Saturday, 15 December 2007

The Philosophy of Shopping: Need not Greed

I have done my Christmas shopping, and I'm kind of proud of myself, but it doesn't stop me shopping, especially when it comes to books.

I once read an old maxim "Need, not Greed" ought to be applied to shopping. Funnily enough, I can apply this to many things, food, clothes, whether to really pay uni fees or not. I manage to go about in unfashionable clothes - or fashionable clothes, so long as I wait 10 or 11 years, and fashion does the full circle, and pyjamas with holes in the knees, convincing myself that it's greed to lash out on more because the legs are still good. Or at least there is still a bit of fabric that covers me, anyhow. Or a bit of me.

However, the same maxim doesn't apply to two things: boooks, and useless odds and ends found in markets and discount shops. If there's a cool ceramic turtle going for a few dollars, certainly, it can be bought. Need? I just do. And besides, it's only a few dollars.

And books. Well, everyone needs three copies of their favourites, and besides, several bookcases of books you haven't read yet just makes you feel smarter.


JahTeh said...

I find that if I have $5 in my purse I'll spend it to the last cent but give me $50 and I could give Scrooge McDuck a run for his money.
You are right about books though and I can never go past the teddy basket at the $2 shop.

TimT said...

But I like greed...!

Maria said...

You like greed, some want greed, others need greed ... Queue up!

JahTeh said...

And some were destined for greedness.

Maria said...

I am feeling my destiny for cheapness and bargain tables coming on ... post-Christmas sales, anyone?

Maria said...

Jahteh, your comment about the $5 and $50 reminded me of Alfred Doolittle's remark in Pygmalion. He tries to get Henry Higgins to give him 5 pounds, and Higgins is so amused by Doolittle that he says "Let's give him 10".

Alfred refuses, and says something like "No, 10 pounds makes a man feel prudent-like, and goodbye to happiness. Just give me what I ask for, not a penny more, not a penny less. One good spree for me and the missus."