Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Fighting my American Gene

As an American, I was blessed with the desire find ways to obtain nicer and newer things than those I already had. Both times I was living in France, I scoffed at the Americaness of it. And when I'm here, I always find myself slipping into the same old habit.

Like when I bought this coat last Friday. I don't need a new coat. I have three coats. But it was 50% off and I really liked it. So I snatched it up along with a million other things and swiped my credit card without a second thought.

And then I did think about it. I was so angry at myself for buying it. It wasn't about spending the money. It was about adding to my pile of possessions. What was I doing, buying something I didn't need? Especially after I've vowed to myself a million times not to do that?

It took fortitude, but I returned it. You'd think I would have immediately felt better as soon as I handed the coat back to the saleswoman. But I didn't really. I liked the coat a lot. I would have worn it. I wanted to own it. But I didn't need to own it. I'm sure the longer I held onto it, the easier it would have been to accept that the coat needed to be in my life. But I didn't want that to happen. So the coat had to go.

Bye bye coat. We were never going to work out.

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