Thursday, December 18, 2008

I want, I want, I want

Perhaps it's because I have one almost 3-year-old who is very in touch with her wants.

Perhaps it's because living on one income was so hard that being on two makes me feel rich.

Perhaps it's because after working so hard, for so long, we deserve some nice things.

Perhaps it's none of this, and just the stress of life pointing me toward things. Things.

It's been a juggle, a hassle, to walk the line of saving and spending. Of needs and wants. Of this and that.

What's harder is that if I enter a store for say, diapers, I see the girls' clothes clearing rack, then I think about how one pair of shoes isn't enough, or how they need snow boots now that we've encountered our third snow storm of the season and we're still a week from Christmas.

Then, I remember that I need printer ink, so I head to that part of the store, easily getting sidetracked by my love of books, which luckily haven't been easily found in my favorite big box store lately. But, it brings me closer to the toys, where I think I might finally find a toy that my two almost 3-year-olds will play with. I scour each shelf, high and low, smiling and at how much joy each one of those brand, spankin' new toys will bring such immense joy that is not currently in our house, relishing the thoughts, maybe even picking up one or two.

I sneak out past the home and garden section, where I long to buy more storage bins to feel more organized and less cluttered. And that reminds me that we need this and that for the girls' bathroom, which was recently painted and looks lovely, despite it's lack of anything in it.

I skip past the food, only going back a second later to remember to pick up that easy-to-fix dinner item that the girls, hopefully, will eat tonight. Turkey dogs. Chicken tenders. Cheese sticks. Annie's macaroni and cheese. Then, I rush past the snacks trying to grab just one more healthier-but-easier bedtime snack in the hopes that they will be so full they won't actually wake up, again, tonight.

By the time I make my entire circumfrance around the store, which started all because we were down to one last friggin' pull-up, I usually have a full cart. So, I swing into the make-up and beauty section, examining my goods, and tossing out what I know I don't need right now. Diapers? Yes. Turkey dogs? Yes. Paper towels? Yes. More girls' clothes? No.

As I pile what's left onto the moving belt, I realize that I've probably just saved myself a nice chunk of cash by impulse shopping, but with a final once-over.

But then the verdict is in: The bill is 80-something dollars.

If this isn't a vicious cycle, I'm not sure what is.

Which gets me wondering, does the American reliance upon THINGS have anything to do with wanting to get their kids to stop crying?? To get five minutes of peace to make dinner? To have just one more cute craft to hang up so that there is just one thing that proves we were somewhat productive today?

photo credit: Dan Halen for President

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kisatrtle said...

We call that ***-Mart sickness in my house. The longer you are there the more stuff you "need". LOL

justagirl said...

This is all so true...

We seem to be getting into a worldwide problem at the moment where people are accumulating huge personal debt. Everything you buy these days last a few months and then you will find the same thing but the new model holds more GB or it takes photos and you can talk on it and check your emails and it will make sure your cat has been fed after you have left the house. Or you will find that you can no longer buy the consumables for the new whatever you bought last year as they no longer make them and you have to buy a whole new one!!!

I think technology is racing ahead so fast we are finding it hard to catch up... even fashions change so much faster then when I was a kid.

But I must admit buying things makes me happy for some reason.

Anonymous said...

It may not be just an American problem. England is just the same. More things, buy this or that, because they're only going to get more expensive. Its hard, but once you've mastered the 'take out the crap' routine before buying everything, you're definitly on the right path.