what I do know, my last trip to NYC I spent somewhere in the range of $3000 to $5000 - no shit. For reals. I blanch looking at that total, but its true. So in the land of progress, I have definitely made some. For all intents and purposes, I'm still on the quest and I'm too close to my period of transgression to reflect upon its meaning - for now. I'm also trying to win a new pair of Yoga Jeans - they are having a giveaway everyday this month for a free pair (find them and enter on Facebook). I'll keep you posted on my guilt and my winnings (I hope), for now I'm staring at my bracelet and loving my Chuck Taylors in my century-old farmhouse - the contrasts here are not lost on me and shouldn't be on you.