If you follow my blog you probably know I met my significant other on a Contiki trip in Peru. He was hard to miss, as he and the friend he was travelling with were always joking around and were frequently the centre of attention. A couple of days into the trip he famously proclaimed (well, famous to the group anyway), ‘you can’t regret something you didn’t do if you’ve already done it’. It was his twist on Contiki’s slogan, ‘no regrets’.
I wasn’t witness to this memorable gem, but apparently, the group had been giving him a hard time for choosing to soak in a hot spring rather than go zip-lining with everyone else. He argued that he had already been zip-lining (in Canada, no less!) so he wouldn’t regret skipping the activity; the ‘no regrets’ mantra didn’t apply in this situation. He continued to stand by his awkwardly chosen words days after the missed opportunity and it became a sort of alternative slogan for the trip.
I had long forgotten about his silly slogan until it came up again late Sunday night.
After uncovering a large, dusty collection of vinyl hidden away in his parent’s house (and no working turntable to play them on), my significant other thought it would be a great idea to buy his parents a turntable for Christmas. Neither of us knew much anything about audio equipment, but we figured with a little help from Google, we’d have no problem picking one out.
I jumped on our laptop and discovered turntables ranged in price from $200 all the way up to $2,000+. Aside from the fact that the more expensive ones were clearly prettier, I couldn’t figure out what made them (theoretically) better. Realising I knew nothing about brand prestige or what kind of specs to look for, I turned to co-workers for advice.
Two weeks ago, we threw our first dinner party in Melbourne. Well, if you can call it a dinner party when there’s just one guest. But despite the small guest list, I was a bit apprehensive about hosting.
That’s not to say I’m afraid to host in general. I’ve organised plenty of get-togethers – Christmas parties, pumpkin carving parties, Cards Against Humanity parties (I like a good theme). Food was always an integral part of these gatherings, but the focus was on whipping up theme-appropriate finger foods (like pigs in a blanket that resemble mummies for Halloween or vegemite scrolls for Australia Day) rather than main course dishes. And since I pretty much plan my life around what I’m eating next, most of these parties had enough finger food to fill up on in lieu of a meal.
A few months ago, I bought a pair of black canvas shoes from a discount department store called Big W. They were $3. I had sticker shock when I saw the price – is it even possible to cover the cost of materials with three measly dollars? My next thought was about the workers who made these shoes – there’s no way they were earning a living wage. I felt extreme guilt about supporting what must be an extremely unethical enterprise. But then I bought them anyway. After all, how could I pass up a deal like that?
The ethics of how I live and shop has been weighing on my mind recently. It’s just getting harder to ignore all the facts. I used to think I shopped ethically and had environmentally responsible habits. I recycle. I try not to create unnecessary waste. But the truth is, I tend to only make ethical choices when it’s easy. Read More »