Like most people, Sarah Lazarovic covets beautiful things. But rather than giving in to her impulse to spend and acquire, Sarah spent a year painting the objects she wanted to buy instead.
Based on a visual essay that was first published on The Hairpin, A Bunch of Pretty Things I Did Not Buy is a beautiful and witty take on the growing “slow shopping” movement. Sarah is a well-known blogger and illustrator, and she writes brilliantly without preaching or guilt-tripping. Whether she’s trying to justify the purchase of yet another particleboard IKEA home furnishing, debating the pros and cons of leg warmers or calculating the per-day usage cost of big-ticket items, Sarah’s poignant musings will resonate with any reader who’s ever been susceptible to an impulse buy.
I began to define my person by what my person wanted.
I see this too in the overstrong association of self with what you like: constructing an identity from your preferred intellectual properties and universes.
[W]e’ve long thought of shopping as frivolous leisure, when in truth it is real work.
Amen! And exercising patience in waiting for the right item — high quality, right price, not too trendy — is excruciating in a world of instant gratification.
(…this dismissal is also because women and shopping are linked in our society, and women are “responsible for” the home…)
The wanting never goes away altogether, even as you restrict your purchasing: I still lust after items on my wishlist years after adding them. The collector’s urge is strong in me, particularly when it comes to art, one of my exceptions for impulse purchases. I have also found what the author has: that my buying desires have been turned and concentrated on home goods. These I justify as making my house more beautiful and comfortable, my life easier and more efficient — but many are not necessary. (Yet, some are worthwhile: buying a handful of storage crates this year has made my home tidier and nicer to be in.) As with all of life, shopping will be an area of continuous learning and mistakes.
The societies we live in are increasingly making our minds ill, making it feel as though the way we live is engineered to make us unhappy. When Matt Haig developed panic disorder, anxiety, and depression as an adult, it took him a long time to work out the ways the external world could impact his mental health in both positive and negative ways. Notes on a Nervous Planet collects his observations, taking a look at how the various social, commercial and technological “advancements” that have created the world we now live in can actually hinder our happiness. Haig examines everything from broader phenomena like inequality, social media, and the news; to things closer to our daily lives, like how we sleep, how we exercise, and even the distinction we draw between our minds and our bodies.
Very casual writing style, like a collection of blog posts (even listicles 😂). I don’t have as much trouble as he does with phone use, but can relate to the overall overwhelming information intake of the internet and the constant marketing pressures. Enjoyed reading through this slowly. Complementary to Oliver Burkeman’s Four Thousand Weeks.