This Saks Fifth Avenue window, seen above, is right across from the light rail stop I often use. Luckily, I'm smart enough (and poor enough) that I've never stepped foot in the store. The salespeople would take one look at my Old Navy/Banana Republic wardrobe and my old Timbuk2 bag and immediately divine the knowledge that I can't afford a $200 dress (on sale!) Even during my days of wanton credit-card use, I went for quantity over quality (not that a $100 Juicy Couture t-shirt is made in a "better" Thai sweatshop than a $40 Gap blouse. . . .)
With this kind of advertising, though, is it any wonder Americans are over-extended and under-satisfied? You might 'want' that yummy orange handbag the mannequin is holding, but how long will that (probably $500) purchase satisfy you? How long until you're on the search for the next 'must have' bag, or belt, or pair of shoes? I have a friend who is constantly on the search for the bag/shoes/thing she has to have; once she knows her target, she spends hours online searching it out, weeks tracking it down, until finally she pounces----and these things are never cheap.
She's visiting me for the weekend, so I'm curious to see what her latest 'need' is. As for myself, I'm going to try to view the inevitable shopping excursions from the perspective of an anthropologist or sociologist, rather than getting swept up in my own need for more stuff.
Tomorrow, I'll post about Affluenza, a PBS documentary about the reasons behind and the consequences of Americans' need for STUFF. Soon, I'll also write a brief review of the book, which is one of the few I actually purchased last year.