You bin to the store again. Y'alls don't be needing all of that.
The title is what the homeless woman sitting on the wall outside the petrol station shouted after us as we walked home from the store earlier.
As it happened we did need the items in the bags we were carrying, but she spoke sense. So many people do not necessarily need the items they buy, but they choose to buy them because someone else has one, or they like the look of them.
Hence the problems with debt, hoarding, consumer culture, rampant consumerism, waste, recycling, the throwaway society and all that stuff. Hence, most likely, why charity shops in the UK and US are booming as people pass on last year's must-have item in exchange for this year's version. The iDevice upgrade is just one of the ways people are persuaded to part with their hard-earned cash on a regular basis. But what are users getting that's genuinely new each time?
When we bought a new car earlier this year, the salesman was intrigued to hear that we would be keeping it for at least 8 years. My previous two cars had reached 10 years old by the time I parted with them, one from new with me and one from 3 years old as a second hand model. Our finance deal is 5 years, which was the longest term the car dealership would offer. Yet in the States, my friend kept her Dodge Explorer van for nearly 20 years and was only persuaded to part with it when it was no longer possible to get spare parts to repair it.
I have never understood this absolute requirement some people have to buy something 'just because'. I'd prefer to buy something expensive (and in terms of clothes, classic) that I like and use it until it can be used no more rather than simply exchanging it for a newer model a couple of years later. I have a stash of T-shirts that I have 'retired' because I have worn them until they have gone in holes, become badly faded or have finally become too small for me after years of washing, drying and wearing.
A few years ago I reluctantly replaced a jacket I'd had since my first full time job (1992). I remembered wearing it for the interview. It had started to fray at the cuffs after years of wear. I expect the one I bought to replace it will last just as long, especially as I don't wear jackets that much these days. There was no need to replace it until it started looking worse for wear, and after 17 years and several dry cleanings, it didn't owe me anything.
Do you like to have the latest shiny fashionable thing or are you more like me, using something until it disintegrates?
Image Credit » http://mrg.bz/JSH3JZ keyword 'homeless', by meneya on Morguefile. Public domain image, free for commercial use.