Thursday, June 26, 2014

Clueless, Consumerism, and Catan

Okay, so no Catan.
Catan: Seafarers!

I just like alliteration.

(Though, I DID win three Settlers games in a row a few weeks ago.)

But!  Clueless.  And consumerism.  Well,  last summer my friend Christina wrote a blog post about quitting the whole consumeristic culture of buying lots of clothes, inspired by Papa Francisco and, well, Jesus.  It involved lots of personal insight and pictures of Cher with clothes strewn about the floor.

And after thinking, "Good for her," I thought --- well, actually I thought about how funny Clueless is.*

But after that I patted myself on the back and thought, "Consumerism.  Beneath me."

Then I went to the mall.

No, no, not with the intention of shopping.  I'm not that hypocritical.  I went because last summer I became a secret mall-walker, like those little old ladies who do laps, walking from Dillard's to Macy's to Penny's, making sure I round each column.  Yes, that's me, except my hair is only 40% gray. And I usually have a baby with me.

But, of course, I'd peer at the shop windows, glancing at Gap's almost-but-not-quite-affordable long dresses, the ethereal lace tops from Loft, the fabulous red suit-dresses from JCrew, and, of course, Williams-Sonoma’s five-ply stainless steel pots and pans.  And I’d want them. 

Darn you, Loft, and your 50% off shorts.

Even though, I, you know, don’t go to work.** 

And even though I already own the All-Clad ten piece set, complete with the free lasagna pan and The Essentials of Italian Cooking^. 

So, yes: my own desire for the Infinite and for Beauty is also very easily twisted into a vain, vapid consumerism.  


Thank you, red dress maker Zara, for being too cool and European for my middle-America city.  Absent temptation doesn't = virtue, but it sure helps.

GK Chesteron on consumerism here (don't be fooled by the title, that's what he comes around to, like when he says he's writing about cheese and ends up writing about big business.)

*My opportunity to watch it again came when my Jane Austen book club had its very first movie night after reading Emma.  Watching the Gwyneth version was considered a betrayal of the original intent.  Too many liberties in interpretation appeared.  So the Silverstone adaptation was quickly agreed upon.

** Yes, yes, every once in awhile I interview the Attorney General or something, but one business dress and one black pencil skirt with appropriate tops is more than enough for these rare occasions.

^All of which—not to fuel your desire to buy, buy, buy—is as fabulous as you might imagine, if you frequently imagine and sometimes enact elaborate cooking scenarios (like me).

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