In today's Philadelphia Inquirer, a thoughtful (and comical) opinion piece about the pleasures of "unshopping." With which I agree (having discovered the pleasures of this particular activity years ago).
But, of course, the essay begs us to consider the obvious question (and a pertinent one as the economy falls into any abyss): If we don't shop, then what? After all, shopping is nothing more than the exchange of money and goods, right? So if we stop shopping -- well, geez . . . what would a shoppingless economy look like? How would it function?
Don't get me wrong. I buy things -- I'm particularly addicted to buying books -- but I loathe and detest random buying-for-the-sake-of-buying. As in: holiday shopping. Nothing aggravates me more than the mad dash to the mall between Thanksgiving and Christmas. The exercise consists of human beings buying crap, much of it made from petroleum-based products, that no one wants and much of which will do nothing but fill landfills. (*1)
Well, okay, it gives garbage collectors something to do and they need to earn a living, too, so, hell, maybe we SHOULD all go shop.
But no! Damn it, I'm not buying it. (No pun intended.) There's gotta be a better way
*1: Every year, I tell my husband, please let's stop with the gift-giving already! It transforms family-time into a nerve-wracking exercise in the getting and wrapping of things, most of which no one really wants. As my son-in-law said last year as we all recovered from the exhaustion of the "getting, wrapping, and opening of gifts," which devoured most of the five days we had together: "The problem with Christmas is Christmas." Meaning "things" get more attention than people. So this year, I'm putting my foot down. No one in my family is getting gifts. I'm giving the money I would have spent to the local foodbank. I'm also not accepting gifts. I'm asking my family to spend the money on something they need, and take the time they would have used shopping for me and instead "spend" it with a loved one.