Saturday, September 15, 2012

We live in the Capitol

We DO live in the capitol of Wisconsin, but that is not what I'm talking about. Last night, Tim and I ditched the kids (well, actually Lula ended up coming because she wouldn't stop crying, so yeah) and went to the movie theater on campus to watch The Hunger Games. We've read the books and heard it was a good show, so we didn't want to miss out on seeing it in the theater, and it was free and a guy/girl from my cohort came over for free baby-sitting. But sitting and watching the political and social commentary play out, we couldn't watch to the end. We left a few minutes into the actual games. Besides realizing that a 9 pm movie was not the best idea for this sleep-deprived couple, we both couldn't stomach the irony that we were sitting in the theater with a bunch of other people watching and enjoying a violent movie about enjoying watching violence. Obviously, the violence we were watching wasn't real, but the point is to make it look real and believable and non-distinguishable from actual violence. I loved the books and liked the movie as much as the next person, but I (and Tim as well) still had an existential moral dilemma in that theater, and could not finish watching.

Aside from the violence of the movie, I also laid awake last night thinking about how we DO live in the Capitol -- the luxuries of our day-to-day life, the plentiful food that the average American household throws away 40% of what they purchase, the incessant need to be skinnier/less hairy/wear more make-up/buy fancier clothes. How many of us have name-brand clothing that costs more for a pair of pants than many people in the developing world make in a month? What about that Coach purse my mom bought last month that cost more than some people make in six months? The manicures and waxing and hair appointments just seem so excessive. The larger and larger houses we own, the waste. It all is so disgusting to me, yet I don't know a way out or even any kind of solution. We do live pretty dang minimally, but we still spent $500 on a STROLLER last month. That just seems so absurd to me sometimes.We have all of this furniture and clothing and toys for our children, and we probably have less than many people in the US, but usually I still look around and think we have too much.

It also blows my mind what a wasteful society we live in. A few days ago I went to take the trash out, and when I opened the lid of the dumpster I noticed a large number of nice plastic hangers, so I started pulling them out because we need hangers. After I pulled them out, I noticed so many other things... and by the end of the dumpster-diving event, we ended up with really nice grey organic cotton sheets for our bed, a duvet and cover, four pillows, a step stool, a hair dryer, a toaster, some clothes for me, some plastic bins, an unopened box of tampons, a bike pump, a beach towel, and I think that was all, but it was a TON of stuff. And it wasn't trashable stuff, most of it was practically new... the pillows were bright white, the sheets were maybe a few months old, and I couldn't believe that the people who were doing the trashing couldn't possibly just drive it over to Goodwill. Ridiculous. I'm glad I found it because it was all stuff that we could use (maybe not the hair dryer, but I'm going to give it away), but also because WHAT A WASTE. Geez people.

I don't know the solution or have really any answers, so if you know, please inform me. Meanwhile, we will live in our tiny apartment and attempt to live with less, but still realizing we have more than most.


By: Tim
Atticus woke up sick, so we stayed inside watching shows for a while. Mom went to school. Then we went on a run together and played Arthur game until Mom got home. Cait took Lula to Costco and I hung out with Atticus. When she got back we unloaded the car and hung out outside with two nice families from Spain, and they fed us delicious rice and chicken and shrimp and tea and a nice Japanese lady brought out tiny gourment cookies. Atticus played with the Spanish and Japanese children for a few hours. That's how Eagle heights roles. Then we went on the date related above.


  1. We got an XBox out of the trash at Wymount. Dumpster diving rockz.

    ps. I agree with you about The Hunger Games movie. Very uncomfortable.

  2. I couldn't stop laughing after I pictured you two as the dumpster diving couple in portlandia. But seriously, I agree with you. I am trying so hard to shop with purpose and generate minimal waste. We have a great recycling and composting program so some of my neighbors have almost no trash.

    And... play Arthur game? :)

    1. Haha! I love that episode so much and also thought of that!

    2. (And this is Celia--not Nathan :) )

    3. "Play arthur game" is how Atticus says (and sometimes screams) it 800 times a day.

    4. I know, I was imitating Atticus. :)

  3. Save the hair dryer for me! I need one.