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Having is not so pleasing as wanting. Except...


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Ciao tutti!


I rarely write long, rambling posts anymore. I just don't have time, much less energy. I've been going to a lot of funerals lately, five inside of a year, for people aged 39-90. The contemplation, thus, was inevitable. The off-season and summer's heat often persuade me to write about fur's place in my wardrobe -- and my life. The impending FIFA World Cup Final reminds me of the last World Cup Final, after which I moved to Europe for a year and changed my entire life.


I thought I'd share this bit from the fur fashion guide forum and begin a discussion here. Navigate over to the "Is Fur A Status Symbol" on that website for more. Being the self-absorbed lout that I am, I'll just paste my most recent reply here.




Originally posted by allforme: Joe, I really do not think that the average woman in Britain craves after one particular thing any more.



I am not a woman but I never yearn for anything in particular but i am practically and logically minded. I could afford to purchase a fox fur coat but I would have no real use for it and so i resist; I can put the money to better use.



I appreciate your insight. And I think this speaks of the broader matter of "class aspirations". The fur industry's PR and advertising arm used to lean on the fur coat being a sort of woman's "fantasy garment", but they marketed furs to men as "symbols of your own success".


Growing up in the 80s, I didn't quite realize the sense of social reversal going on. After millions more women entered the workforce before I was born, supposedly as equals...they were met with "Color Me Beautiful", shoulder pads, massive hairstyles and what-have-you, all originated by male designers.


As much as I loved hugging Power Furs, I realized after thirty years that women can't move in them. And why should you, as long as you're nice to look at, Madam? I call 80s fashion for women "Symbols of My Man's (Which I Consider My Own) Success".


I had to search far and wide before I found expert female furriers in the USA. I'm talking girls with tools here, folks. Most of them have chosen not to be sole proprietors, but the late Nija Battle and her sister, Saadiya, were the best known. They were the storefront and the backstage, all rolled into a target-market-friendly package. Their hip-hoperation (pardon the pun) embraced the changing aspirations of a whole new class of "nouveau riches"...helping to bring back the big fox coat in the process. We owe Saadiya, one Sean Combs and lots of music video producers our gratitude...


The hip hop demographic often gets overlooked. Frankly, it's difficult not to sound racist, or at least classist, when I criticize what the notion of "A Whole Lot Of Money Real Fast Like I Never Had Before" did to the aspirations of millions of, frankly, poor folks. My own value system and "class aspirations", as it were, owe more to the depression-era lectures of my Jewsh and Mediterranean dark-complexioned grandparents than my contemporaries up on the tee-vee machine. They used to keep their money in a mattress. True story. I might have deposited a few thousand more dollars in my pocket had I followed "Ima Git This Money Now, Bee-otch" rather than "Make It Last / Wear It Out / Make It Do / or Do Without".


But after thirty-odd years of pining away over one particular type of garment...which I don't usually wear outside in their intended climate anyway...it gives me a unique perspective on "stuff".


An Aunt of mine, the fur-loving one, began telling me at age five: "remember, having is not so pleasing a thing as wanting...".


I hate to say this, but maybe it's a good thing during the off-season for us to take planned vacations from our fur fetish or admiration or soft addiction or whatever-you-call-it.


Communicating actively about your interests and their place in your life is a really good thing to do. It's a big, but friendly, world out there too. Spending hard (or not so hard) earned money on a fur is a pretty nice privilege... but as my Grandmother, who lived to be 91 used to say, "what am I gonna do with da fur when I'ma dead?"...




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Nice post Joe.


I started to respond, but I want to reflect a bit. Maybe you could add more breadth and depth to it, so we can have you "fill in the lines".



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Good post Joe.


I'd agree with everything you said except I would add that you only experience true spiritual fulfillment when you have no posessions at all. I do have some furs and I know the immediate thrill when they first come out of the box very well, but it only fuels the fire and is SO self indulgent. However each to their own - every man has to find his or her own path.



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So many things you said in there. How we owe some of these modern folks a whole lot re the industry.


And certainly the industry has gotten a lot of unfair publicity added to the other problems that they have had. They have certainly been treated unfairly. So much so that it is pretty difficult even for Sean and the other folks you mentioned to over come that. I often think of movies. How many times is a woman or a man in a fur coat the hero? Tells a lot doesn't it.


Anyhow, like the others I need to think on this a bit. But your closing thought is true.


Having is not nearly as pleasing as wanting. That indeed says a lot!



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How many times is a woman or a man in a fur coat the hero? Tells a lot doesn't it.


Very true ... Since the late 80's seems like you're more likely to see a "villain" swathed in fur than a "hero". Several characters are coming to mind.


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I started to respond, but I want to reflect a bit. Maybe you could add more breadth and depth to it, so we can have you "fill in the lines".


Joe/Linda ... Still looking furward to your updates ... Hint, hint ...


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I can only do threads like this in the morning with a triple espresso ...maybe tomorrow morning.


The local Starbucks must have closed.


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Now that I have several furs I find it very hard to justify buying more. I have the silver fox I always dreamed of and have decided to enjoy sable in pictures rather than getting a loan to buy one. I love having them but I don't wear them so they stay in the closet or storage most of the time.

