Saturday, January 31, 2009

Cheap and Easy

Pet peeve time - don't settle for something just because it's cheap! Our lives are full of stuff, full to overflowing, and how much of it is stuff we bought, not because it was what we *really* wanted or *actually* needed but just because it was cheap. Cheap and there.

"If I just go ahead and buy it I can stop looking - I'm tired of looking."

"It will do for now."

"Oh, we'll replace it later when we find something we really like."

"It's nice for the price."

A bargain is not a bargain if it adds another piece of junk to your life. Speaking as an American, my life is full of mounds of cheap crap; knock-offs, copies, extras to have on hand just in case I need it some day: stuff I bought because it was cheap. Enough already. I'm not saying, "Never buy anything.", or "Only buy expensive things.", or "Give up collecting stuff." (God forbid ;-) I'm saying "Quit settling."

If you need something, save up and buy one good item instead of the big box jumbo 12 pack of cheap plastic copies of the original design. Buy one piece of art from a person, instead of the pre-framed "set of 4 original prints digitally reproduced on genuine canvas" from a catalog. Buy one worn but real piece of furniture at a thrift shop instead of dragging home a truckload of matching, assemble it yourself, veneer on particle board, "lifestyle accessories". Or find something on the street - my favorite chair is from the dumpster of my old apartment in Oakland. It's worn, a bit paint stained - and is an extremely comfortable classic of mid 20th century design. Classic as in "exhibited in museums" classic. I like the paint and the cracks in the leather - we're all going to develop some cracks and blotches some day. I don't need the equivalent of some porn star's bust in my life - do you?

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