"Not Buying It" essay

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Judith Levine, the author of the book Not Buying It: My Year Without Shopping, in the section titled “New and Improved”, asserts that she would stop buying unnecessary things like those which are leisure oriented. She spends most of her time contemplating on her next move of “not buying it” and how it could affect her social life (Levine 65). She says that she only spends money on those things that she considers as necessities. The heroine states she does not have the dependence on  buying as such (Levine 52). For instance, she does not buy luxury silky embroidered handbags she sees on a display even though it costs about $10 dollars (Levine 57, 58). She notes that not patronizing cafes, bars, or restaurants has made her social life awkward (Levine 58).

She even goes forward and points out that although she may be facing a social problem as a result, she will not manipulate her decision of “not buying it.” By following this, she sees that she would forfeit convenience or lose communion and conviviality in her life (Levine 59). She soon finds out that this law of “not buying it” touches many social activities that cost money such as dinning out with friends and going to certain cultural events (Levine 54).

If I decided to embark on a similar experiment, as the author undertook, my personal social life would change a lot. First, this “Not Buy It” phenomenon might result in my losing some social friends. For instance, the friends I spend time with at weekends and during social events like attending games, watching movies in theatres and during cultural events. Eventually, the level of friendship and connection with my comrades will lessen, making me feel like a social recluse (Levine 65). I feel that this will make me a less social person as a number of my friends will decrease.

Some of the social events and the things I would eliminate include attending movie theatres and going to music concerts. I would do away with going to stadia to watch games, especially basketball which is my favorite and having work related or social meetings in cafes.  I believe that giving up my tendency to watch movies in theatres would greatly reduce my expenditure at weekends and this would create more time for my studies. However, this would steal the thrill I always associate with watching movies in a theatre, especially when they are in 3D, or there are big modern screens. On the other side, not going to movie theatres would make me fully utilize the resources I have in my house, for instance, I under utilize the DVD player I possess. So in that case, I would go to public libraries and borrow movies and come to watch them at home. Again, I would borrow books in public libraries since I would spend much time indoors, and this would help  improve my literature knowledge.

Doing away with social meetings or even work meetings in cafes/ restaurants means that we would neither hold those meetings in someone’s house or in mine. Organizing encounters in my house, especially on work matters, means that many people would come to my place. This might bring inconveniences and infringe on my privacy. Also, having social meetings in the house, especially with the opposite sex, may result in unwanted intimacy. The author says, “If forced to meet at someone’s home…it’s hard to maintain any business distance; the level of intimacy can feel too high” (Levine 59). 

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