‘If you’re not in one, you’re in the other’

I have a confession to make. I have a terrible habit of connecting material worth to my happiness levels. I’m sure I’m not the only one, either, but officially shaming myself as a helpless consumer; when a part of me wants so badly to shun all that in favour of living in a forest with a vegetable patch, lake and fishing rod; is kind of hard. I don’t know if there’s a way of fixing this or if I should even be feeling this guilty in the first place. I was born into this society, raised with its ideals and I go to work in order to fund my material girl whims (no boys with cold hard cash needed here, Madonna). I associate buying myself new underwear with a hefty punch of endorphins, doubled if said underwear is 50% off. Reflecting on my day, I’ve realised that the highlight was selecting a new duvet cover set. I delighted in studying each wrapped parcel of linen, imagining it on display in my room, browsing the range of throws (throws!!), cushions, selecting my favourite set which I felt expressed my personality in the best manner. For those interested, it was a sheet covered in 50’s pin up girls. Why on earth I think I embody them is still beyond me and will probably require its own post later. Cute, though. The real question here is why do I attach so much importance to this? My fifteen minutes of shopping was trivial, but joyful nonetheless, and I think I prefer to slip away from my fears of being a slave to consumerism to the more light-hearted theory that everyone and everything needs to feel safe and homely sometimes. Trying to create a comfortable place in which to escape from the world for a while is natural behaviour across all walks of life – animals, people, fish (I have a really strong and affectionate image of Nemo the clownfish and his dad in their aneneneneneneome which simply had to be included). Talking of fathers, mine has always said that there is no guilt to be found in spending money on beds or shoes (I like this saying a lot) because if you aren’t in one, you’re in the other. Bedsheets count then. Sort of. Happy days.

nemo_marlin

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