Dear Future Leslee,

I hope the allure of the material world has finally faded for you. By the time you read this, you’ll likely have moved beyond the petty realm of shallow physical desires and possibly have achieved Nirvana. I hope you look around at all the little people desperately scrounging for one more lousy dollar and laugh smugly to yourself like a bearded British actor. Speaking of those three things, I once described myself on Twitter as “Picards’ beardless bitch” and that’s why I’m not allowed on Twitter anymore.

Listen, Future Me, stuff is addictive. Me, I’m moderately addicted to stuff. Clothes, for example. There is a special, vapid place in my heart for all my pretty clothes. I love wearing things that make me feel good, but when those things start to fade or rip or fall out of style, my instinct isn’t to repair or update them: my instinct is to kill it with fire. Because more so than I love the clothes I already own, I love the clothes I haven’t bought yet.

Same with music. I am addicted to music, and I buy it (usually in CD form) like some sort of chump stuck in the decades before Totally Legal Downloading. What generally happens is that I buy one or two or seven CDs, become totally obsessed with them, listen to them on repeat for three or four days or months and then completely lose interest. Lather, rinse, repeat. Oh, and after I lose interest in a CD it becomes merely another piece of detritus in my already disorganized life, and six months or years later when I get a hankering for it the music is generally unplayable.

So I have to go out and buy it again.

I know I’m sort of pathetic about all this. Oh no, all this Western affluence is tiring! More baby seal martinis, and make it snappy! And I know I don’t really have anything to complain about. It’s not like I’m a shopaholic and can’t afford my rent because I’ve spent all my money on designer umbrellas. (By the way, am I the only person who is seriously offended by the ‘shopaholic’ book series? The woman has a serious addiction and it is negatively impacting her life in a big way! ADDICTION IS NOT FUNNY, PEOPLE. And neither are those books. Well, maybe a little). (Addiction, I mean. The books are terrible).

Now you may be asking “But Past Leslee, what is the point to all this? Aren’t you a material girl, living in a material world?” and I would reply with something about how quoting Madonna might be the most convincing thing you’ve done so far to prove that you are the least-hip person on the internet.

My point is that stuff will not make you happy. Sure, the initial thrill of the hunt might make you feel kind of happy for the short term, but in the long run stuff is basically disappointing. Nothing you buy is ever as great as you imagine it to be. Those new boots aren’t going to make you skinnier or increase your bust size or make your friends cooler. Stuff won’t make you feel really good inside, so if you put all your heart and soul and energy into the reckless acquisition of stuff you will end up bitter and alone.

Actually, Future Leslee, it occurs to me that you are probably going to end up bitter and alone anyway, so I guess you might as well own nice things while you’re still young enough to remember where you parked your motorcycle. So, um, nevermind.  

With greatest ambition for a motorcycle,

Past Leslee.


About leslei

Listen, I like to use the eff word. If that is going to be a problem you should probably just turn this car around RIGHT NOW.
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3 Responses to Stuff

  1. ATG says:

    I find stuff becomes more or less dissapointing based on your perspective on it. It’s all in the approach: If you treat stuff like and end in itself, to be purchase for the sake of it’s own possession or to demonstrate simply that it can be purchased (status symbol), it’s shallow and unfullfilling and makes one feel that more goods have to be possessed for satisfaction.

    If you use and acquire things simply to enrich your interests or other, non-material parts of your life, it feels much more satisfying. I don’t have a nice microwave because I want to be a snob, I have a nice microwave because I like what it allows me to do with food. I don’t love owning my television because I see my television as a status symbol or a demonstration of my wealth (which would require it to constantly be upgraded and replaced in order to be satisfying), but because my television frees me to enjoy the things I love.

    I could never give up my material possessions not because I love them particularly, nor do I feel particularly rewarded by acquiring them, but because I love the freedoms they provide me to do the things they allow me to do.

  2. ATG says:

    I’m totally lying by the way, when it came to the TV I deliberately made some status-related choices. Also, I gave it a big hug the other night.

  3. leslei says:

    Gorg, why are you STILL lying? You hug that TV every night. Now go give it an especially tight hug for me.

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