19/365/2015 Thoughts on Consumption and Guilt


Ya’ll know I go round and round on this one. I despise conspicuous consumption. And yet I love all the things. It’s a line I have a hard time finding. Because I can justify stuff like warm socks and leather boots here. I like cute things and I like functional things and I like dressing for the weather. But I guess it’s time to evaluate what I have and say ok, 20 pairs of knee high socks is probably enough, since I wear some type of nylons at least half the time and I do have the ability to do laundry. BUT, I say, IT’S BOOT SEASON and I will wear socks more often now. Still, I argue back, that’s THREE WEEKS worth of tall socks. But these had ruffffffles on them, I answer myself. See, round and round.

Now, when I add in the use of animal products, it’s an even trickier line. I can cut down on the amount of meat we eat, which I try to do. And lately I have been thinking about that even more as I hear my cousin Michelle saying, “Don’t dig your grave with your own knife and fork.”

But what I can’t do is argue with genetics. And my genetics say that if I put my foot into a shoe that is not made of actual dead cow or canvas, my feet are going to sweat and then they are going to stink to the point I can only take said shoes off next to a can of Lysol. And then there is the money part–non-leather footwear, once it gets scuffed, just looks like a worn out pair of shoes. Leather footwear, when scuffed, looks loved. So non-leather footwear has to be replaced, whereas good leather footwear can be re-soled and possibly last me the rest of my life. But, a cow died so I could have the boots pictured above. I don’t feel guilt for that. I need to be warm, and that’s that. I bought a non-color that will go with everything I own, instead of a neutral rainbow of pleather. But I do feel slightly guilty for not feeling guilty.

I’m a southern female. Guilt is my stock in trade. Today’s question of guilt balance revolved around the sweat-shop labor required to produce two pairs of plastic shoes and the CFCs involved in propelling spray disinfectant into those plastic shoes and onto my feet when I have at least one kid who can’t breathe around propellants and I have asthma OR the sweatshop labor required to produce a pair of leather boots and a dead cow. That’s today. But really, most of my choices revolve around what’s going to produce less guilt.

To wit: will the guilt of not calling my mom be larger or smaller than the guilt of saying something that will cause her to be angry and/or the guilt of biting my tongue and choking on my own rage? Will the guilt of not playing a game with my kids when I have done so 6 nights this week be larger or smaller than the guilt of playing but being so on edge I snap their heads off because I really need to spend the time getting my thoughts together for the week ahead and getting grounded in myself?

And why aren’t there any choices outside of my work that don’t involve guilt? Bleh.