It's been almost a week and my Honolulu consumer fever is finally breaking. During my 3 days on O'ahu I was bombarded with consumption; at the malls, in the boutiques, on every street corner! I thought I was pretty solid in my resolve to live simply, I thought that I loyally embraced minimalism/anti-consumerism. But the lure of these temptations is so strong and so subversive. I didn't even realize I had the fever until yesterday!
Immediately after my return, I was obsessed with getting a decorative dust plug for my smartphone. I also felt a strong need for a new phone case (though my old one is still technically functional, it looks shabby and I'm bored with the design). I added a few items to my Ebay watch list and let the thought simmer, a behavior I use to prevent myself from impulsively wasting money.
I even went so far as to briefly rekindle my long held predilection for Louis Vuitton bags! Rationally, I already know that I don't want a LV purse. If I want a well made, artisan crafted handbag, I can easily procure one from numerous reputable Etsy stores for about one-tenth the price. Despite the argument that can be made for designer quality, I am fully aware that carrying a LV makes me a walking advertisement for a billion dollar corporation. I neither agree with nor desire to support the image I am fully aware that logo projects.
Well, be that as it may, I left Honolulu kind of thinking that maybe I did want a Vuitton someday afterall. This is the power of consumerism. It scares me to think that outside of the protection of my rural life - surrounded by people who don't care what I wear and removed from the convenience of accessible shopping - I can so easily fall for these empty desires. Would I be able to maintain a simple lifestyle on O'ahu? Or would I become sucked in by trends and passing fads?
So, I'm now laughing at myself for getting so worked up over a dust plug. I tagged a couple on Etsy that I could at least argue support some humble artist. However, the reality is that its a small piece of plastic, probably made in an unsustainable way, that will most likely end up in the landfill. Isn't the consideration of all these aspects of our purchase what defines us as conscientious consumers? They are super cute to look at and, though I like them, I think I will have to pass.