The Masks We Wear

Organising the pantry

As lovely as our recent little holiday to the Blue Mountains was, we did see hoards of tourists pouring in on the weekend - this reminded me of the far-reaching arms or consumerism.

A cheap and easy meal.
Throw in all your mismatched pasta,
a little left over bacon, a spring onion,
a tomato, a little cream maybe.

Whilst sitting in a quiet little un-trendy coffee shop sipping my very first dandelion latte (who knew they were so tasty?!) I was reading an article about the different masks we wear.  It got me thinking about consumerism and the masks we wear due to it.  We put the happy, engaged, productive worker mask on so we can keep our job so we can meet our self-inflicted expenses and repayments. We don the cheery spouse mask to ensure our marriages and relationships stay together whilst in reality consumer-driven money worries can be white-anting the relationship. We tie on  the mask of the in-control parent ensuring that our offspring are bought all the necessary things required for children in the modern world  - $400K worth by the time they are 18 I hear. We have several masks or faces for all the unimportant people in our lives and we even have masks we wear so we do not have to face ourselves sometimes. One of the most obvious masks is the party mask...mixing with folk that we really do not give a toss about, pretending to be interested in their lives, the bad BBQ and the nasty alchohol being swigged by the gallon.

Capsicum and eggplant on their way now.
They sulked for a week after transplanting but have perked up now.

One of the most insidious masks we put on is the 'success' mask. Success it seems can only be proven by having the latest model XYZ300 in the driveway, living in Stuffedshirtia Heights, sending all the children to Grymbles Ladies College, shopping at 'The Village', eating out regularly at the Ritz, taking holidays "abroad" and having several gold and platinum plastics in the wallet. At some point we awake from the sirens voice of consumerism as we incrementally realise that success is not of these things, nor are the purchases thereof a way to measure success. It is then that we bravely decide to remove the mask of success. We reach behind our heads to find the strings of the mask  only to realise they are missing.....never mind, instead we use a finger to find the edge of the mask so we can lift it off our face and to our horror realise that the mask has stuck to our face.  We search frantically around the edge of the mask furtively trying to find a place to lift it off from. We panic as we realise that the mask has fused itself to our faces in full and the skin had grown across the edges. In sheer desperation we tear at our faces and scratch through the skin till we find an edge of the mask and we pull....hard.  We scream in pain and fear as the mask rips off our face tearing away the fusions and lesions that have insidiously made this consumerist mask of success become who we are.  We bleed. We know we are disfigured. We also know of a surety that we are free.

Vinegar 'Mother'

Be careful of masks folks - they can destroy our lives and rot away our core values without us even noticing.

Take care and stay nice folks.



  1. I wonder if consumerism isn't worse when we are younger?
    I used to care about cars and "stuff" and being seen at parties, etc. Now, I don't give a darn and wow-life is sure enjoyable with nothing more than a great hubby, a garden to putter in, and a dirt road to ride bikes and walk on. I'm smiling now as my "consumeristic" son is starting to cross over to a simple life as well.

  2. Sue you are right, we stopped chasing things a few years ago,life in the slower lane going towards the 'I don't need it' exit is great. Our ethos is 'if we don't want it, we don't have to afford it and we have nothing to throw away when the newer one is on sale'

  3. I couldn't agree more with the previous two comments.
    Success for me these days is measured by how well the garden is growing.
    How well my family is fed, i.e. home made/from scratch.
    How much we have paid off the mortgage every month.
    And finding the sweet spot between working at paid employment and getting to stay at home, in unpaid, but oh so rewarding work.

  4. Love the success mask XYZ300 in Stuffedshirtia Heights no less. Oh Phil, on the mark as always! :)

  5. As regards myself I agree with Sue. When I was younger I was definitely much more interested in shopping - clothes, jewelry, the latest looks and trends. Now I am more interested in working in the garden and making things myself. However most people I know are very interested in their latest acquisitions and what is on their to buy list.


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