The Perfidy of Stuff

I like to think I live simply.


I have a six-year-old iBook G4 that I still use because it still works, and an iPod the same age. I drive cars into the ground and seldom buy gadgetry of any kind. I still have a Droid 2 even though it doesn’t work have the time — simply because I just can’t be arsed to get the iPhone I’ve wanted for several years. (Aye, I’m an Apple fiend.)

Main Reading Room of the in the Euskara: Kongr...

The only two things I am overloaded on are clothes and books. Of those, I have hundreds. The books I refuse to get rid of, and you could try to drag them out of my hands, but you’d lose your arms in the process. I’m scrappy.

Pile o' clothes

My closet. Pile o’ clothes (Photo credit: JenWaller)

The clothes are more of an issue of laziness. I should just go through them and get rid of a bunch, but that takes time, and I have a book to edit, a Mary Kay business to get going, and a husband who enjoys it if I listen to what he has to say. Not to mention a puppy and kitten who take offense if they get ignored for too long.

I do have rather a lot of stuff. So why is it that I want more? Much as I don’t want to admit it, I do need a new computer. My husband believes I have too much patience. “It’s old. It just needs ten minutes.”  “To load Facebook?”


There are things I need and things I want. On the list of need there is a pair of good running shoes. You can expect the other three horsemen straightaway. Want? The new Nike FuelBand to go with my new iPhone. Need? New contacts. Want? My tattoos.

The problem is with all this stuff, whether you need it or want it, is that it all costs large sums of money. Running shoes plus FuelBand plus tattoos plus recurve (longbow) plus short swords plus claymore plus PowerBook plus contacts plus new tires plus new sports bra — well, you get the picture. Around $3000.

And the real perfidy of stuff?

Once I got all that stuff, I would probably need and want something else.

It gives me a headache just thinking about all of it.

I have a lot of Stuff. You probably have a lot of Stuff too. One thing I will never do is get a storage unit to put Stuff in and pay to store Stuff I never look at or use. But when I look at my closet, I start to wonder if I’m not doing that already.

If I could grab a suitcase of Stuff from a burning apartment, it would probably contain the following:

1. My set of David Eddings books.

2. Photo albums.

3. Lappy.

4. Our handfasting knot.

5. Our fingerprint wedding tree.

6. A very unhappy cat.

7. A whining dog.

8. My grandmother’s locket and jewelry.

And that’s it. Everything else in this house could go up in flames, but as long as I had that, the rest would be replaceable.

Which just goes to show that I don’t need more Stuff.

And yet…I still kind of want it.

What Stuff would fill your suitcase? What do you think of our consumer society? Are we all gluttonous fiends destined for some circle of Hell or another, or are these needs really needs? Should I run barefoot and say to hell with the gorgeous shoes I just custom designed on




About Emmie Mears

Saving the world from brooding, one self-actualized vampire at a time.

Posted on August 14, 2012, in life intervention and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Wow. What would I take…

    My writing journal. My dog. And my portable hard drive with all our pictures on it. I think that’s it.

    Are we all gluttons? I shouldn’t judge others, but, yeah, we are.

  2. I’d take photos and my USB sticks, oh and the family of course. 🙂

  3. Daniel Swensen

    Perfidy is a great word. Almost as good as mendacity. That’s all I have to add, really.

  4. suitcase contents: laptop, photographs, dulcimer, old journals

    Those things would be sufficient to weigh me down and risk not being able to get out of the house before the fire consumed it…

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