I like money. And I like freedom. Growing up in America, you operate under the delusion that somehow these two ideas can peacefully coexist. You get older, your tax bill hits 40% all in, and you begin to understand that they absolutely can not. You must exchange one for the other. This is how wealthy, business minded dudes came up with incredibly insightful one-liners such as “time is money” and “pimpin’ ain’t easy” both of which mean exactly the same thing. The “time is money” fuckers are decidedly less honest about their motives than the “pimpin’ ain’t easy” crowd, eschewing overt hubris to instead make consumers feel obligated to participate in a never ending Ponzi scheme of false acceptance earned by taking vacations to Tulum, binge watching Netflix and driving hybrid cars.
But I digress.
I’m a chick. I have a vag. I’m also a mom. So, you know, it’s not what it used to be. But nonetheless, I still have one. And much like a compass set to true north, it occasionally leads me to spend time in home decorating and craft stores. Often, I rush through these places with the speed and intensity of Bruce Jenner racing for the gold in the Olympics. Other times, I saunter the aisles for hours, Caitlyn Jenner style, reveling in my femininity like a giant used super plus tampon. Mesmerized by realities such as the fact that there are literally nearly a dozen different sizes of hole punches that can be used for scrapbooking. Yes. There are actually factories that manufacture such things. Not in the United States, of course. But they’re out there. Somewhere. America has a market for at least ten different sizes of round hole punches.
Side note: I don’t really view it as coincidence that most of the time I am in these stores, I see at least ten different women who I would like to punch in the hole. And they probably have all different sizes of holes. Which means technically there is ALSO an underground market for ten entirely different kinds of hole punches. Then I start factoring, and I try to figure out, you know, what is the square root of the “Michaels” random hole punch? My ADD goes off the rails, and that’s around the time I grab my 40% off picture frame and four pack of Sharpies and get the fuck out.
So, anyway, I guess I must be ovulating (which is INSANE since I was born when there was still only one Darrin on Bewitched) because I made a stop at a crafty/homey/decorating store today and just as I was mid transition from Bruce to Caitlyn, this quaint little sign caught my eye.
This mantle mandate, a call to abandon the needless excesses of an overburdened, overblown, over-accessorized society that has lost touch with the “little things.” This hidden gem, positioned on a broken clearance shelf between a folding leather chess board with half the pieces missing, and a heavily discounted Yankee Candle Company offering aptly monikered “Tailgate” (which I had the misfortune of opening merely seconds earlier only to be assaulted by the stench of smoked hot dogs), shone like an abandoned, laminate, mass produced beacon, beckoning me to become a better person!
Lighten your load. Quit making things harder than they need to be. Get lean. Take it down a notch. Be grateful. Stop buying stupid, needless shit for your house.
Here’s the thing. I feel like the first step in simplifying, is probably NOT buying a cheap wooden sign designed to demonstrate how you’re so far above materialism, that you need to advertise your humility with something you bought.
We get it, ok? Being overtly greedy and/or flashy is not a thing anymore. I mean, it IS a thing. As long as the greedy, flashy things you do include: pretending that wine tasting in Napa isn’t the same concept as touring a bunch of hog farms that offer bacon samples; demanding that poor people stop eating fast food while simultaneously expecting all produce to be “organic” and, thus, double the price; chastising people for drinking one 32 ounce fountain Diet Coke while wasting packaging on single serve Keurig coffee seven times a day; and reminding everyone who comes to your house to “simplify” by plastering it on your wall on an old timey looking plaque you hang next to all the IKEA shit you’re going to dump in the garbage after it collapses on your twin test tube shitzus, causing them to require weekly dog therapy and chiropractic.
You know what? I call bullshit. Much like this crappy, stupid sign rotting on the clearance rack, no ones buying it. Materialism, like racism and sexism, is alive and well in America. Buying and selling stupid shit is who we are. What other population on earth is self indulgent enough to possibly have created a demand for Chia pets, Silly Putty, the dog Thunder Shirt and viagra?
Knock it off, America. No one here wants anything to be simple. How else do you explain the constant barrage of paranoid conspiracy theories that pass as mainstream news? Why else would we ALWAYS be in at least one war? And let’s not forget the BRILLIANT taxpayer bailout of our banks. Because it’s one thing for some uneducated plumber to go out of business. But THESE GUYS ARE BANKERS! They need to keep going no matter how badly they fuck up. THEY ARE BANKERS, you peasants. Don’t you get it??? (Bonus: IVY LEAGUES!! Yay!) Simply put? “Simple” in America is an illusion. Did Martha Stewart’s incarceration teach you NOTHING?! Geez.
If I want simple, I’ll hitch a ride to North Korea where I will never have to make any decisions for myself, I can harvest “organic” produce and meditate all fucking day while wearing various shades of taupe. Until then, I’m content to complicate my life by thinking for myself, eating carmel corn with a 2019 expiration date and scouring this entire store for the rest of those chess pieces so I can score that 70% off folding chess board I don’t need since I don’t know how to play chess.
Stop harshing my vibe, fuckers.