A couple of years ago, when I was buying fragrances at Myer, as Christmas gifts, the lady at the counter looked at me and said, ‘you know, love, you can get these two fragrances, plus a large tote bag for 50 cents cheaper!’ She was delighted with herself.
‘Thank you,’ I responded coolly, ‘but I don’t need a tote bag.’
‘But, it’s cheaper!’
‘I don’t need one.’
‘It costs less.’ As if saying it differently, would somehow help me to understand. So I rephrased, too.
‘I’d rather pay 50 cents, than to see that extra-large monstrosity go straight into my local land-fill. But thanks.’ She left me alone after that.
I sometimes wonder if she ever thought about my words and what it meant to be part of an ever-increasing throw-away society. Things are being made cheaper, they are selling for cheaper and fall apart at the drop of a hat—so that we buy more.
Yet, how can I afford to buy the expensive stuff, with mortgages, food and electricity the way it is, here in Australia? And if I do buy the more expensive stuff, then who’s to say that it will last longer, anyway? Pffft. Target Approved…pfft. I love you Target, but my pants just fell apart, again, and the public aren’t enjoying it.
Why do I love antiques? Because I have a cabinet that is seventy years old and it doesn’t wobble, I didn’t have to put it together myself—with missing parts and ridiculous instructions, and no, there are no sections of flimsy board that crack when you sit a bottle of whisky on them.
Things aren’t made the way they used to be, and there’s a reason for that. A Cold. Hard. Reason.
So what do we do?
Someone, throw me a bone, and make it a meaty one, ‘cause I just spent $35 on steak at Woolworths and it tastes like an old boot.