Chad went on a 125 mile bike tour this weekend. I'm so happy for him! He has wanted to do this for a loooong time. Unfortunately, he's being pelted with rain, and there is NO shelter in the middle of Nowhere, NM. So, the girls and I are having a girlie weekend complete with toenail polish, princess movies, a dinner out and a real movie in a real movie theater. I have wanted to take the girls to see WALL-E and this was the perfect opportunity.
First of all, we loved it (save the 2 potty breaks and tiny meltdown quickly quashed).
If you haven't seen WALL-E the basic premise is this: earth has become a giant garbage dump filled with the discarded byproduct of humanity's consumerism at the behest of Buy N Large (I am pretty sure this is Allway Artmay (I don't want some corporate lawyer coming after me). So humans abandoned the planet to an army of clean-up robots. Hundreds of years have pased and only one is left, WALL-E. He is a lonely little guy, with only a VHS copy of "Hello Dolly" to keep him company -- until humans send a robot probe to who discovers that life is again possible on earth, allowing repopulation. They become friends. Meanwhile, humans have become completely dependent upon robots and machinery; B n L takes care of them from cradle to grave. They are (pardon the term) fat, lazy and without any ambition. Long story short, the computers are overthrown, humans regain their ambition and repopulate earth, starting from scratch.
I thought for sure that the girls would just remember the cute little robots and their funny antics. Given this is a PIXAR movie, I knew it would be very funny, and it was. But, when I asked them on the way home what the movie was about, Smart Cookie Ingrid said, "don't buy too much stuff." HALLELUJAH!
Consumerism is a challenge that we really struggle with. When we moved from Almost Canada, ND to Almost Mexico, AZ, we dumped about 1/3 of our stuff via a really successful garage sale. We often talk about our "'Almost Canada' Mindset", and our desire to maintain the attitude.
We've tried to scale back here, going back to essentials on our shopping list, using safer cleaning chemicals, cooking from scratch, Chad's biking to work, starting a modest garden (which we want to expand this fall).
As most Christians know , Jesus talked more about money than any other topic. The reason of course is because stuff can become a slave master, and a hard driving one at that. Think about how greed, unchecked desire, gluttony, etc. consume every part of our life. We work too hard to earn extra money, thereby neglecting our families, drive bigger vehicles that we now can't afford, bigger homes than we need, eat fast food meals because we didn't have time to cook at home because we worked too hard to buy the stuff that we want, and the circle goes round and round...
Now I know this problem is way more complex than I've stated in one little paragraph. I type this as I'm watching a Disney movie that the girls wanted to rent at Blockbuster on our nice TV...I know there are plenty of extenuating circumstances. People's lives are complex, not simple. Moms DO have to go back to work for lots of very good reasons. Dads DO have to work really long, hard hours to make ends meet. Children do love princesses, pirates and dragons, and the DVDs about them -- it brings them joy. I'm not saying we all need to "live off the grid".
But WALL-E did slap a little bit of sense back into me. I will think twice the next time the girls ask me for that Disney toy/gummy/cereal/clothing tie-in to their next princess movie. After all, aren't I more "socially conscious" because I shop at Argetay instead of Almart Way? HAAA! Nope.