Daily Archives: May 17, 2016

Keeping Up With The Joneses: A Mental Health Issue

“”Keeping Up with the Joneses” A not so modern phenomena that seems to create a disabling desire to have the next best thing, or a better thing than the next person. ”                                                                                                                   As Defined by Author E.Lutze

Having grown up in a home where a weekly trip to the thrift store was better than sliced bread; where our Sunday Crock Pot chili was disguised as Spagetti, Sloppy Joes, Sheppard’s Pie and Meatloaf (who was my Mom kidding 🙂 ); where being the youngest meant all of my clothing and shoes were hand me downs; our junk food was a Saturday visit to the Local Bulk Food Store…This lifestyle could have created two results; a person surrounded by brand new shiny materialistic things; or a person humbled by her meager beginnings; appreciative of anything she could make beautiful. I was the latter.

Everyone in my life knows that if they are graduating to the next best thing to ask me if I am interested in the used item that they are moving on from; sometimes I respond with a plucky “YES!” and sometimes I pass because I feel convincing my husband that we need these sloppy seconds will take more effort. He is frugal-he had a mother and father who survived The Great Depression; a mother who tried to pass on a bag of “gently used maternity underwear that had been in the family for generations”; I deflected that by stashing the bag until a few weeks after the birth passed. Somehow though, I turned out more frugal than he is. Maybe a result of not having a television growing up and stockpiling a whole lot of skills to remedy the impending boredom I sometimes felt.

***Sidenote*** Pinterest is hazardous to the health of those who delight in seeing other people’s trash on the side of the road and wish to transform it into something new and beautiful!*** You know what they say “One woman’s trash is another woman’s treasure.”-Well something to that effect.

Living in the small, quite affluent town I do, I have seen a mass number of “Keeping Up with The Joneses Behavior”-The fact that I don’t makes me stand out as “that dirty hippy down the road”.

Anyway, I see people disabled by it on those rare occasions where they come clean to me while waiting in the school yard, or confide in me about how in debt they are. I have that trusting kind of vibe about me.

Is “Keeping Up With The Joneses” a mental health issue? I am beginning to really think so. I have seen people so caught up in making sure they have the best of everything that trying to do it effects their personal lives, family lives and relationships with those around them. What happens with this strange mental state is that they see someone elses’s something new and then their palms get all sweaty; their anxiety peaks; their excitement rises and they start to fantasize about a bigger, better version; it’s like tunnel vision-like they are caught in a materialistic vortex unable to see they light or logic shining through the cracks. I have this incredible sense of sadness when I see this behavior. How crippling would it be to not be able to just allow someone in your life to embrace and enjoy their shiny new thing without wondering how you could get or make one better. Like riding a egotisical roller coaster ride of greed and being unable to get off; vomitting in the mouths of others with no ability to withhold it.

How could one purge themselves of this obsessive urge to have the next best; better thing?

12 Step Program to Rid Yourself of “Keeping Up With The Joneses”

  1. Don’t Worry Be Happy-With What You Gots!
  2. Smell Someone Else’s Roses-And Likes It!
  3. Be Unique-You Will Be So Proud of Yourself!
  4. “Let It Be”-Release Your Need to Keep Up!
  5. Shopping Detox-Resist Your Urge to Buy!
  6. Aknowledge & Apologize-To Those Joneses!
  7. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle-It’s The Newest Trend!
  8. DIY-Create A Board on Pinterest!
  9. Assess & Inventory-What Your Lil’ Heart Desires (Not Theirs)!
  10. Go Thift Whoring-Take A Trip to Your Local Second Hand Shop!
  11. Purge Some of Your Filthy Joneses Objects-Release & Let Go!
  12. Breathe-It’s Not What You Have It’s Who You Are That Truly Matters

Little Houses