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It Ain’t the Money, Honey


At the fresh age of fourteen, my friends berated me for spending fifty dollars on a swimsuit from Sportsgirl. At Christian schools it just wasn’t the done thing to lust for fashion, and it was absolutely unthinkable to be in any way money-oriented. At the time, fifty bucks seemed like a lotta dosh (bless our cotton socks naivety!). With the religious fervour that only silly teenage girls can muster, the righteous outrage that my spending so much on a swimsuit was fervent to say the least. They considered my focus on the fiscal to be positively lascivious.

To be fair, that’s exactly how I did feel. Lascivious. But not for the reasons they thought. The fact that it was sooooo much money was about as interesting to me as the Minister for Transport’s homosexuality. My hunger was rooted in a far more insidious evil; the craving for pretty things. I saw this oh-so-on-trend cobalt blue high-cut swimsuit with brilliant gold stars and fell madly, deeply and truly in love. The colour, the cut, the pattern, the material and the fit; all perfection.

Sadly friends, this obsessive behaviour is a pattern that continues to this very day (but fortunately, my taste has improved somewhat).

The house of “Design” is my church. I don’t care if it’s a $400 toaster with sleek matte steel and curvaceous soft touch buttons, a $2000 handbag made of goat skin leather that’s as soft as a field of feathery baby dandelions or a $10 hot pink and lime art deco tea cup perched primly in a Vinnie’s display case – the price is of no importance. What calls me is the beauty of it. My breath catches in my chest and I’m a goner. That thang is comin’ home to mama!

I won’t deny I have a lot of things. I won’t deny that perhaps I don’t NEED to buy everything that sets my heart a flutter. Nor will I deny that there are other places I should be spending my money (say, paying off my credit card). It may seem to many that I’m a sucker for commercialism, but really, it’s not the act of buying or the cost or the need to impress anybody else that makes me happy. I’m perfectly okay with admitting that I have been known to sit and just stare at a vase on my dining table for far longer than is considered normal, or healthy. Form can be a mesmerising and beautiful thing.

When I come home tired, wet, cold and cranky from an office filled with grey light reflecting off a hard matting floor onto blotchy Styrofoam-like ceiling panels, surrounded by pedestrian men in black suits, polyester ties and mediocre haircuts and women wearing sensible heels and caramel-coloured wool coats over charcoal with a dash of viscose… I need to shake that shit off. When I get home from a dreary, weary place I want to re-enter a world where a light panel of brilliant colour and pattern can hang from a wall with no aspirations or pretensions greater than just being, and maybe bringing a smile to my grouchy face.

Frivolous? Perhaps. But worth every penny.


words: Kristen Hodges
photo: Matt Hodges

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