This compact challenge has really helped me distinguish between what I need and what I can honestly do without; I’m proud to say I passed up buying a cool pair of headphones that were on sale today. The point of this blog, however, is not to highlight the progress I have made but to reflect on a few unnecessary things I’ve bought in recent years. One of my biggest faults that have plagued me since I was a baby is the fact that I love to collect. One just never seems to be enough for me! Growing up I always had to have a bed full of stuffed animals, all four ninja turtles, at least every Saiyan character from Dragon Ball Z, and so on. Now that I am older, my interests have matured but they also become more expensive.
I have always been a die hard fan of the NBA’s Seattle Supersonics but could never buy any of their jerseys growing up. When I started earning my own money I decided to make up for lost time. Over the last four years I have bought eleven jerseys, some of which are too big for me to wear.
I have also wasted a lot of money on my car. While in community college I worked a lot and spent a lot. I would always have new accessories in mind to buy for my car. At one point I owned three sets of rims. Now that I’m in Davis, though, I’ve removed everything to avoid theft.
Most recently I remember spending money on scarves this past winter. I came to Davis owning none and now I own five. One would have sufficed but somehow I end up with five.
It’s difficult for me to pinpoint how this obsession with collecting came about but Yuniya Kawamura suggests an interesting claim. She states that “individuals and communities use inanimate objects to claim, legitimate, and to compete for status meaning” (Kawamura 98). Although I don’t feel that I am looking for status meaning through my collecting today, it could have been a possibility as a child. In elementary school the coolest kids were the ones with all the new toys. I believe this competition as a child ignited my desire to collect and I have been unable to shake it off since.
Many people today collect not just out of interest like me but in order to obtain status. People jump from trend to trend in order to keep up with the latest hype. This video is by a hip hop group from Berkeley, California. “The Pack” made this song about Vans sneakers and I can remember everyone from my high school started collecting these shoes in order to gain that “hip” status.
(Embedding for this video is prohibited)
Kawamura, Yuniya. Fashion-ology. New York: Berg, 2006.