I’ve now done a week without buying any new clothes, although obviously I had two online shopping parcels arrive on Saturday. I have however bought some perfume online today which isn’t so good (although the perfume smells gorgeous – I have samples already).
What I want to know is why I feel such a compulsion to buy things all the time. What is it in me (and in many others) that makes us such acquisitive beings? In today’s Guardian Suzanne Moore talks about the now famous book by Marie Kondo called Spark Joy which muses on how we should only keep things in our life which bring us joy, and get rid of all the other clutter.
Well lots of things in my life don’t bring me joy, but are essential to every day life: things like dog poo bags or floor cleaner or sellotape, so I’m not sure that I go with this argument. However Moore makes a good point at the end of the article when she says:
But the decluttering industry can’t deal with the broader aspect of why we feel so out of control in our own homes. After all, we have merely done as we were told: consumed. Now, it has become excessive, and we are swimming in our own tat. Is this elevation of tidying enough to stop the circle of shopping, of built-in obsolescence, of fashion, of our complete lack of connection to where any of our products come from?
To be free from this cycle may indeed be magical. The illusion that it is up to each of us individually to sort this out may be comforting. But liberation from the mess we have made is about more than a neat sock drawer.
And clothes bring me joy most of the time, but actually looking at it objectively, maybe it’s the *act of acquisition* that brings me joy. I love trying on clothes and shoes and imagining wearing them during exciting or satisfying moments of my life.
Unfortunately, the reality of wearing clothes in my life is never as good as the imagined and I end up with an overstuffed wardrobe full of lovely clothes for which there aren’t necessarily the occasions to wear. If the best I felt about the clothes was at the moment I purchased them, well really, what is the point?
It’s as if we are being sold the instant of purchase rather than the actual item we are buying. Spending money can sometimes be seen as an almost sexual turn on. So is it the act of spending money not the thing itself that brings me joy?
This may be why I find myself making so many purchases; am I addicted to the purchase high? If so, this is something that needs addressing as it is seriously disordered behaviour. Consumerism is fucking me up.