Earlier this week, we sold a book called I Want That!: How We All Became Shoppers by Thomas Hine. The blurb about it reads:
“Shopping has a lot in common with sex,” Thomas Hine observes near the beginning of this wide-ranging exploration of the history and psychology of one of the most commonplace and important activities of modern life. “Just about everybody does it. Some people brag about how well they do it. Some keep it a secret. Most people worry, at least a little, about whether they do it right. And both provide ample opportunities to make foolish choices.”
Choosing and using objects is a primal human activity, and I Want That! is nothing less than a portrait of humanity as the species that shops. ”
Me? I hate shopping. My first reaction is always, “I don’t want that.” I have been thinking about getting a place in a more rural area of Wisconsin. Lying in the bathtub this morning, I was struck by a realization. Even if I pay cash for the real estate (from the sale of my former home), I still would have to pay property tax every year. I don’t want that.
I don’t want to be indebted; I don’t want to be obligated. I don’t want to be coerced or pressured into a relationship with any thing. I am beginning to feel a mounting sense of resistance. I’ve resisted getting a full time job for more than a year. I’ve resisted being a consumer, especially of clothing and beauty products. I’ve resisted Facebook. I’ve resisted television and movies. What is that about for me?
I am still struggling to be my own person, I guess. I am struggling to focus on the things that I do want in a manner that I like. I’m not ambitious. I am an observer, an appreciator, but not much of a go-getter. I resist marketing, for sure, but I don’t mind discovery. Maybe part of that is simple laziness. Maybe part of that is wanting the freedom to choose my relationships and responsibilities.
When I first read that comment about shopping having a lot in common with sex, I didn’t get it. I hate shopping. I love sex. I suppose my consistency is in insisting on having the freedom to be very particular about my engagement with both.
And now, for the photo portion of my blog. Choosing images and focusing where I want to, observing and appreciating has led me to these shots. If you discover you like them, great. I will not try to convince you to, though. (Do I sound testy? Okay, so be it.)