A green tea pot and consumerist guilt

When I first moved to Cactus Land, I found it excruciating to set up a second household. Mr. T and I had already combined and sifted through our things, and it was upsetting (financially and emotionally) to purchase household items over again. I already HAVE pots and pans and a desk and an ice cream scooper and a table. Why am I buying more??

Most unsettling was buying “temporary” things. My stay in the desert will be just a stitch in time (so I tell myself), and my new possessions only need to last a couple years. No sense investing in good furniture when there is Ikea. No sense wasting money on nice kitchenware when there is Walmart, right? Well, I may have gone a little overboard on budgeting constraints. In August, late at night, exhausted from driving and moving and shopping for furniture in the 118 degree heat, T and I found ourselves buying small household things. I needed a teapot and I couldn’t conceive of paying $16 when there was an $11 model for sale. T gave me the look that said I was being nuts (what’s five more dollars?), but I wouldn’t hear otherwise. We bought the $11 teapot and left the store with many other ultra-cheap items.

Seven months later, I go to make tea and I notice that my $11 teapot is warped and full of rust. I would blame the fact that I leave water in it all the time if it wasn’t also rusted on the OUTSIDE. Stupid, cheap teapot. And yet, as I perused the aisles for a replacement, I thought about the consequences of super cheap. While goodness knows I love a deal, sometimes you really do get what you pay for. My $11 teapot is a waste… of time, of money, of resources. A relatively small waste, but one that adds up over time.

I can’t take back the poor purchases, and being faced with the same situation again, I’d probably pick some of the same dirt-cheap items out of necessity. However, from now on, I will make a point to be thoughtful about my spending and more grateful about the non-temporary items at my real home. And, to conclude in flippant fashion, now I have a teapot I love a little too much considering it’s still just a vessel meant to boil water.


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