When a Deal is not a Deal

written at MOCA on Grand

Overheard:

We’re not rich enough to buy cheaply.

At first blush, such a quip may offend many with modest sensibilities + conservative palettes. But upon further unpacking, the more it is considered, the more sense it makes in common.

We’re not rich enough to buy cheaply.

Any item that is cheaply made, is often cheaply priced. If it is cheaply made with a high price that one opts to pay, that’s a consumer choice. While the short term benefits of the lower purchase price are augmented by the immediacy of showing ownership of said item (conspicuous consumption), the long term effect is that the item’s useful life or veneer is much more short lived, leading to quick discards as well as the need to repurchase.

Again.

+ again.

+ again.

We’re not rich enough to buy cheaply.

This is not to say that all items are meant to last forever under sustained use. There are no doubt a laundry list of single- or limited-use items that exist to serve a purpose, then be discarded.

But large ticket items that are meant to carry your life, enhance your living, inspire your memories, these are investments. Things that you simply cannot afford to continually replace deserve discernment + rationality.

We’re not rich enough to buy cheaply.

This could easily become a rancid diatribe about the sad state of dispensable creations, planned obsolescence, the obscenities of consumerist capitalist culture, blah blah blah, but the heart of the matter is simply one question to self:

What is my intention for this purchase?

If you can be as self-consciously honest as ‘All Falls Down’, + your intention is to follow a trend, great! Make your purchase, own this truth. Perhaps even make a plan of who shall receive it once your desired external validation has been achieved. So be it.

If your intention is familial respect or ‘proof’ of responsibility, then own this truth as well, perhaps unpacking why there exists a desire for approval or acceptance from those familiar members you wish to impress upon, + reconsider making the purchase to begin with.

Just a thought to help.

But if the intention is long term use, personal fulfillment, or internal celebration of an intrinsic milestone, then by all means, for the love of everything warm, pure, + wonderful on this world,

Buy well. Buy wisely. Buy once.

Because remember:

We’re not rich enough to buy cheaply.
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