on living honestly

gandhi quoteI’ve been burdened by the sentiment above for the past several months. On my old blog, I started a goal called The Secondhand Year whose guidelines demanded I buy as many material goods as possible on the secondhand market instead of buying into an unethical, international fast fashion market. I struggled with it. I excused myself by it. I succeeded and failed in equal measure. But I can’t give it up.

I not only believe but know that it is immoral to participate in our consumerist culture in full knowledge that I contribute to darkness and suffering. When I purchase a garment from Kohl’s or Sears or Forever 21, I implicitly shout that I am ok with treating people who work at their garment factories like crap, that I am ok with the fact that they don’t make enough to give their children better futures, that they consider suicide a viable option, that they could very easily die for the cause of producing cheap garments at less than a liveable wage for gluttonous Americans. We must look like devils to them, absorbed in our coveting and spending and hoarding. We freaking shoot people on Black Friday to buy the products they slaved over at low, low prices without a second thought about their well being.

I’m being dishonest if I toss and turn over this reality and promote its demise but continue to buy into it. Shopping is the thorn in my flesh. I may fight against its flirting gaze for the rest of my life. But I have to keep fighting.

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tree lighting

We headed downtown with my sister yesterday evening to witness the annual downtown Christmas Tree Lighting. Since we arrived early, we stopped by the coffee shop to say hello and pick up an iced mocha and mini muffins.

The tree lighting was a bit anticlimactic, but the weather was mild (though a cold front blew in swiftly last night) and the sky was teal after the sun set. After the tree was lit, we got some dinner at The Whiskey Jar, then shopped around before heading home.

I didn’t manage to get a single clear picture of the lit tree, so the above will have to suffice.

Today is my sister’s last full day in town. We plan to buy a tree and make the house festive this evening. Christmas has been a letdown for me the past couple of years. I really want to invest time and energy in the season this year – I want to do things the right way and be thankful and warm and content.

wishes

We’re having a nice time visiting with family and friends-who-are-like-family this week. We made delicious turkey, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, stuffing, pecan pie, and oatmeal chocolate chip cookies for our Thanksgiving feast.

This was my first time hosting – although I helped with the past two years’ meal preparations – and it was a bit overwhelming. I (mostly) forget that I’m an introvert until I’m surrounded by a handful of people for days on end. I become agitated and feel the need to flee, but I have to push through it, resist the urge to snap at people, and drink more coffee.

We’re likely spending tomorrow basking in glow of the coming Christmas season with local festivities instead of braving the ravenous crowds at retail chains. I’m morally opposed to Black Thursday/Friday in-store sales, but I love to peruse online sales (although I guess it may be just as bad for warehouse employees this weekend as it is for store employees). But as I always say, there’s no harm in window shopping. I am particularly drawn to the preppy basics American Eagle offers. All items are 40% off until November 25!

AE wishlist

AE wishlist

  1. Boyfriend Cardigan
  2. Leopard Print Belt
  3. Simple Striped Dress
  4. Bass Heeled Booties (way out of my price range)
  5. Purple Dress
  6. Patterned Bucket Bag
  7. BC Footwear Wedge

(click collage to view links)