It should here be worth noting that the “Living Deliberately” experiment is not merely confined to the ideals of self-improvement and time management. This week I will spend time documenting the various other ideals of deliberate living that make this experiment complex, textured, and a distinct challenge.
As I have recently talked about in the post “Talking Shit”, I made a deliberate decision to move to NYC with only as much stuff as I could fit onto my bike. As such, I sought to limit my attachment to material possessions and the limitations (on my mobility, for example) they imposed upon me.
This is not to say that I am not at points compelled to want something new.
Due to my genes, which have inspired wanderlust in my chest hair and a spirit of rebellious pride in my nose hairs, I have recently felt pressured by (society, myself, and the misplaced follicle) to invest in a pair of tweezers.
One of the dirty little secrets of those preachy folks who blab on about the environment and the imminent doom our species is bringing upon itself, is that sometimes being “green” is less about buying a new product, than just not buying anything at all. You could go out and buy as many Prius, washing machines, green cleaning products as you wanted, but really, by simply limiting yourself across the board to buying new things, taking yourself a step out of your more consumeristic habits, you would likely be having a much greater impact.
As such, I decided to not buy anything new.
To be fair to those who own cars and washing machines, I do not have to navigate figuring out the environmental footprint of producing a new, efficient washing machine versus keeping the old one. Also, to be fair to myself and my hygiene, underwear, toothbrushes, food, those are things that I allow myself to buy new.
To my mind, tweezers could be sterilized, and therefore, safely purchased used.
So, off to Ebay! Typed in “tweezers” and clicked “used”. What I found was a subculture. Yes, my children, these is an entire subculture of people who collect vintage cosmetic products: the razor for Catherine the Great’s back, Rasputin’s nail file (a man famed for his fastidious manicures), the very tub of talcum powder Winston Churchill used to keep his armpits from getting stained during the Blitz. I found the tweezers used by Swiss watchmakers, and the tweezers for Milton Bradley’s “Bedbugs” game, but nowhere just a cheap pair of tweezers for one’s nose hairs.
My personal favorites, for a mere $85.
So I didn’t buy anything. I have found other solutions for the nose hair situations. See, the buying used rule has been helpful in that a) it keeps me from buying new, and b) the slightly greater difficulty in buying things often keeps me from buying at all.
Although I am now a parasite living off of other people’s throw-away consumerism, a leech whose carbon footprint is greatly reduced by only buying used products, there is still a level in which I am engaging in consumerism. I still desire new products even if they are only new for me. Eventually, I should strive for an ideal of simply not desiring non-vital possessions.
Until then, buying only used is a good intermediate step, and an often entertaining one.