01 June 2009

material girl and the wealth of nations

Lately I’ve been single-handedly reversing the penny-pinching global trend. My dormant discretionary spending capacity has been unleashed and the industrious squirreling of acorns into a handsome mound has been suspended in the name of cultural participation. It started as a few dinners out, some music, books, wine. A movie here. A haircut there. New jeans. A festival ticket. A 1960s Danish leather chair!

When I moved into the Highgate Hill abode, I found it really difficult to unpack things. The psychological transition from impermanence/mobility to a more predictable, fixed life (with objets de stuff) is unfolding still. I'm still living out of a toiletries bag (old habits) and my pantry which still seems mildly gargantuan is in fact little more than a large shoe box. Now the end of my six-month lease is nigh. I have a new job and am enjoying the company of men-folk (one in particular). I've been coming round to the idea that maybe my view of this moment (the job, the city, the 100-metre dash for cash) being ultra temporary was kind of illusory. That doesn’t mean I have cast aside my self-sufficiency goals. It means that severe shortcuts which demand a reduced/fleeting experience are out. I will unpack the other four glasses in the set! I will get that print framed and I will invest in stereophonics!

Longevity is my new mantra. Temporary is out!

So in aid of making my current stations more comfortable, I spent Saturday trawling the net and visiting Video Pro to talk stereo. iPod speaker docks, in fact. I was completely ready to pounce on the B&W Zeppelin, supreme and lovely beast of speaker docks. Which would have been an immediate fix to my lack-of-decent-sound problem. But at the point of sale that longevity thing reared its persistent little mug. I took a walk and pondered the iPod lifecycle and the scalability of the Zeppelin for future stations in life. It has no tuner. It sounded difficult to hook up to dvd. It has kick-ass speakers, but whose ability to kick ass would probably diminish in larger environs. I pondered the final commitment to adulthood: the purchase of a grown-up stereo. The kind you keep forever.

I stood there on the brink of ideological redefinition, with the sales chump batting his free warranties at me. I hemmed. I hawed. I hedged. And drove away sans Zeppelin, resigning myself to the inevitable protracted trauma of researching amps, tuners and speakers.

When I got home I took out the sales chump's card.

Adam Smith. Indeed. The material girl is back.

3 comments:

Christel said...

Nice meeting you Sam, i like your blog, it's funny, so well written. I'll add you to my blogroll if that's ok.

Kane Spooner said...

http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/dan_gilbert_researches_happiness.html

the cook said...

Thanks Christel - lovely to hear from you. A bilingual blogger with three-yo twins, a uni timetable and a herb garden? You put me to shame! Thanks for adding me to your blogroll!

Kane... ha! Very funny. Thanks for the Buddhist reminder. I will try not to associate new stereophonics with qantums of happiness!