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  • Hysteria By GIRLONFILM Contributor

Culprits Of Materialism: Sugar Daddies

From Hysteria By GIRLONFILM Issue 02 "CHERRY KISSES".

Written By: Quinn Fiona Garvey

“I didn’t know what to wear today so I put on this designer t-shirt.”

For no reason other than to be utterly ridiculous- I often walked into my middle of nowhere high school wearing an oversized Moschino shirt. This was the land of F-150’s and Olive Gardens, no one had any idea what it was, no one cared. I figured as much, and instituted my best friend as a spokesperson; he would run around and whisper; “do you know how much her shirt cost??”

I had experienced rich people before, a boyfriend in Cape Cod…who bought Givenchy sweaters at Barneys, and talked about Dom Perignon so much I thought it was his weird uncle or something. So I had a bone to pick. With him and his dad’s Amex, with my shitty hometown, with the cards I had been dealt.

And I expressed this frustration, the agonizing feeling that I landed in the wrong place- with buying every single cool article of clothing I saw on Tumblr. No creative process, no deliberation, if I saw it, it had to be mine.

This pattern would ebb and flow throughout my life; watching the spending habits of others, gaining a pretty surface level interest in sneakers just because, collecting magazines in the hopes that someday I’ll read them all. Working in the fashion industry only made it worse.

Not for the reasons you might think, but because everyone I worked with had some older man buying them bags, lips and vacations.

Are sugar daddies the real culprits of materialism? This is something I oftentimes think about, I once was at the grocery store trying to buy bananas and a man got in my face promising a Gucci bag. Sir, this is Gelsons…

Or could it really just be our hunting and gathering instincts? I do like this theory, it makes me feel better.

You know what I think is really weird? Those “one in every color” people. Because really, what is the point in that? You need a rainbow of cashmere beanies?

When I started working in estate sales, I noticed the ever present word “hoarder” on practically every listing. And although their homes were filled with stuff, I found it to be a little bit unfair- to call them out like that when they can’t defend themselves. Because I know what I’d say if someone said that to me; I’d give them a blank stare and say; “No, I’m a collector. An archivist.”

I’d write someone off if they said that to me, they clearly don’t get it. It’s another minimalist on their high horse.

Good for you, you have four pairs of pants.

When it comes down to it, we’re all hoarders. I feel this way as I watch video after video of some monstrous clothing haul, from fast fashion to thrift finds.

Today, more is more.

My friends and I joke about how we can’t close our dresser drawers, while we’re at the flea market shopping for y2k velour sweatsuits we’ll wear for one photo.

I’m not the biggest fan of minimalism, typically I equate it to just…boring. But after spending 20 minutes on TikTok I can find, deep down, a semi-appreciation for it (I still hate minimal design with all my heart and soul). They did something right, they love their organic cotton t-shirts so much they’ll go to some heinously overpriced Abbot Kinney boutique and pick out two. And then I imagine they go home and meditate and drink plain green tea.

What is up with the rest of us? With our vintage finds pouring out of trash bags, with the “dupe” investigators plugging their Amazon storefront any chance they get.

Every time I post about an estate sale someone says, “You can’t take it with you.” So…if we all are very aware of that fact, what are we doing? Really think about it, why is scrolling on eBay for another Dior bag taking up our whole afternoon (calling myself out here)??

What, are we going to be buried with all of our things Cleopatra style?

I’ve lived in L.A. long enough to embrace the whole; crystals, sound bath, sage every room you walk in, route. I’ve spent many weekend brunches talking with my friends about “being present” and feeling “grounded”. We’re all muting people on Instagram, and taking more walks, but when it comes to buying less and appreciating what we have more, we’re inept.

I want to be more present in my shopping experience. I want that feeling of finding the dream bag to last after the first wear.

I want a visceral experience styling my trusty old jeans in 500 different ways.

I dream of the perfect light jacket, that is glued to my arm any time I go out. It sits perfectly, either with a dress or a halter top. I’m still looking for it- on eBay and at the fleas. That is such a key part of the experience, the hunt for a piece that someday, when the time is right, will simply present itself to you.

I’m just hoping I can conjure up the strength to not buy any of the almost-perfect jackets I see along the way. I hope I have the wisdom to know those jackets are for someone else, and they’ll have their homecoming when it all aligns.

Regardless of the trends, I’ll always go back to my old as dirt monogram Dior bag.

I bought it (on eBay) when I got my first full-time job out of college. It was beat up when I got it, and it’s beat up now.

But I love the stories it has to tell. There’s spots of paint from an artist I used to know, a weird stain in the lining from when an Uber driver gave me a suspicious cookie and I didn’t know what to do with it.

It houses my favorite and most likely expired lipgloss, rocks my grandpa painted, and a gelato spoon from my first trip to Paris.

Maybe this isn’t helping my argument about hoarding less, I should probably toss the lipgloss.

But I hope moving forward, my next purchase is as definitive as that Dior bag that has had so many lives, and keeps on kicking.


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