The Mall is a Dangerous Place (for Minimalists)


Happy Valentine's Day! My husband wanted to buy a little something for our daughter, and the little something he had his heart set on was a necklace. Why a necklace (for a toddler, no less) was his first choice is beyond me, but I do appreciate what a sweet idea it was.

So we trudged off to the mall, a place that we go to once a year, or less. And he found a sweet little gold children's necklace for her, one with little jade green hearts. Don't worry, it wasn't very expensive, but she does love it. Ahh...such a daddy's little girl.

But I digress.

The mall is a dangerous place, is it not? And no, I'm not referring to the gangs that tend to flock to malls or the increased risk of getting jumped in a dark parking lot. No, I'm referring to the plethora of shopping options. Going to the mall tonight reminded me why we quit going so often in the first place.

The displays in the stores, the employees, and all of the marketing incentives are all designed to draw the shopper in and make a big purchase. And believe me, I know this because I worked in retail for years. (The stories I could tell....)

This old feeling (one I thought I buried years ago) started bubbling up, a desire to spend LOTS and LOTS of money. And inevitably, that feeling makes me sad because it cannot be fulfilled.

It is impossible to spend enough and take home enough things to fulfill any emotional need. It's just not possible. So although I felt sad, it was also a good reminder that there is a reason why we're minimalists. Why we gave up caring for material possessions years ago.

Who we are, what we believe in, and the good that we put into the world define who we are as a family. Not our clothes, not our cars, furniture, or anything else. And that goes for you as well.

I think we would all get along a lot better as a society if this was a much more widely accepted philosophy, don't you think?

But until then, I'm going to avoid those enticing Banana Republic sales like nobody's business.