On conspicuous consumption and turning into your parents

>> Thursday, 3 January 2013

Husband and I are in London - without the kids - for a couple of 'days off' before we fly back to Moscow as a family.  I love London.  It's home (I believe I may have said that on here before...) and I hope that once we've finished our time in Russia, we return to it, but I must say that the extreme levels of conspicuous consumption that I see all around are slightly worrying.

The number of people who assumed that we were heading back here for the sales to buy more 'stuff' before we go back home surprised me;  for a start, we have two young sons who have just spent Christmas with their extended families.  How much more 'stuff' does one family need than the amount we already have to cram into our luggage allowance? (Admittedly, Husband and I are responsible for the purchase of much of the 'stuff', but I still reserve the right to mutter to myself about plastic crap when we try to pack it all away in a few days time.  It's my right as a mother, surely?)

And whilst we're on the subject of consumption, we went to the cinema last night, to see 'Skyfall'.  We don't tend to go to the movies in Russia - in fact, apart from the odd time that I take the Boys over the summer break, we don't really go at all, and certainly not just the two of us; by the time you factor in getting to and from the cinema, childcare, and then the cost of getting the babysitter home again, we might as well go out for dinner, so it's been a while since we did this.  We enjoyed the film (although Husband did wonder where all the blondes in James Bond films have disappeared to recently - to which I responded that there was only one blond who mattered and he was in the title role), but the experience left me with this question:

When did I turn into my parents?

It wasn't the sex, the violence, or the occasional bad language that makes me ask this (in fact, now I come to think of it, there was very little of two out of three of those - comparatively speaking).  It wasn't even the girl seated behind us, clearly on a first date, who was loudly sharing WAY more than was probably wise with a potential boyfriend (Mystery, ladies - where's the Mystery?).   No, what causes me to ask this question is my reaction to the constant - incessant - crunching and munching going on around me.  Sitting in that cinema was like being in the middle of a field, surrounded by cows chewing their cud.

Now, I've lived outside the UK for 3 years now, so I suppose I might have missed it.  When was the law stating that no movie experience is complete without a family-sized bucket of popcorn on your lap actually passed?


This Mid 30s Life 3 January 2013 at 12:20  

And when did a small popcorn become a mountain of the stuff? I mean, I like popcorn as much as the next person, but I don't need to eat my entire body weight in one sitting.

And I'm with you - this obsession with buying "stuff" is a bit strange. Our grandmothers got by perfectly happily without spending money they don't have on things they don't need. So yes, I have turned into my Nana. (She was tops though!)

manycoloured-days 3 January 2013 at 17:34  

oh my goodness, I feel the same way at the cinema! thanks for pointing out that it has something to do with aging :)

MsCaroline 4 January 2013 at 12:19  

I agree - the crunching can drive you crazy. But I have to say, here in Korea people like to eat fishy snacks (dried squid, cuttlefish and the like) and honestly, I'd rather hear popcorn being munched than smell dried fish for the duration of the film.

Iota 6 January 2013 at 09:45  

Ah, you need to go to America. You have the adverts and trailers, and then a break with a reminder that "there's still time to visit the concession stand before the movie starts" (concession stand = kiosk, as you'll remember from a previous blog post of mine!) There are cup holders (think bucket holders) in the seat arms. In one cinema, there are places for trays between the seats, and waitress service.

I agree with you, though. Most films are less than 2 hours long. Do we really need to eat? Really, people? Indicentally (oops!), I remember seeing on tv someone from Google, who was extolling the virtues of their custom-designed HQ building. He said that no-one was ever more than 100 metres from a food/drink station. He was clearly proud of that. I found myself scratching my head, and asking "Why?"

That dried fish smell sounds horrendous, Ms Caroline!

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