February 12, 2009

Day 43 without shopping: but who's counting?

The other day I went to the fabulous J. Paul Getty museum with a friend who hadn't been there. The reason is that she works too much, like a lot of people in Los Angeles. So it was a gorgeous clear day, you could see all the way to Catalina, and we had a great time. We saw two photo exhibits and spent a lot of time in the gardens. Then she begged me to go to the museum gift shop, and I had no problem with that. Except when I went inside, I immediately wanted EVERYTHING. Beautiful jewelry and scarves and kid's books, and especially the cards.

I love to buy postcards whenever I visit a museum. Sometimes I actually mail them to people, and sometimes I just keep them to look at or put up on my bulletin board. They always have beautiful notecards at museum stores too, and in fact that's where I bought a lot of that stuff, before I joined The Compact. My friend said she wanted to buy some cards and we found a beautiful box for her, and with a little bit of willpower, I managed to walk out of there without buying anything. I have to admit I didn't even look at the postcards because I probably would have figured out some rationalization to buy a couple.

Truth be told, I don't think there's anything wrong with buying a few postcards at a museum, or even any of the other items they sell. But I'm doing this experiment, so I figure I have to give it my best shot. But after my year without spending is over, I'll definitely go back to buying postcards as museum souvenirs. That's one purchase that really does make me happy. Maybe because it's more than just stuff, it's a reminder of an experience.

What do you think? I love cards and postcards, but is it worth cutting down all those trees to make them?


calimama said...

It's a true dilemma! Supporting the museum - good. Buying for the sake of buying - not good. What if it's on recycled paper? It's all about what we can live with. Finding some justifiable exceptions may help not create a buy, buy, buy mentality when this year is up. What about getting some art books or calendars from the thrift store and making your own postcards.

Just going to the museum is admirable enough though!

Anonymous said...

A lot of snapshots (older now, since I upgraded to a digital) are gathering dust in shoeboxes under one of the beds. I use them for a quick postcard. Back in the day, I used to get doubles, what was I thinking? They are the same general size, slap a stamp on it, it's a postcard!