We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
There seems to be something wonderful about something new.
We recently picked up a new car, an SUV of course to help prevent global cooling. (I wanted a Suburban but that is not what She fetched - thought it was too long for her to park.) An off-lease car, because we like the idea of letting the previous owner take the hit on the depreciation nowadays. Stupid not to, since they all come with 4-year warrantees anyway.
Happily, we are down to only three - or 2 1/2 - vehicles and, finally, no boats to worry about.
However, it got me to thinking about the charms of new things. New camera, new car, new house, new dog, new gun, new girlfriend or boyfriend, new painting for the wall, new horse, new piece of furniture, new iPhone, new place to visit, new landscaping plan and new plantings, new paint job, new chain saw, new tweed sport jacket, new TV. New sexual position.
The charm of the new never lasts, but it delights for a while before it lapses into the routine. Unless your new car is a Maserati, perhaps.
What is it about the new that so enchanting, when we know that new becomes old and familiar so quickly? I ask this as someone for whom old things are the most comfortable.
1. The desire or the expectation is usually almost always a more pleasurable experience than actually getting something you wanted. Witness the cliche about the children abandoning their new Xmas toys after only a few short hours and playing with the boxes and wrapping paper.
2. Stuff is nice and we have to have it, but stuff breaks, gets lots, wears out, disappoints (see above). I've learned to appreciate all the experiences (i.e. doing) that I've shared with family and friends. As a result, when we go out to eat, we try to find some "new" place. We got to more baseball games, more movies and more vacations (shorter admittedly) but more frequent.
Yes, "consumerism" was a rather strident critique of my generation, one I never bought into. (everybody likes stuff) But like most things, there was a kernel of wisdom there.
As I once heard someone say, "Don't ever love something which can't love you back." That pretty much excludes cars, houses, stereo sets and even gourmet food. That leaves us with people and dogs. (sorry cat fanciers, you can own a dog, but a cat owns you)
"New" has not always been a selling point. I doubt that it is entirely American, but we may have led on that. Many cultures are not just suspicious, but actively resentful of newness.
Assistant VIllage Idiot
Warning: optimist alert, pessimists avert your eyes....New is a state of mind. How well you hold your appreciation and gratitude dictates how long you take joy in what ever blesses your life. I am newly married going on 20+ years. It's amazing to think someone can love me, and I him with all our faults and foibles, so steadfastly. Thinking about that gives me immense satisfaction. I live in a mid-century modern house going on 6 years and every time I come home I think Wow I live Here with this View. I have a newly acquired '61 Bambi airstream that makes me giggle when I see it. I get to camp in something that looks like a foil covered chocolate. I expect I will never get over that. I also have a new iphone and I am constantly amazed at how useful it is. If something breaks, oh boy I get to go shopping and if something lasts well it's humbling to think that the house and furnishings will be here after I am dust. Seasons also help. I'm constantly excited that something is being taken out of storage - such as the kayak or a favorite sweater. I miss the snow when it melts (except maybe this year) and I love seeing the trillium come up again.
They are uncertain and it produces uneasiness or anxiety. Once they have decided and the purchase is made the uncertain vanishes. They feel better. They associate that relief with the object purchased. But only for a while.
Buying paper staples is not a major purchase. We pick up a box, don't care if we have even heard of the brand, and pay. The is no sensation of having new staples.
We do not buy houses, cars, or 80" televisions so casually.