Like many other bloggers, I sometimes have the urge to buy one perfect item--and be done with it. I first had a glimpse of this orientation many years ago, when I dined with a person who is somewhat famous: I'm sure she doesn't remember me and, in fact, took no notice of me at the dinner. All I recall, other than her indifference, was her pronouncement that for the past few years, she had bought a single Armani suit each year. And that was all. So impressive! Since she was pregnant when I met her, and wearing borrowed maternity clothing, I couldn't gauge the success of her choice.
But whenever I think this is the way to go, something happens to make me reconsider.
We recently took a family trip to Florida. We rendezvoused with Miss Em's friend Mr C in Pensacola, where he left his car and joined us for the journey. Miss Em put some of her stuff in the trunk of the car, so Mr C could bring it to school for her in January. A few days later, Mr C got a phone call: someone had thrown a rock through the window of his car! My first thought (after condolences to the car owner, of course): oh no! All of Miss Em's expensive new items are in her expensive new backpack!
As it happens, the vandal just wanted to make a mess and everything was safe in the trunk. And I also remembered that homeowner's insurance would cover any stolen items anyway.
Still, owning expensive items can be stressful. I loved the fact that if my young children spilled grape juice on their thrifted outfits, I could remain nonchalant about the whole thing. I know if I did buy that Hermes scarf (about to go up in price, by the way) I would worry about losing it, spilling something on it, etc etc.
My mother gave Miss Em and me a few pieces of jewelry that belonged to my grandmother and great-aunt. I asked my mother if she had any scarves she wanted to get rid of. As it happened, she had a whole pile of lovelies from the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. She bought them many years ago when she attended some lectures there. I don't think she's worn the scarves for 20 years. She was happy to give some to me. She may, in fact, have gotten the scarves at a discount, since my father's cousin does research at the museum.
So, my mother decluttered. Miss Em and I got some pretty scarves: ecological and economical at the same time.
And I can still save up for the perfect one.
Do you make do or go for perfection?