In August 2013 during a visit to the DeYoung Museum in San Francisco I came across a fascinating little book by Kate Bingaman-Burt, Obsessive Consumption – What Did You Buy Today. She draws everything she buys, tag and all, it’s her daily purchase drawings project.
Personally I dislike buying things, things are very often aesthetically ugly, they are made of questionable materials, they have traveled an agonizing long way, sometimes they smell disgustingly, they keep space, they must be housed in controlled conditions otherwise they become useless, they need to be washed, polished or dusted, and at some point sold or disposed of in some reasonable way. I am appalled by the way our lifestyle forces us to buy things on a daily basis and I constantly worry about everyday life depending so extensively on money. As much as I dislike buying things, receipts still pile up in my wallet, inevitably, needs or wants, and at some point I throw them away in disgust. Then they pile up in the bin because, they are not even recyclable since they’re made of thermal paper.
Basically I think I buy too much, so after reading Obsessive Consumption I started a board on Pinterest where I collect images of things I bought that I didn’t really need (and also a few things I’d like to buy that I don’t really need and I won’t really buy after all, plus a couple of gifts I’ve received that I just wanted to include). So it’s the wants list.
Books are not included, I rarely buy books and when I do I tend to consider it on the needs list.
I still haven’t come to a conclusion yet. Do I buy too much? Probably, yes. But there is something that is immediately clear: I mostly buy moisturizers and sports tops. Apparently what I want is feeling very soft while clad in technical fabrics.