Made In The U.S.A.


In Adventures on June 1, 2009 at 12:34 am

I’ve reached the midway point of this adventure. What strikes me is how I feel like I’m buying so much less stuff than I did before this experiment.

As little as I feel like I’m buying, I’m still racking up the receipts by the pound. Usually lunches and groceries. One guy can consume a lot! (Maybe that’s why I’m gaining weight? Because I can buy food relatively MITUSA-guilt free.)

I vividly remember kind of mildly panicking on New Year’s eve as I pondered just how difficult it was going to be to not buy imported stuff for a whole year. I’m talking elevated heart rate, a little sweaty, a little bug-eyed and staring at the ceiling whilst I was supposed to be sleeping… I was seriously worried.

What’s amazing is how ridiculous that now seems. Sure, there are some things I’m doing without. But generally, I’m still living a pretty indulgent American lifestyle. My feet are up on the coffee table and I’m watching cartoons and writing on my laptop. I get that I couldn’t so easily buy those things brand new these days. But if I had to, I now know that it would be feasible–even liberating–to buy them used.

Liberating and less expensive, too.

What’s especially exciting is the idea that I’m in charge of what I buy. Not only the idea, but the actual experience of selectively consuming has made me feel more in control of my little world. I’m making a choice every day, to buy or not to buy or what to buy and how to buy, and I feel better in so many ways for it.

I suppose if I had a suggestion for anyone else at this point, it wouldn’t be to Buy American to save jobs or the economy or the environment. It would be to impose any limitation on your buying patterns–even if only for a little while. Just to get an idea what it’s like to feel in control of the buying process, rather than to feel like a pawn in someone else’s big consumption game.


UPDATE: I wrote this whole thing. Then I realized that although June is the sixth month of the year, and six is half of twelve, I’m not really at halftime yet. Halftime will be at the END of June. So. Read this again in a month. Thanks, Mgmt.


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