Saturday, September 13, 2008

New Purchase Confessions

We've been doing pretty darn well on our little life experiment here of not purchasing any new things. Really, we have. We have kept to our compact mostly. But, at the Legoland Discovery Center the other day, I let the kids buy themselves some lego--some sort of Star Wars vehicle (my son tells me it's clone wars related...whatever that means exactly), and my daughter got a fire engine and an ambulance--a rescue vehicles theme there for her.

When we went camping last week--and when I say camping, I kind of mean that in the loosest sense possible in that we were at the tiniest state park in existence and on the other side of a creek surrounding the campsite were condos and houses who seemed to think that their lights should be on all night in their back yards that sent glowing streaks through the trees into our was kind of a dud experience...and it rained...and we never took our canoe off of our car...and we only stayed one kids said that they loved camping and my husband said that yeah, we ought to try that some time--my husband had to buy new nylon rope for the tarp. So we had that purchase too.

I've bought some "educational" things, but those are not a part of the compact--that's my kids' education and I can buy new if I want to. Although, my son busts me on that saying that they don't need the new maps I got them (oh yes they do because they're accurate), or the Shakespeare books--we could have gotten them used somewhere or checked books out of the library. Yes, well, I know that, but that is only a reflection of his literal, black/white thinking. There are shades of grey, son, hopefully you'll learn that soon.

I've not bought any new yarn this whole time, but I've also not found a sweater to unravel and use the yarn for knitting something else. My husband has bought lumber to make things, to frame out the windows in the kids' fort and make the little dutch door. We changed our phone company and got a new cell phone as part of the deal. We have not been pure.

Have we purchased new clothes? No, except for the kids performances in various dance/acting groups they're involved in. I have not purchased new clothing other than underwear and socks for anyone in this family in 8 months since we started the compact in January. Have we bought any CDs or DVDs or Books or Magazines? No. We have bought things from Goodwill and some of them seemed to be new--but they were at Goodwill, so not part of the usual commerce flow. Any new electronics? No. Any new beautiful things for my hair? No. No new jewelry, no new perfume, no new decorative items for the house. No. No. No.

This isn't too far from how we used to live. We were never huge consumers. This is not a difficult lifestyle--we are free of feeling any kind of pressure or gnawing desire to get and acquire and upgrade and consume. That feels pretty good. We don't need it, we're not going to buy it, it just doesn't come into play around here at all.

But, by God, my kids did need their lego and my husband did need his rope and lumber and we were given the new phone and I needed the kids to see the real relative sizes of the different places of the world and so I needed to get those maps. Because truth does matter, and that's why I'm confessing all of this to you.

We don't buy it...except when we do.

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