Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Conspicuous Consumerism

I hate going anywhere near large regional shopping centres, or even into the city, during the school holidays. They're so full inside that it's almost impossible to find a parking place outside. To me that represents conspicuous consumerism at its worst. I realise that my local big shopping centre also houses a cinema and a bowling alley which accounts for some of the crowd but by no means all of it. Twice each year I'm forced to go to town or Marion or both during the school holidays. During the summer holidays Teenage Son wants to spend any Christmas/Chanukah money he received and during the winter holidays he wants to spend birthday money. Consequently, last week I took him to Marion. It wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be. That's not to say I enjoyed the experience by any means. I enjoyed the time with Teenage Son, however.

The first stop was JB hifi where he bought some DVD's. I can't point the finger at him because, while I waited for him to go through the checkout, I noticed the DVD of Nirvana unplugged going out for $10. All thoughts of Footprints were forgotten as I raced towards the checkout myself clutching my beloved Kurt Cobain.

We then went to the ABC shop to look at Dr Who paraphernalia. Have I ever mentioned that it's "chic to be geek" and that my son is very cool by that definition? I swooned over a Richard Armitage DVD but resisted his dark, smouldering sexuality. After all, I was clutching Kurt Cobain. Teenage Son couldn't find anything he wanted so we went to Games World instead where he bought both Dr Who and Big Bang Theory paraphernalia. There is an awful lot of stuff out there probably made in sweatshops to help us fulfil our need to collect meaningless things that go with our favourite TV shows and movies. *shiver* There were many people in there proving that it is indeed chic to be geek these days!

We then proceeded to Kmart where he bought Big Bang Theory and Harry Potter posters. Quite clearly books and shows aren't enough. As long as all the extra stuff continues to be bought it will continue to be manufactured. At this stage we're still part of that.

Lastly we went to my favourite shop, Typo. I'm sure it has no ethical sourcing policy but when I'm there I forget about that and think about how much I NEED a laptop cover with a picture of the Eiffel Tower on it. Fortunately I was able to resist. I may not be so lucky next time...

Both children are away this week so one would think I'd be able to avoid Marion. Husband is on holiday and we went to the movies yesterday. All I can say is that we got our exercise for the day walking from where we parked!

School goes back on Monday and I'm hoping that, if I need to go to Marion, it will be quieter. What I'm really hoping, however, is that I don't need to go there and that I can find the things I want at the Salvos. Or maybe rethink whether I need them at all.


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