Sunday, December 23, 2012

Circular Dilemma

Everyone is afraid of too much stuff nowdays!

The warnings began a few years ago, when folks like Don Aslett and his de-cluttering books became popular.  Flylady and the hoarding show constantly keep us aware of the dangers of collecting and accumulating.  The Chinese government even has us thinking about the dangers of copulating and populating.  Don't do it!  Just live with an empty space, you'll be so much happier!

Well, many people have changed from buying everything without a stopping to think, into cautious and even paranoid shoppers who have to stop and stare into space while they consider if they need, want or love every last particle of merchandise offered to them.

This fear of stuff/love of empty space is creating quite a problem when gift-giving occasions arise, like Christmas and the tradition of having a pile of presents to open.

My mother is turning 89 on Christmas Eve.  Her house and garage are fully stocked with years of good bargains, years of shopping and maybe years of gifts received.  My cousins tell of driving up to the house towing trailers to pack with stuff my mother takes out of the garage and gives them.  They said the garage looked just as full when they left.  I wish the guys on that traveling picker show would show up at her house.

What would possibly appeal to someone who apparently has everything and everybody else's everything too? 

Makes me wonder how the fear of hoarding and fear of receiving gifts affects the economy.  Is that what is really slowing everything down?  Maybe instead of buying new houses, people just began to clean out their old ones and found out they could stay where they were!  Now that throws the building industry into the dumpster.  The carpenters and bricklayers are out of work, so they go home and comb through their tools and sell them on ebay.  People buy their used tools, so they don't need new ones from Sears.  Sears begins to notice their Christmas stock of tool sets aren't moving out, so they lay off salespeople.

The salespeople go home and start selling bedding and tablecloths or donating stuff to Goodwill that they have cleared out.  I show up at Goodwill and find great deals on nearly-new, very attractive household furnishings. 

I wonder if my mother would like this tablecloth for Christmas? 

Now there's a whole new industry seeking to fill the need for gifts which might not be regarded as clutter.  We need something to buy for gifts that makes us seem considerate, thoughtful and lovable.  We want to look like smart gifters, tasteful and ecologically aware! 

One time my favorite comedian, Roseanne Barr, mentioned how great a thing chocolate air would be.  Of course that's impossible but air is really what we want to give - something that is nothing, clear and consumable without side effects. 

You can't give candy; everybody has diabetes or trying to avoid getting it.  You can't give a piece of pottery or a candle - the pottery is clutter and the candle might be toxic.  You can't give a housewarming gift - the hostility would amaze you as the reluctant recipient sighs over the need to avoid offending the gifter versus the wish to avoid clutter in the new sacred space.  The wish to avoid clutter wins! 

Buzz off, you evil gift-carrying parasite! 

No comments: