If you ever invite me over to your house, I will probably look in your medicine cabinet.
If I stay, I will definitely use your shampoo, not the one I bought.
I will be super-excited to try whatever lotion you have by your sink.
Ooh…lemon rosemary. Mmm…citrus mint.
Not cause I’m nosy. (well, maybe that too). But because I just love trying new beauty products. I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in this.
This weekend we are staying at my sister in law’s apartment while she is away on grad school interviews. I’m jealous. Her apartment is in a quaint little town with a beautiful view of the mountains. Her living room has fun teal curtains and cute purple accent pillows. It’s cute, it’s modern, it’s girly.
My apartment is brown.
When I go home to visit my parent’s, I raid my sister’s closets like mad. No matter what, their clothes will always be way more stylish and exciting than whatever brown sweater is crammed in my suitcase.
And their makeup? Oh, I’m all over it.
The problem with my borrowing/pining habit, is that I can’t just look at my sister in law’s crinkly and lush curtains and think “oh, nice.” I think, “oh, I wish I had that.”
I see my sister’s make up and think “Hmm, I should really hit up a Clinique sale.”
Gimme. Gimme. Gimme.
When I was in JVC, I had to give up a lot of those “oh cute shirt I should buy it” type thoughts. Not that I would say I was overly materialistic before. Probably no one would describe themselves as overly materialistic. But I’ve always been cheap, which helped temper my materialistic side.
My husband and I don’t exactly have disposable income, or really any income, but we’re still better off financially than when I was living on my $80 a month stipend. And so all of my “gimme” feelings have been creeping back up. I kind of thought two years with two shopping trips had cured me of these desires. Guess I was wrong.
I want to live simply. When I was in JVC, I wasn’t missing bumbleberry lip gloss and round-toe high heels. When I was in Haiti, I didn’t think about how I really needed a new computer. I don’t miss those things when they aren’t available.
So how come when they are, I convince myself I really should buy them?
I think its because I see my sister in law’s pink and green bright bathroom and think, “I wish my bathroom was that bright.” But really what I’m thinking is, “I wish I was a bright and sunny person.” I see my little sister’s pearl earrings and think “I wish I could pull those off.” But really I’m thinking “I wish I was a classy and graceful person.”
I know that we’re being fed a lie. That if we buy X, Y, or Z, we will become X, Y, and Z. That if I bought that new Kleen Kanteen, I will becoming an effortlessly cool environmentalist. I know that its a lie. I’ve seen Mad Men. I know its a lie, but at the same time I want to be a put-together stylish woman, not just a grungy hippie.
So why is it a trap I keep falling for? How do we temper our desire for material goods while remaining true to the simple life Christ called us to? Does anyone else struggle with the desire to reject materialism, but enjoy modern culture?
I dunno. I don’t have time to ponder this full cause I want to go blow dry my hair with my sister in law’s honey scented styling mousse before we go out to dinner. But if you have suggestions, I’d love to hear them.