Monday, January 21, 2013


It is a truth universally acknowledged that if you start an article with the phrase "it is a truth universally acknowledged that..." you automatically lend yourself brilliance with an homage to a great piece of English literature, namely Bubs and Lola Hit the Slots.

And yet, sometimes you read an article and it sticks with you anyway.  I read one the other day about a woman's drive to not succumb to consumerism and to spend a year free from spending on her son.  A call back to the old days of hand-me-downs, clothing swaps and toys made from whatever.  Sure, I get it.  We spend a lot on children and all the needs and new needs that come a long every few minutes.  I read a cookbook today that told me in no uncertain terms that a kitchen need for a baby is bottles, even if one breastfeeds.  It is a NEED.  Never mind the fact that I'm breastfeeding my second child and have never expressed once to store all this milk in bottles.

Sure, I can get behind not spending money like it's an Olympic sport.  Although, it's about time there was an Olympic sport for the rest of us.  Something good that you could do while sitting.  Battle Royale Checkers or something.  Internet shopping certainly drives forward the need to consume.  "People who looked at this also bought --" Oh, did they? Do I need that to be a caring parent? A good parent? Am I giving my child the best start in every possible way? We want to do what's right by our children, even though what's right is often putting down the mouse and playing hide and seek or chasey or let's see how many things we can pull out of the pantry in 10 minutes - oh wait, that one's played while parents AREN'T looking.  I remember now.

So we shouldn't be spending, spending, spending on kids, because childhood is time of imagination and energy.

But should we be spending money on we adults?  If children can get away happily wearing hand-me-downs and playing with boxes, do we need the newest iWhatevers and closets full of this seasons' colours?  If we are harkening back to a simpler day, why not get clothes that are functional and good quality and spend our time delving into the classics (like Bubs and Lola Brine Some Pickles) and going for long walks and exploring the world around us instead of purchasing the world from a screen?

Why must we have convenience and consumerism? Are we so guided by Adam Smith's invisble hand that we blindly buy and store and hoard?  Why not make?  Why not wait? Whatever happened to delayed gratification?

That's my two cents.  Unless there's a high demand, and then it's my $5.