Tuesday, July 03, 2012


Just a drive-by post today. Yes, it’s still raining and cold. Bleh. I’m going up to my studio to play. Can’t walk. Can’t garden. Good excuse to work on the next sewing project.

Meanwhile, I came across this article by Miss Minimalist discussing some of the ideas in my post from a short while back. Who knew I was actually a minimalist? In some ways, perhaps. Not in others. I get to pick and choose! Just because I can.

On the other hand, this post from the Slapdash Sewist on gave me much pause for thought. She says, “Convincing people to buy fewer but better clothes has almost nothing to do with money. It has to do with entertainment.” That is a concept that I just don’t get – unless we’re talking about shopping in a yarn, fabric, grocery, hardware or other store that sells Stuff to Make Stuff. Otherwise, I dislike shopping intensely. It’s impossible to find exactly what I want and I hate settling for not-quite-good enough instead. I am not entertained.

Maybe it’s because I’m from a different generation? I was born before the malls. I actually remember when the first one in my city was built. I was 8 years old and it wasn’t even an indoor mall then. They covered it over later. Teens did not hang out in flocks there. The only place there where you would have found many of them was in the public library branch. (I spent quite a lot of time in there myself.) Also, I live in a city with sidewalks and public transit. There are lots of other things to do besides buying stuff I don’t need with money I don’t have. Even though I can walk to that mall or downtown where there are several more malls, the shops are all the same with nothing I really want or need in them. I’m such a lousy consumer! Guess I’m not their Target Market, huh?

Except for books. We won’t go there, ‘kay? I’m on a book-buying diet right now while we try to live on our savings until OAS and pensions kick in. Besides, I’m running out of shelf space. Something has to go before anything else comes in.

Off to repair T-Man’s dressing gown. I made it so long ago that I can’t remember how old it is. Needs new belt loops but otherwise it’s holding up pretty well. Make do and mend, right?


Trapunto said...

I'm so with you on shopping. Even shopping for stuff to make stuff can tire me out if it's the wrong kind of store. U.S. chain fabric stores, for example. Over the last couple of years I furnished our house (first place we've stayed in long enough to think about furnishing for real) with old and antique furniture I got ridiculously cheaply from people on craigslist who didn't know what good stuff they were selling. Just kept looking for exactly what served our needs, pleased our eyes and hands, and fit the space we had. When I was done, I had no desire to keep looking for furniture. The happiness was in the being DONE shopping, not the shopping!

Maybe there is a connection between minimalism and knowing what you want. If you know what you want, you know when you've got it and are contented with it. That way you don't keep having that itch that leads you to buy two or three or ten.

I wonder if people could learn to entertain themselves by looking but not buying . . . that's the way I enjoy antique stores and galleries. OK, pottery is my weakness, but other than that...

Sharon in Surrey said...

Funny you should mention Malls. I was born before Malls too. Teenagers used to hang around the StarDust rollerskating rink when I was a teen. Every Friday night you'd find every kid in Surrey at Guildford skating from 7 to 9 while our parents shopped. From 9 to 10 a local teen band - pretending to be the Beatles or Stones - would play & we'd have a sock hop. From 10 to 12, the older kids & a few lucky younger brothers & sisters would skate till it closed at midnight!!! Only on Fridays because we all babysat on Saturdays while the Parents went out. Guildford was a covered, two story strip mall in those days & there was NO BUS SERVICE at all in most of Surrey so parents had to ferry us there & back. And that was a wild night out for us when I was 15!

And Trapunto - I furnished my basement with cast-offs & second hand goodies when I moved in. I think I eventually bought new cutlery but everything from the fridge to the washing machine is second hand - it's amazing what people want to give away!!