July, 8th.

I am at a low in my freegan experiment. No idea how it happened. But somehow my state of mind switched back to consumption. I’m starting to take things for granted. I expect things to go easy or even easier than before. I expect and I want. I feel like I cannot say thank you as deep from my heart as before anymore. I see gifts as a norm. People give so they won’t have to deal with a situation where one cannot pay, let’s say, the coffee. So they pay for me. And I happily accept so I can flee that uncomfortable situation too. It’s the same damn thing except that I save a lot of money. It’s a scam with humbleness. Has it become too easy? There is no renunciation when people give what you ask for. And even though I comply to my own rule not to ask for anything, I kind of still do. Or do anew. Do I want to stop the project? Because it is too easy? Because it is kind of … pseudo? Where exactly is the fine line which’s crossing would turn me into a freeloader? Yesterday I was about to go to a barbecue of some people I know. My main motivation would have been the free food and promised leftovers. There was the habitual “eating before I leave so I don’t have to buy anything”, but right after I realized I didn’t have to because there was going to be free food. Good that I didn’t go. The reason wasn’t this insight though, the insight I would be freeloading, but plain lazyness.

Oh and at home in the kitchen, we where watching something, there was an open honey glass right in front of me. I had just eaten dinner (didn’t go to the barbecue after all) and wanted a spoon full for desert. And then I asked. It’s just a spoon full of honey, no? That’s not bending the rules too far, no? No, it is! It is wanting it. Expecting to get some. It’s consuming. And it were completely ok were I taking part in the give and take system. But I am not! I refuse to give money, I refuse to take part in a certain social contract and for this situation it means I refuse to buy things for the kitchen. Like sugar. Like detergent. Then honey becomes a big deal. I retreat from the occacional monetary contribution to our flat. So therefore I have to be extra careful in what I take to not to steel.

Today we thought about tango dancing in Berlin. I didn’t even THINK of the entrance fee! And when it finally popped into my mind, I didn’t consider staying home for much of the time thinking. I imagined how my flatmate would say that he would ivite me. And he would! But that is beside the point of this project. I shouldn’t be rewarded like that just for announcing “Hey, I am not gonna spend any money anymore.” It took a few moments until I rememered that last year one could work behind the bar to save the entrance fee. And when I rememberred that my first thought wasn’t “Oh, great, that’s how I can do it!” It wasn’t. Instead I thought: “I’d rather not work at the bar but dance. I’d rather accept the invitation from my flatmate, it’s my birthday anyway, I can see it as a birthday gift.” So by now I am expecting my friends to invite me, when they want to spend time wiht me. That’s disgusting. I’m going to do a bar-shift. Yet kind of hoping that the organizer will find out that it is my birhtday so that she will send me away to dance after half an hour or hour or so.

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3 Responses to July, 8th.

  1. Cassandra says:

    Thank you for such an honest post. It seems you are grappling with your own demons of consumer society. You identify a potential trap for all freegans – when does your protest against consumer capitalism become little more than a free-ride on the coat tails of capitalist friends? I guess the answer is searching for truly free alternatives – instead of working at the bar to attend tango night (if you really don’t want to) why not take a transistor radio and a dance partner to a public location and start your own (truly free) tango evening? (for example)

  2. Sarah says:

    Thanks for such a supportive comment!
    You know what? There even already exists the kind of street tango you suggest. It’s called Tango Hit & Run and it’s great fun! During the week there are free Milongas, too. It’s just that when friends want to go somewhere specific and want me to join, how am I going to do this? Not come? Get invited? Or are there other options yet that are hard to think of?
    And is it so bad to get a free-ride? I once read the term “live of the fat”. That implies that there actually is fat in our well fed society and it is not stealing, when I burn that fat. Maybe it is not so important whether it IS stealing, but just whether people FEEL taken advantage of. I don’t know. I feel that there are fine lines and I have yet to learn how to detect them. One reason why I’m doing this : )

  3. Pingback: 08./09. July 2011 – Night from Friday to Saturday or “Expectations create misery” | ddive

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