15 November 2010


Above you see a design-board that I put together from a J.Crew sale. After surfing the different design blogs I decided to have some fun and put together an outfit I'd like. I am by no means well versed in clothing design. But it was a way of distracting myself from this nasty cold I have and plus, I really like the outfit I put together. Cute-cute, right?

There were plenty of blogs out there devoted to "outfits under $300" and even "outfits under $100". And I thought, purchasing any one of the items I've listed above, even the shirt for $34.99, would feel like a sacrifice for me. I chuckle inwardly that it's even called a "sale" - as if I'd actually forget how much they are asking for those shoes. Maybe I'm declaring my cheapness by posting this, and I should be ashamed to show such a face. Living in New York I can vouch for how much people find normal to spend on a pair of shoes. But I can't help but wonder how people in the adult world justify making purchases like this? Most people understand updating a wardrobe isn't necessary, but do they realize the extravagance of it - and what that implies? Even when items are cheap and bought at a thrift store.

Side note: for this reason, John and I sort of, kind of, like Lady GaGa.

Recently John and I were reminded of where we stand on the tax income bracket. It was funny to us because we hadn't realized how others viewed our circumstances as compared to the US standard. We thought and still do think we have a pretty good life here in NYC. Even at our poorest, I have always been aware that it was never as bad as what other people have to deal with.

Each time that our income takes a jump up and we have more spending money I can't help but feel guilty. I'm told not to feel this way. Yet when I try to ignore that guilt it brings to mind the threat many mothers make at the dinner table about starving children in poverty stricken nations. I know I've joked about it before. But it is a credible statement. Which is really the point to all of my ramblings.

Below is an excerpt from an article written by Peter Singer. In my days as a poli-sci major I read a few articles by this theorist and inevitably added this thought process as the cherry on top to my fountain of purchasing guilt. Maybe you too can add this guilt-angel to your shoulder and we can live in this beautifully idealistic world one day too. Sadly I don't think it will ever come to full fruition - I consider myself an idealistic-realist. But read it anyways. Click here for the full article.

"Of course, there are several differences between the two situations that could support different moral judgments about them. For one thing, to be able to consign a child to death when he is standing right in front of you takes a chilling kind of heartlessness; it is much easier to ignore an appeal for money to help children you will never meet. Yet for a utilitarian philosopher like myself — that is, one who judges whether acts are right or wrong by their consequences — if the upshot of the American's failure to donate the money is that one more kid dies on the streets of a Brazilian city, then it is, in some sense, just as bad as selling the kid to the organ peddlers. But one doesn't need to embrace my utilitarian ethic to see that, at the very least, there is a troubling incongruity in being so quick to condemn Dora for taking the child to the organ peddlers while, at the same time, not regarding the American consumer's behavior as raising a serious moral issue."