This spot is dedicated to the world and how I see it.

Sunday, July 30, 2006


I am not a student anymore and that there is no real need to count my pennies. Today I am a young professional with a steady monthly income. It’s not a fortune, but it’s enough.

So why is it then that I gave back that £3 soy ice cream in the fancy health store last weekend? I paid for it, got the receipt and the change, moved one step to the right and … decided that I didn’t want the ice cream anymore. What thoughts went through my mind?
I am sure that if I really had been desperate for that amaretto soja ice cream, I would have bought it. I know I am not that cheap that I wouldn’t get something I really wanted because of a wee £3! But my very sweet-toothed boyfriend threw my modest reasoning into a dilemma by saying “hey don’t be that cheap, you know you’d be happy one night when you’ll feel like ice cream and you’ll have it in your freezer”. I agreed. But that was after we had left the shop. Still eagerly trying to convince myself that my action in the shop was right, I reminded my self of the benefits of not being a big consumer (many small rivers will fill up a lake, eventually).

In fact I feel half guilty every time I buy something which is not, at least, ninety percent necessary. In today’s consumer world, is that really too bad? For me, it is indeed a Catch 22. If I don’t buy I feel bad – I want to spoil myself because I feel that I’m worth it; and if I do buy (that sweater, hair stuff, 3 for 2 books, etc.), I feel almost equally bad. One reason might be that I really can’t stand clutter and I visualise how stuff add up at home and vanish into mountains and that I really won’t miss that thing I so badly wanted if I wouldn’t be able to find it one day. Another reason might be that I really do believe in second hand shopping. Second hand is great, for my moral satisfaction and for the world. You get what you need at the same time as you rescue something from landing on top of an ugly landfill-site, with the added bonus that you (hopefully) contribute with some pennies to whatever charity.

People spend money and feel good about it, living on credit cards and overdrafts, whereas I struggle to spend the money I have. I am convinced I have a built-in mechanism which prevents me from spending excessively: I start feeling nauseous and have to escape the shops and go home. Shopping therapy doesn’t work for me. I think an ice cream would, actually. It’s too bad the shop is closed.