My husband and I like to watch social/cultural documentaries. We like to broaden our horizons by learning about new things. The problem is that as they expand our world, they also shrink it.
For instance, because of our addiction to documentaries, we no longer
*shop at Wal-Mart (Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price)
*eat the meat of unhappy animals (Food, Inc.)
*drink Budweiser, Coors, or Miller Beer (Beer Wars)
*buy food or drinks that contain high fructose corn syrup (King Corn)
*want our child to be a North Korean gymnast (A State of Mind)
OK, we never wanted that last one, but definitely not now.
Also, currently we are daring each other to be the first person to try out our stack of reusable toilet paper. No, No. . .thank YOU No Impact Man.
If we keep up at this pace, before you know it we will have sold our house and moved into a veggie-powered van out in the country somewhere. If we did, we would have to give up technology (I’d mail my handwritten blog posts to someone with an internet connection). We would live off the land. Now that I am imagining it, I’m not sure how successful we would be.
I’ve had a garden for the last two years and I’ve learned some things about myself. One is that I’m always very excited in April to start planning because it means no more frost and Spring has arrived. Then, come August, it’s not so thrilling anymore. I get disillusioned with the bugs that eat my broccoli and with weeds that bully their way in despite my layers and layers of mulch. By this time, when it is unbearably hot and my squash is drooping like a basset hound’s ears and gasping for water, I’ll admit I occasionally pretend it is winter, sit in the house with a blanket, and knit. My measures of avoidance might not be very helpful if we were farming for our food.
And, could I really live completely off the land when I’m not even sure what a turnip or a parsnip is? I’m pretty sure if you can’t drive to the grocery store to get a banana, you have to eat all kinds of weird vegetables people have heard about, but never really remember ever seeing.
As further proof, I’ve seen the way my husband is with bugs in the house. He once made me go get a broom to encourage a fly out of our house. I can imagine how that might translate to living in a place where bugs are even more prolific.
So maybe the veggie powered van life is not really for us.
Take heart family and friends, even though we keep attempting to get greener, we’ll probably never reach the far end of the spectrum (though we wave to and high five those who are out there) and don’t worry, when you visit we won’t make you use our reusable toilet paper.