Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Stuffed

Over on my sidebar I describe myself as "living in the middle of nowhere in Nevada." I've written about this a time or two.

Life moves slowly, here in Nowhere. No one is in a great rush to Go and Do and Buy and Consume. Hell, we can reach the other end of town, driving at 30 mph, in about five minutes, so what is the point?

Whenever I make my way into more populated areas, and not just at Christmas time but at any time during the year, I'm reminded on just how competitive it is to rush and to own stuff. There are questions that must be asked when you are the owner of stuff, when you are comparing yourself to the other owners of stuff.

Is my stuff newer, brighter, shinier, and more glittery?

Is my stuff more expensive, higher quality, procurred at a better sale, a gift from people that must love you because they spent?

Is my stuff more interactive? Does it beep more? Does it play better ringtones? Does it flash, wiggle, vibrate and remind me of important dates? Will it discourage carpal tunnel? Can I watch TV on it?

Is my stuff more unique? Do I have the only stuff of it's kind? Does my stuff have a worthy brand name, slogan and/or recognizeable cartoon icon? Am I the first to own my stuff? Am I the very last to get the limited quantity stuff? Will my stuff make me popular? Do I have enough really really really old yet pristine and valuable stuff? Does my stuff carry provenance?

Do I have the proper amounts of stuff? Is my stuff bigger when big is good and smaller when small is good? Is all my stuff stored with fashionable and eye pleasing methods? Can I gracefully move about my stuff in my wide open stuff storing spaces?

Is my stuff all natural? Was my stuff subject to animal testing, pesticides, fertilizers, abuse, politically incorrect crime and societal upheaval? Will I get enough of my family's valuable stuff in the unfortunate event of their demise?

Do I have the stuff my neighbors would want if they realized they wanted it? Is my stuff properly insured in the event that one of my neighbors decides they need my stuff more than I do?

Does my stuff make me appear prettier, sexier, more masculine, more intelligent, more moral, more edgy, older when I'm young and younger when I'm old? Will my stuff decrease wrinkles, frizzy hair, baldness, dry skin, erectile dysfunction and embarrassing flatulence? Will my stuff improve my cleavage and add inches to my member? Will my stuff get me laid?

Is my stuff faster? Have I satiated my need, my need for speed? Will my stuff remain awesome just as long as I need it to, until I replace it with better stuff?

Does my stuff smell good enough?

Does my stuff define me in a satisfying way?


I haven't completely escaped the rat race for stuff out here in Nowhere. I like owning a large cabinetfull of DVDs and staring at my 21" widescreen, flatscreen monitor. It's a quality of life issue right?

5 comments:

  1. I think a major learning experience is to recognize the difference between wanting something and needing something. I got a kick out of seeing my grand daughter a few years ago watching TV shortly before Christmas. After every toy, and I mean every toy, that was advertised, she would say, "I want that." It sounds good for ideas of what to get until you realize that she is including everything in the world, so you are still back to square one. Some of them she would have played with once, others again and again. The challenge for me was to recognize which were the again and again ones. I guess adults are not much different, it is just the toys that change.

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  2. Iv'e noticed that as I've gotten older, I want less stuff. But the stuff that I do want, I want it to look as new as possible...no holes, no rips, no mends (unless they're not very noticeable at all), very little scratches, no stains...etc, etc... I think that has something to do with growing up poor and most of what little stuff I had was second hand and/or homemade and looked it. I used to like a lot of stuff but now I'm into quality not quantity whereas I have a friend that loves to get as much as she can from garage sales and thrift stores. For her it's about quantity.

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  3. What makes me sad is thinking about what this does to people who can't keep up.
    Living here on my rock, where the only places to buy things are the grocery store and the marina, we happily exist without this crazed consumerism.
    I find that when I'm in "civilization" I start to feel slightly panicked in places like malls. "Do I need that? Do I want it. I think I want it. Oh God I want it!" I'm rational enough not to cave but I can feel the itch. I know I start to compare our hillbilly life to the lives of my friends and wonder if they're happier. Then I give my head a shake and go back home.

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  4. I am just busy finding ways to get rid of stuff... those MS folks who do front soor pick-up? My bestest friends.

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  5. Heeheee...I love how you ended it, and in fact this was crafted very nicely overall. :) I particularly felt the opening--I came here from a small town like the one you live in (minus the casinos, add lobster fishing...) and that was my precise reaction. So, thanks for making me feel like I'm not alone in my distaste for that particular aspect of big city livin'. (West Jordan is a HUGE city. Back off.)

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