Or, how a fluffy cat saved me from the Diderot effect
Why is it that we buy things, hoping that they’ll dramatically improve our lives, even though we know that they won’t?
Ok, my living room rug hasn’t really ruined my life, but it has given me a lot more work than I had before I bought it. I wanted a rug for the living room. I felt we needed one. I spent ages poring over all corners of the internet, it seemed, before I found the one rug to rule them all.
I bought it from Argos after watching it for over a month online, waiting to pounce at a sale. At last, it did go on sale, albeit only for a fiver less, but I jumped at it!
However, much to my disgust, my lovely rug hasn’t transformed my living room into a double spread out of a glossy home magazine. After all, I still live here!
In my housy dreams, there’s universal order; in real life, it’s more chaos than anything else. What my new rug has done, however, is magically attract all of the dirt that somehow escaped this particular area of the house before it arrived.
The Diderot effect in action
In buying this rug I also bought myself a subconscious prompt to buy lots more new furniture to replace the shabby old furniture we currently have.
It’s the same thing now, as I have one single aspirational item of furniture that fits my ideal colour scheme, that I feel the need to make everything else match and live up to. Of course, the minute I buy that new armchair I want, the cat will claim it, cover it in hair and scratch it to shreds.
Contentment is the key to happiness, so I’d clearly have been better off trying to feel content without a rug… but I’ve got it now so I’ve vacuumed it, sat on it to write this post, and imagined myself being content with a future of incessant vacuuming.
Cat hair on my rug has ruined my life but saved me from lifestyle inflation
Yes, I knew the cat and the attendant cat hair would be an issue, but I had no idea what kind of an issue. When we unrolled the rug, Vader came over straight away, sat on it and claimed it.
He loves it, but in showing his love he leaves an unbelievable amount of hair behind every day.
It’s been over 6 months since we bought this rug, and whilst I do still love it, and I do still love my cat, I can’t get over how much of an obligation I gave myself (and actually paid for).
Now I have to either vacuum more often than I want to, or look at a disgusting rug more often than I want to. Or get rid of the cat.
Seeing as the cat is the undisputed master of this household and the affections of everyone therein, the cat is going nowhere.
So I bought myself an obligation to carry out more housework.
While that sucks, maybe it’s better to learn my lesson this way than to end up in an endless cycle of buying new things for my cat to destroy.