Bear with me here, complicated story, very simple ending.
A great friend recently told me about the Hundredth Monkey Effect and it had such a profound influence on me that I now keep noticing such effects. (Oops, wikipedia has just debunked the whole shebang so I don't know where that leaves my monkeys, but regardless, I have a point!)
The whole world and more directly my fellow bloggers have been focussing my attention on all things green and ecologically sound. I've been recycling for about a year now, I walk when I can and try to shop eco-aware. While I'm surely not offsetting my carbon footprint yet (or even my carbon toe-print for that matter) I am trying to do my little bit to help out this pretty blue planet of ours.
So during and after the wedding planning, all these thoughts and ideas on reduce, reuse and recycle have been floating through my mind. During this time I also experienced a ridiculous slew of gifting, thanks to my hen night, my birthday, our wedding and Christmas all happening within a 6 week period. By the time it was all over I felt sick of stuff, more over-fed on pretty things I don't really need than on Christmas pudding. I'd even tried to ask my family if we could give each other heart-felt letters in stead of gifts for Christmas but they'd already done their shopping. Damn organised early-birds.
Enter UK Vogue, December 2008 issue. Inside this fantastically beautiful tome to over-spending and wasteful consumerism I found a little article about a woman, who works in fashion, and stopped buying clothing for one whole year. I was fascinated. I immediately raised the issue in conversation and my FIL started laughing at me. He said "No my dear, you shouldn't even consider it. You'll make yourself miserable, and for what?" Then he told my MIL what insanity I was contemplating and she seriously admonished me "Don't do this to yourself, it's not necessary!" When BB joined in on the conversation he also found it laughable, and I believe he still does.
The more everyone found it crazy and laughable, the more they seemed to insinuate that I'm a shopaholic who'd be a wretched wreck without a weekly spend, the more determined I became. So without making an official proclamation or promising anything to anyone, I silently vowed to give this a shot. My extenuating circumstance for such apparent masochism is that I honestly have an extensive wardrobe. I mean, it's stuffed. With beautiful things I maybe wear once a month, every two months. This all came about when I worked in a gorgeous boutique for two years where part of my compensation was a very generous clothing allowance. So apart from my normal thrifty bargain hunting trophys, I also have two year's worth of really good items crammed in there.
To get back to the monkeys, as soon as I came back into blogland, what do I find? A spending hiatus revolution, complete with support group! I've also spotted this on many other great blogs, but this was the first one I found.
Thus. I am joining the spending hiatus, and these are my rules.
I will not buy any clothing or accessories. I'm starting on the three months with the group, but secretly I am aiming for a whole year. There, I said it.
I actually started at beginning of January already, so I'm three weeks in and so far so good. I'm too high on my accomplishment to even miss it.
The only thing I almost bought, that very nearly tempted me, before I'd even formalised the resolution, was a check shirt in the prettiest shades of grey & lavender that I KNOW I would've worn to death with rolled up sleeves in the summer and then layered in the winter. It was only R100 (10 dollars) and I still think of it (obviously!) but that is the price I'm willing to pay...
Whether this plan will save the planet, reduce me to a pleasure-starved, unpleasant person or just put a few extra pounds in my pocket, remains to be seen!