Thursday, September 2, 2010

Combating affluenza in the modern field. (The mall)

I took three of my teenage daughters shopping at the mall yesterday. We looked at and sampled perfumes, makeup and jewelery. We talked about what kind of fabrics were desirable and  about the style and workmanship of the items we had looked at and  then we ended our shopping trip with a visit to the "White house -black market" clothing store and that's where my trouble began. (Actually it began a few weeks ago when we ran out of good cheese and this teen of mine was pressed to eat Velveeta - but I'll try and stay focused here.)
While discussing the beauty and craftsmanship of a bolero jacket and how awesome the crushed satin roses were, my kid begins to tilt her head and stare at the ceiling when suddenly she has an epiphany and she says to me all glassy eyed with her mouth hung wide, "OH, MY GOSH!!" The stuff that we have at home is crap! And even our food is crap! (Referencing the Velveeta debacle and her brothers hot dog addiction.) I never knew! (Me thinking, "Yeah, so, welcome to the real world, it's been here waiting for you all along.") Those tweeds, herringbone, and houndstooth patterns with crepe silk roses have awakened within my daughter a disgruntled teen and the last time I 'd seen such an awakening was when Frankenstein came alive with a dose of electro shock therapy . (He turned on the person who had created him as well.)

Personally, I believe that in more cases than not, a person is asked  to chose between giving their lives to God and embracing a life with less or living a life lived for yourself and full of  "things". Of course this is a general rule and not a hard and fast one as I've known Catholics who can have it both ways though there aren't very many.

I have a few antidotes for affluenza, one is to fold your height in laundry at Catholic charities, two would be another road trip to see how people really live and three someone's gonna find herself working in a soup kitchen.

*Disclaimer. Our activity director has taken superb care of his family and we though we live simply, we're  happy -except for my one teen.


3puddytats said...

Yeah--the real world can be cold and cruel...

I remember vividly my second year in a poor starving college student with a part-time waitressing job....down to my last 20 bucks...the pantry is empty and the car is on fumes...

I can put either gas in my car or food in my stomach..

I swallowed my pride...put gas in my car...and drove across town to the food pantry, run by some funky little Evangelical church.

I learned alot that day...


Julie said...

When my husband was a grad student and we had just had our first baby, we qualified for "government cheese".Compared to "government cheese" Velveeta tastes like the finest artisanal brie crafted by Carthusian monks in the Pyrenees mountains.
I swear you could make a ball of that stuff and throw it against a wall, and it would come back to you at the same velocity as a racket ball.
The baby is now a foodie living in New York City, but I like to remind him that he got his start on "government cheese".

3puddytats said...

Julie--hahah :)

I was exposed to some of the "government cheese" when us GI's got some to "suppliment" our diet whenI was in Turkey--just after Desert yeah..I could eat far better eating what the Turks ate.

About the only thing decent I could make out of it was mac and cheese...and evenstill I had to doctor it by putting chopped up peppers and tomatoes in it....

That is also how I learned to read Italian (a bit) as the only decent packaged pasta I could get (the American stuff was MONTHS old) was from Italy..

Julie said...

Sara- Yes! We resorted to a lot of macaroni and "cheese". The low melting point was its only saving grace.
I thought it bore a suspicious resemblance to the blocks of parafin I used to make candles out of every Christmas as a kid.