Wednesday, November 21, 2007
There was a guy that used to come in the shop that said something to me that I'll never forget. He was a successful neurosurgeon and single so he was pretty well off. Being the dogged salesman I was at the time, I was trying to steer his interest toward a Masi Team 3v we had recently received.
Naturally, he was impressed with the sparkling silver machine. His eyes widened as I explained the build possibilities and glorious rides he would have on his new steed. I showed him saddles, hubs, and pedals. Handlebars, stems, and tires. I sensed his excitement and genuine enthusiasm. I had him hooked.
And then...he stepped back a bit, looked up and gazed away as if in deep thought. "No" he said. "No. I'm trying to be less acquisitive." He could see that I was a bit perplexed. I mean, this was a Masi Team 3v! With Record! And he had the dough to buy it right then and there. A drop in the bucket for him. He seemed to read my mind. He laughed to himself a bit and went on to explain that "to be acquisitive is to constantly, no... habitually acquire things. I'm trying not to do that anymore." He then walked around the shop for a few more minutes and finally left. I was still confused.
I thought about what he said for a long time after that. I thought about my struggles with money, debt, and perpetual desire for instant gratification. I realized that I was guilty of being a mindless consumer with a thirst that was never satiated. I understood. I agreed. I finally decided to follow that path as well. I paid down the credit cards and other outstanding debts I had accrued. Eventually I was no longer a captive of the "system". My father was right, but it took a near stranger to slap me the fuck out of my negligence.
With "Black Friday" on its way and stores preparing barriers and security forces for the onslaught of mass consumerism, I take solace in the fact that I know I don't need that shit anymore. I boycott "Black Friday" not only for the tremendous inconvenience it creates, but also for the twisted ideals it represents.
So if you find yourself on the ground being trampled by the zombies of consumerism making a mad dash for the limited supply of "must have" gadgetry. Think about what Mel said. It won't remove the Reeboks from your anus, but it will set you free.