no, not that old reality show; rather, something i've been thinking about and -- in an idealistic and potentially unattainable sort of way -- desiring.
over the weekend, some friends and i went shopping across the river in dirty Jersey. it's worth the drive to visit a pretty nice mall and, more importantly, Crate & Barrel. but then we went to The Container Store. in case you've never been, i'll describe it for you: it is a store of containers. the entire store is filled with containers and shelves and objects that you can purchase and use to organize your STUFF. every single THING for sale in the store can help you organize your THINGS. which got me to thinking...
"We have so much stuff that we now have to buy stuff to keep our stuff organized. Doesn't this seem crazy to you?" i asked my friend B.
"But I love it. This cereal-to-go bowl holds your cereal and your milk separately, and it even holds a spoon!" he responded.
he didn't seem as bothered as i was by the epiphany that we all have so much STUFF that we're losing control of it. when i say "we," i admit -- especially me. despite my recent efforts to de-clutter my life, i still have so much stuff. after my visit to The Container Store (at which i didn't buy any things, because -- while tempted by several cool container-y items -- i realize that i don't need more things), i got ready for an impromptu pub crawl with some friends. as my friends waited in my living room, i took forever to get dressed. i changed three times. i couldn't decide which sweater to wear, in part because i have 5 tan sweaters of various materials and thickness which, at the end of the day, all look the same on me.
why do i have 5 tan sweaters? why do i have 6 or 7 pairs of pajama pants (after recently giving away 3 or 4 pairs, in fact)? why do i have 15 pairs of jeans, considering i wear only 2 of them (dark and darker)? and i know that i'm not alone. i have many friends, and a mother, who will buy the same shirt, or the same pea coat (you know who you are) in 4 different colors. i'll add that i'm not judging; i'm just as guilty as the rest of you when it comes to hoarding things and stuff.
but why do we all have so many things? is this why we work so hard? to amass a collection of slightly varied options? maybe if we could be satisfied with only one very nice sweater, North Americans would work less and vacation more, like Europeans. maybe we could save money, though the economy might collapse in the absence of our constant retail binges.
and so, when a paralegal complimented me on my cardigan this morning and then commented that i have "so many cute cardigans," i returned to thinking about leading a more simple life. little does she know, i have several cardigans that she's never even seen, because i simply don't wear them. so many things.
i'm not sure what to do about all this, or how to go about doing what i decide to do about it, but i think i'd like to return to the simple life. so now you know.