In twenty four hours I have read posts about financial collapse, peak oil preparedness, people asking how to reduce their spending and believe it or not posts about how many shoes people have. I have even read about people needing more space for their shoe collection or negotiating with their partners about how many pairs of shoes may ‘live’ in their home.
Now it has been pointed out to me recently that my guilt about being an affluent person trying to live simply is palapable. However, I can’t for the life of me understand how ANYONE could possibly need more than ten pairs of shoes. Goddess help me but if and when things go pear shaped I predict a serious black market happening for footwear!
Correct me if I am wrong but in previous generations, if you were ‘middle class’ you had a pair of slippers, a pair oh house shoes, a pair of shopping or work shoes and a pair of ’sunday best’ shoes.
I know of one man who was unable to go to his mother’s funeral when he was seven years old because he didn’t have a pair of shoes to wear.
Can no one see to connection between rampant spending and credit card debt? Those of you who are struggling right now please have a look around your homes. How much ’stuff’ do you have stored, on display or just taking up space in your lives. You paid for this stuff and some of you probably bought it on credit and will continue paying for it for some months/years to come.
Is it really worth it? At the end of the day do you lie in bed saying to yourself
“I now have 48 pairs of shoes. I am now worth something. Shoes validate me”
I am obviously not talking of those who really have needed to make changes/upgrades to their lives. If you need to buy a dozen towels because your last lot are only suitable for oil rags then for goodness sake go and get the towels you need! I mention towels because I haven’t bought towels or sheets since we got married in 1989 and I guess it’s time
I also want to ask those of you who are sitting there bristling and muttering
“So what! We earn enough money to buy things” Do you really have enough money? Have you completely paid off your mortgage? Do you own your own car outright? Have you enough money in the bank to survive twelve months without income? If that is so then I can’t imagine why you are reading here unless it is to remind yourself how ‘the other half live’ :p
Back to my original question. Why does all this matter to me so much? Because I feel that if we all only had what we needed in life and were content with that then the world would truly be a nicer, better place. I also despair of a generation of kids who have been fed the “Need it now” LIE and will forever be in debt and living on the credit edge to fund their lives.
That is not the life I want for my kids. They deserve more than false promises.
10 Responses to “Why does it matter to me so much?”
September 30th, 2008 at 10:50 pm e
You go girl!!!
Like you, I missed out on the Imelda gene when being conceived. I hate shoe shopping!!!! Mainly because I have large paddles and not dainty little feet and it’s always such a chore, trawling around shops (I hate them too!!) trying to find a pair that fit me. But, you can only wear one pair of shoes at a time, so how many do you really need?? I reckon joggers, a pair of flat casuals, going to work shoes, dressy occasion shoes, boots for winter and clogs for the garden - that’s six. Seven, if you count slippers, but personally, I find thick woolly socks more comfortable.
Like you, I prefer to spend my money elsewhere, eg, seeds for food or medicinal plants, mulch for my garden, a bee hive or two, and hopefully some water tanks and solar power OR paying off the mortgage.
We had a discussion at work the other day around the need to at least start growing your own food. Many people are seeing the need and are starting to grow, but others would prefer their manicured lawns or inground pools to a productive backyard. *sigh* I just ask them what they will eat if there is a depression or similar. They don’t see it coming . . .
Look, we may well be wrong. Maybe we get too worried over something that will never happen. Maybe they are right and there will always be enough money to buy what we want and chase our credit card tails, while living beyond our means (in so many ways).
BUT if we are right, what then? We may be fine, but what about the millions who won’t be? I just try to keep talking about what I’m doing in my own backyard and hope that some of it osmoses into their brains. That, and growing a bit extra for family, friends and genuinely needy people, is the only way forward. xx
October 1st, 2008 at 12:09 am e
I just went on a trip to NZ to see mum and came back with a pair of her shoes that must be at least 30 years old - they are gorgeous patent leather strappy mid-heel shoes that I won’t wear very often but have memories of her wearing them when going out. That adds to my collection of runners x 1, winter shoes x 1, summer sandals x2 (one pair is almost worn out though), and another pair of black heels which I got second hand as I needed a pair but couldn’t jusitfy spending $50+ for something I’d wear 5 times a year. I’m not into shoes and have bare feet mostly! Although having had 1 beesting this week from walking on teh back lawn which is covered in beautiful smelling ornage blossom I might wear shoes for a few weeks.
October 1st, 2008 at 5:12 am e
12 months income? Wow, that could take some time LOL. And I bought a pair of shoes today (what with the leg issues, I have to wear flats to work now). they were $18.96 and I was umming and ahhing for about five minutes LOL.
Great post Crone.
October 1st, 2008 at 5:38 am e
Thanks GALBF. I sometimes wonder if I am travelling down a very lonely and antisocial path but then I read of others like yourself and NW and know that I am headed in the right direction and being true to myself. Perhaps this is the meaning of a mid life crisis; to really nut out what is right and important for the rest of your life.
October 1st, 2008 at 5:59 am e
Far from lonely girl, there are many of us on the same path, and from my observations over just the last 12 months, many more beginning the same practices.
I think the present ecomomic climate has many re-evaluating where they are, where they might be headed, how prepared and what will matter.
October 1st, 2008 at 6:20 am e
Yes Molly, you are right my love. I need to stay away from energy draining places and keep meeting with like minded people
October 1st, 2008 at 7:33 am e
Just for the record I own 3 pairs of shoes (there were 4 but the sneakers had such huge holes in them my socks kept getting soaked this winter!). I will wear shoes to death because THAT’s when they’re comfortable!!
October 1st, 2008 at 11:24 am e
You are right of course, material posessions are just that. I might lust after the newest gadget as a must have but when it really boils down to it, I don’t need it. I have been working hard on getting the needs right and leaving the lust out of the shopping lists but I do struggle with books as I am addicted to them, but now I try to use libraries and swap meets much more and though I don’t always get the ones I want, the books I end up with are more satisfying.
October 2nd, 2008 at 4:28 am e
I hate that my family think that I make do because I am cheap rather than because I don’t buy it because I don’t need it - or I’ll mend rather than throw.
I can identify with using the 20yr old towels. I have clothes that I wear that are older than DS11. And DS2 is wearing clothes with DS16’s name written on.
I must have no class because I don’t own slippers or wear house shoes. LOL but admit I have more that 4prs of shoes they get rotated, good shoes - work shoes - knock around shoes - yard shoes - landfill. (I don’t do heels, strappy or pretty)
October 6th, 2008 at 11:08 pm e
You need to keep doing what you do best, because people like myself and my family are inspired, educated and entertained by you!