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I think it is more important to consider why you want something rather than what you want.


I want a lot of things. I want new things for my rifle collection. I want new photography gear. I want computer stuff. I want Bears. I want fur. If I could afford a whole room full of furs, I would buy them.


However, it is important for me to consider why I want these things. Do I want them because I read an article in a camera magazine telling me I should buy the latest gizmo? Is this something I can actually use to take better pictures? Is there some other thing that will allow me to do what I want which isn't so expensive?


I have spent a lot of time in the darkroom developing real photographs instead of shooting a digicam. I am finding that my photography is really starting to develop. It is becoming quite satisfying to be able make good photographs again. Photography isn't a cheap hobby but it's a useful thing for me. It helps me develop and grow, personally. I believe the money is well spent.


I also enjoy target shooting. It is a good thing to teach mental discipline. It is satisfying when I can pinpoint a target the size of a quarter from 50 yards away. Discipline, focus and a steady hand are worthwhile skills to develop. However, I can already plink quarter-sized targets all day long. As much as I would like to be able to shrink my groups down to dime-sized targets, the expense would be too great for the benefit I get. The cost of accuracy like this grows exponentially. It might cost me $100 for the parts to make a gun shoot quarters at 50 yards but it would cost $500 to make it shoot dimes. As much as I would like to be able to put 3 bullets through the same hole in the target, the cost of this exercise is not worth it to me. This would not be money well spent.


At this point in time, I am prioritizing my expenditures on my hobbies. I am still spending time shooting and working on my photography but I am spending less on shooting. I don't NEED new stuff for my rifle except ammunition, targets and supplies. I am getting much more benefit from photography so that is where I am spending more of my disposable income.


I have a fur coat for my wife. I have some fur things to play with and there are lots of fur Bears in our den. My wife and I both like fur but, right now, we have what we want or need. If a good deal on some furs came up, we would certainly consider it but we're not going out of our way to buy furs.


May items lose their perceived value when you have too many of them. If we had a lot of furs in this house, I don't believe we would enjoy them as much. Fur's perceived rarity makes it seem more pleasurable to us.


Finally, we just don't like giving in to the pressure to BUY! BUY! BUY! all the time. Not only do we need to save our money, we just don't think there is anything out there that we need which we don't already have.


Maybe this means that we have an innate understanding that wanting can be more pleasing than having but I also think that it means that wanting what you have instead of having all that you want is even more pleasing.

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Exactly right, worker. A person needs to have financial discipline and be able to prioritize.


I'm fortunate enough to have the ability to pretty much buy whatever fur I wanted, whenever I want to. That said - suppose I lose my job tomorrow? Suppose I'm hurt or ill and can't work? If the money dries up, a closet full of furs will not make more than a handful of mortgage payments. Now consider that I live in Florida and the 'need' for me to have more furs drops dramatically. Sure a have a number (5 real/2 faux/a number of boas and other 'playthings') but unless I'm thinking that a particular fur is a 'real good deal', there just isn't any great 'need' (or even desire) for me to add to my collection.



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Was not sure what "turn" this thread was going to take, so waited to respond ...


I would guesstimate that 50% of my fur purchases have been carefully planned and the other 50% were more "impulse buys" (great deal I could not pass up, etc.). With 10 furs in storage right now, I don't feel the need to add to my collection either. I still feel the desire to add to my collection, but only for those furs I don't own. I still want/crave sable and lynx...but with fox, fisher, mink, raccoon, and coyote in the closet they no longer tempt me the way they used to. So to an extent I agree that "Having is not so pleasing as wanting". My "fur fantasies" now involve furs I do not currently own or "extravagant" versions of furs I currently own.


Still interested in hearing others' thoughts (especially during the slow summer period) ...

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Many people have collections of things. Some people collect stamps or coins. My wife and I collect Teddy Bears. You collect furs.


As a fur collector it only makes sense that you would have one of each kind of fur. If you are judicious in your collecting, making sure to collect a good example of each kind of fur, there is no logical reason you should not spend reasonable amounts in order to have what you want.


The problem becomes putting a limit on yourself so as to keep the fetish aspect of being a fur lover from overtaking your desire to be a collector of fur. Having a Teddy Bear collection 1,000 strong, that concept is driven home, almost daily, in this house. We have to be more and more choosy about the Bears we collect or else our population will get out of control. (You really don't want to know what it's like to have to feed 1,000 Bears! )


You are in the same position as I am. Being a collector of something, you have perfect license to buy whatever you want to fill your collection but, at the same time, you need to learn to be more selective in your choices.

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You collect furs.


Good summary of me, Worker.


Looking around me, I see I collect books, glass (crystal, clear and colored glass, etc.), pottery (Indian, etc.), and real/faux furs.


The additional benefit of the furs is that they are (at least semi-) practical as well. Warm, wearable, and (at least in a couple of instances) almost works of art themselves.


P.S. I would guesstimate the cost of feeding your 1,000 bears does not equal my cost of cleaning/storing 10 furs.


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