When purchasing most of my clothing, I refer to a green sheet of paper where I’ve listed all of the things I feel I need, in oddly specific terms: “Bag from Cotton On”, “blue slacks”, “Cheap Mondays”, etc. Bag from Cotton On. Yes. Now you know. I employed this method in an attempt to abate the gnawing fears that I was needlessly spending, reassuring myself that I ‘didn’t need it’ but, concordantly, never buying new clothes. I also do this to feel as though I’ve adequately met the trend requirements of the day, to create the deceptive illusion that I have a wardrobe.
‘Thrifty’. ‘Thrifty guy’ ‘Tight–arse’. It’s a fine line. Prudent regresses sadly into cheap or scared. A line blurred further with this inane question: Do I really need this? Probe deeply enough and you’ll find that the answer is almost always no. Thus, when I do need, say, a new bag I don’t get one, and because of the resentment procured by the reality that I actually don’t need to buy anything, my spite fuelled spending results in a pair of jeans which I really don’t need.
It should probably be noted that by “Do I really need this”, the conditions of an emaciated tunic clad Malawian youth are usually brought to mind. If Kundadet doesn’t need jeans then I don’t need them too. Thus I leave without jeans, but with plenty of guilt to last the week (there was a sale on guilt at a shop called remorse)
I know that not everybody can afford to buy clothing for reasons other than concealing nakedness or for warmth, and that is obviously ok, meanwhile why didn’t I buy that jacket? I should have bought that jacket, If I had that jacket now I’d be wearing that thing like a uniform.
With this continuous tendency to double take on the legitimacy of one’s purchases, I wonder if I’ll ever possess the spend–easiness necessary to facilitate a really important trend–purchase when I see one. To be one of them. Those spend happy twenty year olds, with their jeans that roll up at the ankle, and their boat shoes, and their various exciting and unexpected jackets. These buy on a whim, and they never regret it, they know it’s a good buy, you see. I question whether it’s a good buy long after I’ve gone home with the bags. Their mothers don’t say ‘ooooh new jeans Dany’. They got their driver’s licenses ages ago.
At any rate, we are not the same, them and I. Their faces remain unlined by the residual shame of successive waves of buyers remorse, these don’t embarrass themselves by asking the woman at the counter if the pants can be put “on hold”, almost every time, or by saying things like “You don’t think these are too tight?”, when they know full well, that they’re going to buy them anyway. Incidentally, they would never ask “are these too tight?” They couldn’t roll their slacks up to show their skinny, skinny ankles if they did. My ankles are unsuited to the showing of cuff by reason of genetic cankliness. Meanwhile, ‘cankliness’ may be the most appalling word on the list of things that make you want death.
When I do buy, I retain a high level of personal conviction, for I must brace for the subsequent border security patrol. In she walks, my mother, browsing my conservative purchases, “New things Daaany, ooooh, how much?’ The combination of question–asking and parallel real time disapproval almost too good to be true.
I even write this in thrifty terms, with the quaint whimsy of Microsoft Works Word Processor. It was huge in 1997. I don’t need the fancy pants extravagance of Microsoft Word. Microsoft Word is a try hard too.
Am I cheap? By the normative social standards of reasonably well off Australian youth am I a little, shall we say, tighty–mc spend no more? or as it’s affectionately termed in my circle ‘tight with money’?
Also, does anybody want a pair of Kenji jeans I bought two years ago? They were too tight around my thighs. They’d be perfect for you. Hey you could wear them with that vest you wear if you’d like. You could even roll up your jeans in that way you do. Roll them all the way up.
I should have bought the jacket.