Yesterday when I was wandering through a large department store – not even browsing but really just wandering – I found myself appalled, as usual, by the cost of things even at end-of-season 50% off sale prices. There are places where you can buy clothes as cheaply as you’d make them though the quality is questionable, but the clothes that would perhaps be worth buying are so far beyond our income that they might as well be solid platinum or something equally ridiculous.
I also found myself thinking that although it would be nice to have new clothes occasionally, and perhaps even necessary more frequently than I manage it, so long as we don’t include undies then I don’t presently need much but a new winter coat. It would be nice to have some new, thick socks, but I don’t need them. It would be nice to have a new sweatshirt (or even two) myself, but I don’t need them. I have socks, I have sweatshirts. That neither falls into the category of even remotely new is immaterial. They’re still all right. Why buy something new when I’m still wearing all the old stuff?
Boy is exempt from much of this attitude because he is still growing and needs to have clothes that fit in order to keep him warm. As teenage wardrobes go, his is reasonably modest; and people often given him clothes as birthday presents. He knows we can’t afford to be frivolous and, well, you know, he’s OK about not having a lot of things. When they no longer fit he’s still inclined to wear them, simply because he likes them. That’s endearing if not always a good look or as warm as might be required. And if he’s grown out of something rather than worn it out, then there’s always the charity bin across the road.
I read about, and hear about, people who have garage sales to clear their wardrobes. I suppose I’m terminally indolent, but I’m not sure I could be bothered. If I’ve loved and worn a garment and had pleasure out of wearing it, then I’m quite happy to put it in the charity bin so that some worthwhile cause can sell it and make a bit of money (to help feed the homeless) and some happy customer can buy it (cheaply) and give it a bit more love and wear and get pleasure from it. I know that garage sales can be a good way to earn a few bob and, given my frequent comments about how limited our income is, you’d probably reckon we should try it. Dunno
I think it’s a philosophical thing for us, because Dr B and I both feel that if we’ve had our worth out of something, then it’s greedy to want more. In the end, it’s just stuff.