My Own Brand Of Materialism

I did it.
I bought it.
The purse I have wanted for almost a whole year.
I saw it for the first time on a flight from Nashville to Detroit, being wielded by the kind of girl who is effortlessly stylish, breezily confident. She sat next to me, in the window seat.
I asked her who made it. She told me.
And I have wanted it ever since.
So, ten months later, I did it.
I bought it.

My list of excuses is long, and looks something like this:
“You work long hours, you deserve something nice!”
“Your other purse broke, and you have been looking for a replacement for a long time.”
“You know you really want it if you haven’t found one you like better in ten whole months.”
“It’s a quality item, and it will last for years.  It’s ‘an investment’.”
“You still have seven weeks before you are in America, so if you have severe buyer’s regret, you can always return it when you get home.” (Mom, Dad, the package will arrive in a few weeks, just so you know.)

I don’t have buyer’s regret.

But whenever the urge to purchase something that I don’t need grabs ahold of me, I have a small crisis.
“Am I being materialistic?” I ask myself.  “Should I have just bought a cheap plastic purse at Blok M and been satisfied with that?”
If you remember, one of my New Years Resolutions was to “Simplfy More.”  I think I have stuck to this resolution decently well.  I have held back from any passing desires to buy a number of silly things, and since I haven’t been outside of Indonesia in the past four months, I have been able to save the majority of my paychecks (after, of course, the whopping 1500 USD spent on my flight home, which is actually a “good price” considering how expensive a flight halfway around the world can be).

My New Year’s Resolution didn’t stem from my desire to save more money, or from the need for fiscal self-control.  It was about being a mindful consumer, about chaning how I think about “stuff” and not clicking “Speedy Checkout” on a webpage to recieve something in the mail that I don’t even need. I want to change my heart, I want to start not wanting all of those other things. (Why can’t what I have be enough?  Why do I always have to want more?  Why do I buy into the lies that I “need” something else?)

My mind is willing, but my body is weak. So there I was, buying an all leather tote bag off the internet at 11 pm after wanting it for ten months.

Good thing it’s only the beginning of May, and I have eight months of this year left to purge myself of my latent materialism.

 

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