Tom Waits sings Heigh Ho, The Dwarves’ Marching Song
My favourite is Suzanne Vega’s Stay Awake.
Second (last, it’s a short list) cd: Kristin Hersh’s Murder, Misery and Then Goodnight. These are lullabies. Lullabies in which a woman is drowned and the baby gets a bottle of gin amongst other things. My dad remembers these from when he was little, growing up in Tennessee.
I’m not buying anything ever again. No clothes, certainly, no shoes, no socks, no pants (I will mend mine and then go without), no restaurants, no bananas, no food at all (I will scrounge and free – what is that called? Freeload, no.. I will become a freegan but I think I will freeload too, that sounds fun). No baskets, no drinks, no presents, no water bottles, no water, no food for the dog*. *We don’t have a dog but if we did, no food for it.
I’ve been reading about people who are doing this. Albeit in a more reasonable way, buying pants as needed, not starving their pets. It sounds strangely attractive, doesn’t it? Very zen. Step right up and off this treadmill of consumption. Headspace currently crowded with stuff and things will become free for happy bunnies and unicorns. More room for a sleeping dormouse or two.
I’m not sure it would work like that for me. The cute animals would be immediately crowded out with unrelenting angst over every purchase, no matter how necessary (“Do I NEED toilet tissue? I will use this old catalogue like in the olden days and derive satisfaction that I am not only environmentally sound but also MAKING A STATEMENT”). [ed note: I am giving into the temptation to capitalise more often. If I start in on the emoticons, run.]
I’m opting out of the opting out. I like shopping – the wandering around chatting to people, the small shops where the person behind the counter is the owner, the sheer joy of being completely selfish and buying something just because I want it. Shopping works for me.
However – a big however – I love the idea of scaling back. My house, my mind, my life are cluttered to the point of being batshit insane. I can see the appeal of cutting out the crap and I desperately want what people who do it are getting from it. I’ve been reading Meg Hourihan’s Make it do blog which is calm and reflective and without that franticness that I’ve seen elsewhere, the kind mocked above. Hers isn’t that; hers is what I want. But I know myself well enough to know her way – “use it up, wear it out, Make It Do, do without” – isn’t mine. I’d love to be what she seems. I’m not.
So I’ll find my own way, somewhere around the shops.