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Acquisition Mania

I’ve been writing quite a bit lately about our upcoming trip around the country. Nevertheless, there are a few other things on my mind, too.

Take excess, for example. A thought struck like lightning through my mind yesterday morning and I’ve not been able to shake it.

Why do Americans feel the need to acquire excess amounts of everything? Do they believe that the world will run out of everything they’ve ever seen or wanted tomorrow? You see now why I said “like lightning.”

I was in the shower at the time. (I know, but that’s where the most profound thinking takes place, isn’t it?) I was facing the shower caddy, looking at all the shampoos, conditioners, body washes, etc. that wait each day for our consumption. A bit of everything resides on those small hanging shelves. I suddenly realized how much of everything necessary for bathing kept company in and around the bathtub. Packing for this long trip has me considering life in different aspects now.

It’s not like I’d never seen it all before, but I hadn’t really took note of it before. Big difference.

Lack of free space in our car restricts the amount of everything we take along for the ride. I was reminded of a friend of mine from years ago. This wee gal was an absolute hoot, and I loved her dearly, but she had one trait that I could never understand. She adored vintage clothing. It didn’t matter what era of clothing she found; it came home with her.

At the time we lived in an area that had lots of second-hand clothing and household shops. Once a month two of them held $2 bag sales. For those who’ve never been to one, you’ve missed a wonderful opportunity to go decadent without breaking the bank. The premise is that whatever you can get into a standard paper grocery bag is yours to take home for $2.

I can testify to her enjoyment of such sales. She lived in a large two-bedroom apartment at the time. The huge second bedroom was her clothes closet. Rack upon rack of clothes filled the room to overflowing. The gal wore about a size 4/6 at most. The room, which measured a good 15 x 15 ft. was so full of racks that she could barely squeeze into it far enough to find something to wear.

I asked her once why she just kept buying more clothes. She said that they were all so pretty, she just couldn’t pass them up.

The truth is, I still can’t understand it. She never wore the same outfit more than once. She didn’t need to. Yet, she never got rid of anything either.

It’s been years since I’ve seen her. We lost touch when she found amore. I think of her, though, and wonder if she’ll soon be featured on “Buried Alive,” the show on hoarding.

Does anyone else think we’ve gone a bit overboard in our acquisition mode mentalities? When an entire room meant for living in is used to store one’s clothing, doesn’t that strike anyone else as a bit overboard?

When I have a moment, I watch TV shows like “House Hunters International” and other home finding shows, whether for rent or to buy. It’s curious that a room’s size is such an issue for people. How much space does a person or family really need to live? Why must a house have walk-in closets? And on and on…

It seems like we’ve gone a bit crazy in the acquisition department, whether due to  personal feelings of inadequacy or social status. It makes me wonder if we will ever come to realize as a nation, that what a person does with his/her life and how that life is lived means far more to the world at large and to themselves than what one can buy, wear, own, show-off, or what have you.

Why must we continue to build over all the land with homes that fewer and fewer people can afford and then turn around and complain that we’ve destroyed the ecology, the beauty of the land, etc? Does this make sense to anyone else?

Tell me your take on this part of the American lifestyle. Let me know what you think the rationale really is for our compulsion to constantly consume beyond our ability to house our acquisitions.

Until then, a bientot,


  1. December 8, 2010 at 7:12 pm

    You are right on target, my friend. You know what’s funny, though? Many animals are hoarders as well. Makes one think. 😉

  2. December 17, 2010 at 1:41 pm

    Bravo, seems excellent idea to me is

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