Do you really need yet another thing, dear?
It was a slow day at work and so I wanted to go check out the new TJ Maxx down the street. That’s where everyone goes during lunch hour. Sorry, I live in D.C., we don’t have Bergdorf’s. But then I got to thinking about the mess in my closet. So you know where this is going. Here it is: I’m not buying any more clothes, okay? I don’t care what comes into or out of fashion. My lifelong fashion goal is to remain a size 6/8 so I’ll never have to buy any more clothes. Ever.
I shopped a lot when I was a misguided, hot, young chick out on the town. I wasted all my dough on shiny, pretty, meaningless things. They were supposed cover up all of my insecurities, shame, guilt, fear, you name it and then fill up my loneliness and dissatisfaction with life (or, as advertisers would put it, “make me feel good because I work hard and I deserve it”). Did it work? Surprisingly, yes. But for a very short time. It’s amazing the exhilarating high buying new stuff can produce. The flip-side of the high is that, years later, I have no retirement funds to speak of and I’m still paying off the debt.
When I see regular middle-class (and lower) girls wearing these ridiculous shoes and outfits, driving BMWs (or even brand-new Corollas in a city with perfectly good public transportation and sidewalks!) and sporting these expensive purses, my heart goes out to them. Especially when they have this super-proud aura about them. You know, wearing the Louis Vuitton jutting out on the arm so all can see, or getting into arguments on fake crap vs. authentic crap. Ugh. I used to be like that. I used to think I was projecting the image of success, unattainable beauty, hotness, desirability. I never even imagined that people could ever look at gorgeous, well-dressed me and feel pity. But I know it now. And I know that if these girls ever gain an ounce of wisdom in their lives they’re going to regret wasting their best years and valuable resources on these empty things that never fulfill but only enslaves them to a life of working more and more to support the spending.
(I won’t even get into the scarier problem here: Women who fall into this consumerist lifestyle tend to attract the very worst men. If you’re addicted to bright and shiny things the last thing you need is a guy who’s also addicted to bright and shiny things or addicted to controlling you by giving you bright and shiny things. You both suffer from deep insecurities and insatiable appetites — you’ll never be enough for each other. And the gloss wears off very quickly.)
I wish I’d spent more of my early twenties working on my Christian character, building up my savings, volunteering, serving my church and community, adding value to my family, adding value to the world, spending time around guys who grew up with the same Christian values (and not chasing the bad boys). I don’t know the hindsight/future (does that make sense?) but I’m guessing I’d be richer now and prouder of my accomplishments. Certainly, I’d have fewer regrets — and debt. Who knows?
Unfortunately, I see a lot of women my age and older still acting like fools — buying, buying, buying and inhaling coupons like cocaine. Then on April 14 they take half a year’s salary worth of crap to the Goodwill for a $20 tax write-off. Madness. Hey, girl, did those new shoes change your life? Let me guess your answer: “Which ones?”
Here are some words of wisdom that’ll do you good:
Hebrews 13:5: Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” Matthew 6: 28-34: And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.