When purchasing most of my clothing, I refer to a green sheet of paper whereI’ve listed all of the things I feel I need, in oddly specific terms: “Bag fromCotton On”, “blue slacks”, “Cheap Mondays”, etc. Bag from Cotton On. Yes.Now you know. I employed this method in an attempt to abate the gnawingfears 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 deceptiveillusion that I have a wardrobe.
‘Thrifty’. ‘Thrifty guy’ ‘Tight-arse’. It’s a fine line. Prudent regresses sadly intocheap 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 almostalways 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 buyanything, my spite fuelled spending results in a pair of jeans which I reallydon’t need.
It should probably be noted that by “Do I really need this”, the conditions ofan emaciated tunic clad Malawian youth are usually brought to mind. If Kundakinte doesn’t need jeans then I don’t need them too. Thus I leave withoutjeans, but with plenty of guilt to last the week (there was a sale on guilt at ashop called remorse)
I know that not everybody can afford to buy clothing for reasons other thanconcealing nakedness or for warmth, and that is obviously ok, meanwhile whydidn’t I buy that jacket? I should have bought that jacket, If I had that jacketnow I’d be wearing that thing like a uniform.
With this continuous tendency to double take on the legitimacy of one’spurchases, I wonder if I’ll ever possess the spend-easiness necessary tofacilitate 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. Iquestion whether it’s a good buy long after I’ve gone home with the bags.
At any rate, we are not the same, them and I. Their faces remain unlined bythe residual shame of successive waves of buyers remorse, these don’tembarrass themselves by asking the woman at the counter if the pants can beput “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. Myankles are unsuited to the showing of cuff by reason of genetic cankliness.Meanwhile, ‘cankliness’ may be the most appalling word on the list of thingsthat make you want death.
When I do buy, I retain a high level of personal conviction, for I must bracefor the subsequent border security patrol. In she walks, my mother, browsingmy conservative purchases, “New things Daaany, ooooh, how much?’ Thecombination of question-asking and parallel real time disapproval almost toogood to be true.
I even write this in thrifty terms, with the quaint whimsy of Microsoft WorksWord Processor. It was huge in 1997. I don’t need the fancy pantsextravagance of Microsoft Word. Microsoft Word is a try hard too.
Am I cheap? By the normative social standards of reasonably well offAustralian youth am I a little, shall we say, tighty-mc spend no more? or as it’saffectionately termed in my circle ‘tight with money’?
Also, does anybody want a pair of Kenji jeans I bought two years ago? Theywere too tight around my thighs. They’d be perfect for you. Hey you couldwear them with that vest you wear if you’d like. You could even roll up yourjeans in that way you do. Roll them all the way up.
I should have bought the jacket.