But I tell everyone, including myself, that I don’t. File this one under “lies we tell ourselves to make our lives easier”.
Truth be told, though, I like buying crap. Spending money is fun. Before my current husband, I pretty much budgeted just enough to get by and spent the rest. No savings, barely paid a few bills, you know. Not fiscally responsible much at all. Actually, I was more responsible the first time I was married. Apparently, being married makes me more financially responsible. I don’t know if it’s because I keep marrying less-than-financially-sound men, or if I want to be better because someone else is depending on me, or if suddenly the future matters, or all of the above. Probably all of the above.
So, I have a bit of a thrift store problem. I love them, I crave them, and I frequently attend them. Ya gotta love a store full of crap, all of which you can almost afford to buy.
We have been shopping up a storm for the holidays, of course. I have done a ton of bargain-hunting: Black Friday shopping, coupon shopping, Cyber Monday shopping, circular studying, coupon-app-using, every kind of way to save I could think of (of course, except for NOT shopping). At Christmas, I do tend to go for broke, I have to say. And I’m pretty sure that’s where that expression came from… Christmas shopping. I did manage to save a lot – maybe more than I spent in some cases – but still… money is flowing like water around here. Generally speaking, I’m okay with it. There is one thing that is bothering me, though… Made In China.
It is really bothering me.
Almost every damn thing is made there (or somewhere like it). I look at the undersides of everything now, just to see where it’s made. It makes me uncomfortable that I cannot seem to purchase new, retail items (that are not an indie craft) that are not made in China. I have better luck at the thrift store, actually, finding non-Chinese goods.
In our shopping, we visited a new store (new to us – maybe new to everyone, but I’m not sure). Let’s call it the “everything is less than a Lincoln” store. So, yeah, as long as I’m blowing money, why not blow it on some under 5 buck stocking stuffers? So we went. And we bought crap. Because we are consumers. But my overall feeling about the store is that it should be called the “mainlined some cheap shit from China” store or the “expect some lawsuits about the toxicity of our stuff” store or the “seriously, this is the worst shit made in the world” store. I am pretty sure that folks in China are dying, right now, of disease caused by manufacturing America’s cheapest, most chemical-ridden crap ever. This store represents so much that is bad about consumerism. I don’t even know how they make that crap and get it all the way from China to Dunwoody, GA for those kind of prices, so I assume it is because someone is being paid 2cents a minute to absorb toxic chemicals making this shit. We bought a squishy ball thing because I wanted to play catch (true story) and I think I got vaguely high from the fumes coming off it.
If I had a kid, I would keep that ball far far from him or her. Seriously, I would expect my kid to grow an extra ear or something if they played with it for very long. Ironically, now that we have actually played with the ball for 15 minutes or so, I’m pretty sure all our reproductive organs have shriveled up and now only release sea monkeys and silly putty. It’s not ideal, but now that we own that ball o’ flexy industrial waste, our home is no longer suitable for children.
I feel I must watch THIS video about modern consumerism just to cleanse myself a little of the dirty, cheap consumer whore in my soul.