I Spend, Therefore I Am

Anyone who knows me knows that I don’t partake in anything that general society would call a vice. I don’t drink, smoke, or do drugs. I do however have a bit of a consumption problem. I’ve touched on this here before actually.

I tend to rely on “retail therapy.” The act of shopping gives me time to think through issues in my life (this has to be done alone though) and I think actually buying something comforts me in a strange and round about way. It makes me feel a little better to have stuff. If I just have this one thing then every little thing will be manageable. It doesn’t even have to be something pretty, like a pair of shoes. I could be buying a colander and it would make me think “Okay, now I can wash broccoli easily and I don’t have to worry about it ever again,” or I could go out to the supermarket for groceries and it would make me feel better.

I’m not quite sure where this came from and how it developed but I’ve only noticed it in the past five years or so. I think my mother does it as well, so maybe it’s hereditary? Or possibly just learned.

Anyway I was reading TreeHugger today and come across a post regarding consumption that linked to a piece about our consumption in The David Report. While most of the ideas in the article are not new, it’s still an interesting look at how our need for consumption is affecting to the planet. It didn’t make me feel as bad as reading Cradle to Cradle did though. It’s a little comforting to know that I am not the only one afflicted, how ever it slightly bothers me that now I do not really have a unique vice and that I’m just like everyone else. I just can’t win.

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