We See Therefore We Buy

It’s been almost four months since the 2nd wave Corona lockdown applied in the Netherlands. I heard in the news the 3rd wave is coming and our neighbouring countries start to impose a new set of lockdown again. These lockdown and un-lockdown things have been going on and off so often I start to lose track of them. One thing for sure, the number of infections is still beyond the expectation, so most probably we’re going to have another lockdown again.

Lockdown or without lockdown, we mostly stay at home. We never go outside so much other than going to the open nature and get our grocery done. Sometimes we go to restaurants and buy things to bring home, but really not much. Boring? Sure. But I feel strongly that we have to take our part in this effort of not spreading the virus further. I’m quite OK with these regulations, but sometimes, I just miss shopping. You know, when you realize that your kids have more socks with holes than without, or they survive in their 0ne-size-too-small-underwear… That’s when you know you have a problem. Real problem.

Of course we can order everything online. We do every single thing online now. Church service, family gathering, birthday celebration, school. All can be done via the internet. Online shopping? Why not? 

But after a year with this situation, I realize I don’t really enjoy buying things online. Buying clothes for my children, I rather wait forever until the shops are open and sprint there pulling things out of the racks and pay them and go home, instead of spending hours choosing and considering things using my small mobile phone. Is the colour nice? Is the material OK? Is this the right size?

Saying that, I observe that the less I go to the stores, the less things I buy. I take it as a good sign, because in general I’ve been trying to stop buying things that are not necessary. Within our 10 years of marriage and two children, it amazed me how many things we have accumulated in our house. And so many useless things we have had to throw away everytime we had our big cleaning.

Thinking of throwing things away and the fact that our waste might end up as landfill hurt my head, and I decided to slow down buying things impulsively. But it wasn’t easy, it was totally not easy.

Everytime we went to IKEA to let the children play at the smaland, I walked around in the store, and always went out having some things in my hands. Batteries, one pack of sealing clips (as if we don’t have it yet), new glass, anything! There’s this urge – “I have to buy it now, I don’t know when I’d get to IKEA again. While IKEA is basically a walking distance from our house! (5 kilometers is still walking distance, right? We all love walking, right? Right?)

So in a way, Corona brings some goodness for me in the terms of stopping buying (unnecessary) things. We see, therefore we buy. We don’t see, therefore we don’t buy. But nevertheless, I’m GLAD the stores start open again, even if we have to make an appointment, even when we have to run around like a crazy chick because we only have 20 minutes of time. Because still, we need some real shopping done. We’re only humans after all.

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