Photo courtesy Flickr
Since the nest emptied, I shop once a month, except for food. In a good month, I can score 100% on the lists, wheeling a rolling case from store to store in an urban village.
Recently I had an itch to shop, but not a mission, and I realized that all too often shopping complicates life rather than making it easier. The whole point of consumer culture, after all, is not to have to bother with feeding and shearing sheep so I can have something to wear. Rose Wilder Lane’s Woman’s Day Book of American Needlework lays out the fundamentals. I don’t think the point is to turn me into a warehouse manager, at least under present circumstances.
Although I’m not an early adopter, I love to experiment with innovative technology. It is often true that high-tech versions of the same old thing work meaningful change into daily life. The valve on the two-burner propane stove I was using to stir-fry failed. Replacing it turned out to be more hassle than it seemed to be worth. I let a clerk in the Gourmet Store at the Market sell me a high-tech hot plate that has made the cook very happy.
It’s not often that I buy something that impresses the Kid, but on a recent visit he flashed on the hot plate and said Wow! The very item used to cost a thousand dollars, or maybe two. I paid nothing like that, although it wasn’t a bargain. Like the other small appliances that replaced the stove in a major experiment a decade ago, the new device uses even less electricity and cooks faster and better.
So far, the inventory is a result of a series of happy accidents and draconian de-junking exercises. On the whole, we’re money ahead, but it’s hardly by design. I cut my losses fast and account the experiments as entertainment.
-30- More after the jump.