Going The Wong Way I'm ALWAYS going the Wong way

Even Worse Than At First Glance

When we wake up and start our morning routine, we are always presented with a decision. Of course, we are presented with many decisions each and every single day, but I am talking about a particular decision. The decision that I am talking about is what to wear. We try to match clothes based on the society-specified norms of matching colors and matching patterns. We know that jeans match pretty much everything, do not wear brown with black, iron out the wrinkles in the clothes, and so on and so forth. Why do we do these things? Does it intrinsically make us better people? No, not really. Do they, at the very root of the matter, make us more acceptable to the world? I would venture to say that is the case.

If you really think about it, that is very much what we are doing. We are trying to be accepted by the world. But I am not saying that it’s necessarily a bad thing (although it definitely sounds like it from what I just said). The real reason why I bring this up is actually not obvious at first glance. I want to specifically address choosing your accessories. Though this might be more specifically applicable to those of the fairer sex, it can definitely be taken to apply to anybody’s life. Almost all women that I know will carry a purse with them whenever they go out. They have their fancy purses for going out when they’re dressed up, and they have their casual bags for when they’re just out running errands. Whatever the case, I feel as if I have seen that there are a large number of women that I know that have this decision to make.

I want to address something that I only recently really thought of because of some comments that I recently heard. Now first off, there are many, many bag makers out there. There’s Coach, Dooney and Burke, Prada (what kind of a site is that with just a picture??), Louis Vuitton and so many more (I claim the defense of having sisters as the reason for knowing all of these). There are probably a lot of people out there who have a problem with how expensive these purses are. I mean, $300 for a bag that can’t even carry a classic novel is pretty amazing. I still think that’s pretty ridiculous. But even more extreme than that stance is the one where the people that carry these bags are being wordly and shallow. Now this might be true. I’m sure that it is for some people. And at this point I am certain that some people will be thinking “but, Derek, it’s worth it because of the exceptional build quality!” But that is a debate for another time. The reason that I bring up the fact that some people think these things is because I want to bring up another thought. I want to say that people who despise the worldliness of these bags but wear fake bags are even more worldly.

By buying fake bags and wearing them as if they were real, I want to propose the idea that these people are trying even harder to please the world than anybody else. Of course on top of being more worldly, they are harming the innovative industries that produce these bags. But I digress. So I think that there is a place for thriftiness in this world, but I have come to have a fair amount of opposition to those that partake in purchasing fake things (such as purses). The reason that I think that these people are even more worldly is that they can’t even claim to have bought these purses for the right reasons (spending their money on something that is actually better quality and some would say a better value than buying many bags at a cheaper price). All they can say is that they bought it for cheaper. They bought it for cheaper even when they could have obviously bought an equally cheap bag that did not have deceptive designs and logos on it which were put there to meant to imitate the more expensive bags. Instead, they bought the fake designer bag in order to purposely try to put up a front. And for that they earn the derision that they deserve.

Do you think that this doesn’t apply to you? Well you should probably think about it again. Fake clothes are equally if not more of a culprit. And in this area, all people are susceptible.

Why do people do it? Why do we want other people to like us and accept us more? At the very root of the matter is perhaps a discomfort with who we are. A deficiency in self-confidence at the very core of who we are might be to blame. It might take some digging to get at the root, but just like all plants there is always a root somewhere.

Does this mean that we should not buy anything more expensive than the cheapest clothes and the cheapest purses? No, I don’t think that’s the lesson to be learned from this. I read one time an opinion piece talking about finances and being responsible for your decisions. The author (whom I don’t remember) said that we focus on things that seem outrageous in an absolute sense. We all point out the people that buy cars from Lamborghini or designer clothes as being the most worldly and sinful. But this same author pointed out the fact that even though the Bible has many passages about money, it doesn’t actually say that it’s universally bad for people to have money. And this author points out that it’s actually more in line with what’s written to take the position that it’s not how much you have, but how well you are taking care of what you have. And if that’s true, then the person who buys Starbucks coffee everyday at $3 when they have high-interest credit card debt is as bad (and probably worse) than the person who has saved and bought the fancy new car well within their means. That sounds like it’s going out on a limb. So read it and take it if it’s good or leave it if you disagree.

What can we learn from this?

  1. Don’t hurt the innovative industries by supporting the copycats.

  2. Always evaluate why we are buying what we are buying (and why we’re spending our time, etc)

  3. Live within your means, whatever those means might be

  4. Do not let money take over your life. It is so easy a trap to fall into. Fight it with everything within you because there is so much more to life.