Sled Dog Skippy

Monday Compact Confessional & Days 12-17

Forgive me Compactors, for I have sinned. It has been, um, 28 years since my last confession. This being my first.

I bought something new. And expensive (for me, anyway). I bought some boots. Not needed winter boots, but badass, made in America by America’s oldest boot company boots. There is really no reason for this other than I have been absolutely OBSESSED with purchasing some.

I did try to buy them used on Ebay. Truly, seriously. I was INCHES away from having some and I lost the bidding war in the last 20 SECONDS because I was a chicken-shit and didn’t want to spend $5 more to win them. Damn. So, I used my precious Amazon gift card, found some excellent coupon codes and a deal with free shipping, and I got them for $150 LESS than retail. Which is very good, to save $150, in my opinion. These are the kind of boots I feel that real adults have (I say that like I am not an adult)–they will last a lifetime if properly cared for and maintained. They are truly worth the money.

HOWEVER, this purchase was the ANTITHESIS of The Compact. This was a pure impulse purchase, no matter how much money I saved, no matter how long I have thought about these boots (1 year. Seriously), no matter how long I tried to score the color I wanted and the size I needed on Ebay. While that doesn’t sound impulsive and/or irrational, I know that it truly is because: 1) I don’t NEED them; and 2) I bought them less than 5 minutes after I lost them on Ebay out of anger and frustration. Talk about retail therapy.

So, I couldn’t make it 31 days. That does NOT mean that I have quit The Compact. I am not going to beat myself up over this because I have made really good progress in the other areas of the challenge and because well, fall down and get back up. It’s okay to screw up.

Here are the numbers for the good parts….

Day 12
Household: $13.57
This was for some TP and paper towel. I’d love to break the paper towel habit, but I work with animals who barf, poop and pee at times. On the floor.

Grocery: $8.99

Misc.: $ 5.99
Ryan bought a Discover science magazine. He can geek out. We can budget for that.

Day 13
NOTHING

Day 14
Gas (Skippy): $20.00

Grocery: $13.66

Entertainment: $20.00
This was for dinner out at Chow’s, the local Asian-Hawaiian/noodle place. It is very cheap and VERY good. Twenty dollars for two people to be filled with quality food is very reasonable here in Homer. Many of restaurants are decent, but overpriced. Everything is expensive here.

Day 15
The Big Bad Boots that are not budgeted for: $130.00 (don’t shun me!)

Day 16
Grocery: $10.37
I think all we got for that much money was some bulk unbleached flour and some Torani pure cane sugar syrup. Ay yi yi

Day 17
Entertainment: $2.00
This was for a de-caff Americano at the local coffee shop. It was my reward for working out. A LOT. I forgot my coffee mug, so I had to take a paper cup with a plastic lid. Frowny face.

How is it going? We are almost done with Month 1 already! Are you planning on going beyond January with The Compact?

Anything you want to confess?

5 Responses to “Monday Compact Confessional & Days 12-17”

  1. Kim says:

    Hey Skippy, thanks again for your great Compact updates. Hope you won’t be too hard on yourself for boot purchase. Actually, I’m intrigued by these boots, and I hope you will post a pic of them on your blog. They must be pretty kick ass! I am dying to get a nice pair of boots myself.

    My Compacting is going pretty well, and this has been a very thought provoking experience, and it continues to raise many questions in my mind. As I mentioned before, Turkey is a rather difficult place to find used goods, and I’m also dealing with the lack of recycling, the scarcity of bio-friendly things (like soaps and detergents, etc), and I also think that being smackdab in the middle of a giant city you are always going to be nearly overwhelmed by the sheer scale of consumerism and materialism.

    This compact thing is hard, and I wonder about how to make it a sustainable lifestyle choice and also, how to convince other people that its something they could do and would enjoy doing. I think that people like things, and enjoy ownership, and around the world, people see progress and life improvement in material terms. The West has lots of stuff, nice shiny things, and other people want to have nice shiny things too. How can we really promote another idea? Or how can we create a ‘consumerism’ that doesn’t kill the environment and create inequality in the world? What are the positive things that we can ‘consume’?

    Okay, sorry this comment is so long. I don’t even know if it makes sense. Anyway, I’d love to hear how this Compact experiment has changed or not changed your view on life. Good luck with the rest of January! I think I’m going to go for another month. I sort of feel like, after 19 days, the experiment is really just getting started!

    Sorry for so much babble! Smooches!

  2. MK says:

    I want to confess that I’m dying to know more about these boots!

  3. Skippy says:

    Kim,

    Your comment made sense, of course!

    I’m glad you brought up the “the West has everything….what about everyone else” argument. This directly relates to environmental impact and what happened in Copenhagen. All of a sudden, the US is pointing fingers at India and China and other large nations, basically stating “Hey guys, we had infinite, uninterrupted growth. We had whatever we wanted and took anything that was not ours. But now YOU can’t. You can’t have a higher standard of living because that would cause problems. You must create emissions controls and stick to them. Too bad.” How is that even fair? It’s like a parent telling a child “do as I say, not as I do.” Who are we to direct the world’s development anyway?

    What I have learned is that being an example is the most important part of winning an argument or convincing people that your method is reasonable. So, I tell people a little about The Compact. I just post it on FB or my blog–it’s their choice to engage, since it is one-sided. I typically don’t openly talk about it because I have this weird thing about bragging, talking about myself and feeling righteous, and talking about it makes me feel that way. For now. I know that is my own insecurity, but I don’t want to seem like I am playing the martyr, living a life of voluntary deprivation.

    So now the U.S. must be the example of living a life less crazed. That growing food in our own yards and community gardens is valuable, that we demand fair trade products, that we find joy in making purchases that give a portion to charity, that we use innovation to supply renewable energy–and we use less energy. I am not one for “greenwashing”–where a product is still hawked, but it smacks of “eco-friendly.” It’s still a product, it still took resources to create and procure. It’s still taking your money! A simpler, more balanced and unplugged life is what we need to model. I think that will take a very long time for the majority of Americans to embrace that lifestyle and model it for others. It is hard to be patient when it seems like the sky is falling and only drastic measures will solve the problems of the world.

    The other thing that has helped so far is to truly adopt the “if I don’t love it, I don’t buy it” mentality. I know that is hard to do with such banal things like toothbrushes and dish washing liquid, but it becomes easier when you set out to consume and purchase things that are good for the planet, good for animals, good for fair trade–the purchase comes out of LOVE for others and the planet. A toothbrush purchase can become an elevated experience if you do your research and seek out what the best option is. I know that might be hard in Istanbul–you mentioned that environmentally friendly products are hard to find.

    I think you are doing an amazing job and that’s all you can do. The Compact is about awareness; we must stop consuming so much and we must consume with care when we do consume.

    I hope this rambling helps!

  4. Justin says:

    I <3 paper towels and my subscription to Backpacker magazine… :-/

    - judge me not, I beg you.

  5. Skippy says:

    @ Justin–you are absolved, this one time.

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