As I drove down the Patullo bridge on a dark rainy Vancouver morning, I wondered how our relationship with our stuff is. Are we monogamous or polyamorous?
One can’t truly be monogamous when it comes to things, because we obviously need multiple objects in our lives. As many are, I’ve been an integral part of fast consumption. I’ve dated too many things in a very short time. Emotional intimacy with one object was a rarity like the sweater my aunt passed on to me that I’ve outgrown but something that will always be close to me.
Lately though, I’ve been more intentional with every stuff I date. How is my relationship going to be with object A? Are we going for the long-haul? Do I want to fling it with object B at the same time because it’s available? Because Black Friday just seems to make nonmonogamy so easy. Not any kind of nonmonogamy, but the kind that is unethical, that in unkind, that jumps from one object to another without a thought in between. It hurts the system and it hurts our environment.
We might as well be swinging or swapping objects together, sharing and reusing, but at least this way it lasts longer, it has a meaning, it’s intentional consumption.
So when you say you have a capsule wardrobe, you are building something with only the clothes you love. You are mixing and matching to be the kind of poly you want to be.
As I move to a new home, I’m bringing home with me my old partner objects that I have committed to go the long haul with while I explore new things as I grow. Some of the things need repair and I want to make an effort to make amends.
I picked a few pre-loved containers on my way back home yesterday because I had space for them in my life. They have a specific purpose. They bring the scars of their past from their previous owners and I love them just the way they are. The moment I saw them in that thrift store, I knew they belonged with me and me with them.
It’s an intentional journey that cares less about sales and discounts and more about carrying forward the idea of how you want to build your relationships with things.
So I go on the Facebook Marketplace app, I’m hovering until the right object comes along, waiting to swipe right when it does, waiting to ask the previous owner “Is it available?” only when I truly need it.
P.S.: A little joke that I came up with for my Marathi friends. “Aren’t we all polyamras 🥭?!”