Wednesday, October 3, 2007

excess

Something's happening. It's not drastic or anything, but it bothers me when I feel something new happening to my personality, and I don't quite know what it is yet. I'm 30, and pretty much supposed to be 'set,' right? In my ways, I mean. And what I don't get is the confusion of not wanting to become too nice; which has, since about ten years ago, always seemed like a weakness as a target for terribly manipulative people, being nice. And now, since I know I'm safe, I've let myself become happier, nicer, which feels good, for once. It's sad in a way, but not really, considering some real sad ass shit everywhere. Almost as if my sadness could never be anything less than pretentious anymore; and this what get's me to the point:
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In a world of luxury purchases versus sustenance and happiness and consumerism, what is too much? What is just enough? Is it bad of me to throw a bill down for a designer tank top when another person's thrill is in Wii games or expensive trucks or golf hobbies, cocaine, pedicures, hot Brazilian bikini waxes, psychotherapy, box seats, box sets, 12-course dinners, Italian leather, yachts, jets, quality German Shepherd puppies, calf implants, Whole Foods' organic artichokes, Thai tapas, hookers, truffles, rare and numbered whatever, oil paintings, botox, Star Trek, samurai swords, classic ballroom dance lessons, orchids, or $300,000 Bentley convertible 2-door coupes with 6 speeds?
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I look around my sparse apartment and think to myself, 'I am afraid of excess, I have no right when some people have nothing,' and then the other voice says, 'You are being an idiot, there are people who waste money much worse than you, you are doing fine, you don't even have cable tv or anything, you have less than twenty pairs of shoes.'
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And then I read about Jews in concentration camps and don't wanna eat, but then I see someone homeless slumped against a building and think, 'I wonder if he would be offended if I offered him some candy, I mean, who doesn't like candy if they're not watching their weight, I'm sure he's not, I'm sure he has a rot gut taste in his mouth, and candy would be extra nice for someone like him.' See, I always have candy in my purse, but I rarely carry cash. I almost always end up giving it away too, to friends mostly, since I don't have much of sweet tooth.
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I think I might know the source. It's socialist side of me arguing with the stark realist. I'm sure they're both rational, but one's more into examining the world in the context of love and hope, and the other's the opposite, with a pragmatic, more selfish attitude looking out for my self knowing that high expectations in others mostly always leads to failure, all cynicism aside.
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The result is a sporadic feeling of wanting to abandon all my belongings and become a minimalist, giving everything away, only to get new things later, and the process begins again, but never ends, and rises in the east, and sets in the west, and I like to have nice things, and I work to earn money to buy them, and have money in my savings, and have an expensive car that I've bashed to pieces and kept in pieces on purpose and drink a bottle of wine a night, sometimes two, and my slender metallic blue telephone has a voice recording mechanism for optimum customized ring tone action. I have no right to be sad about anything anymore, and this makes me feel ridiculous.
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5 comments:

Robert said...

I don't have anything to say that would relax you into happiness, but I read the comments to this on myspace and wonder if they miss the mark.

To me it seems like you are happy now as opposed to ten years ago because the people around you have changed. From 'terribly manipulative' to not so much. Or maybe they hide it better.
Perhaps your thoughts on consumerism or whatever really stem from that feeling of happiness. Maybe, after a life of moving, it's time to stop and plant yourself. Tie yourself to a place with purchases, or with responsibilities like monthly cable bills.
But that's just one idea.

I also thought that now you feel happy, you are looking for places to put it. Into a Wii, the ultimate party machine, or a few dozen shoes. But you feel guilty because you avoided this impulse before.

Or something.

Anyway you know what I say; I'm almost always right.

Sabra Embury said...

I'm not done moving. I guess that's it. I still wanna go places and I don't need material possessions weighing me down. It's also about the people who don't have shit though too. Most people are in broke or faking not being broke by being in debt up to their ears for the rest of their lives. I'm an exception. I have no debt, perfect credit, and a savings. I am very good with money. Lately I've been buying a lot of clothes. I have a lot of clothes. I went shopping in Soho and Frisco and bought mad textiles and gear. And then I come home with all my shit and don't know where to put it because I have so much of that shit already. See? I'm a guilty consumer trying to justify my spending I suppose, knowing there are some people who don't have shit and have worn the same t-shirts and shoes for years. I could've made myself clearer on that, but I didn't want to get into specifics, so I end up sounding vague hoping people can extract what is useful from it and stop taking things for granted all the time because of our sense of entitlement as Americans.

Robert said...

The guilt seems heavy on you, for such a silly thing. Other peoples problems.
The Good Doctor recommends a belly massage and some fine wine.

Just it's not on you to worry about why some can afford shoes and others can't. There are social inequalities, sure, but take a little grace from the fact you're not contributing.
Shake that shit off.

laura said...

i know that feeling..i have moved something like 11 times in the past six years. which just means that i have gotten rid of quite a few shoes, in my day.

Sabra Embury said...

Hi Laura. It's nice to see you, dear.

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