For Christmas, my husband received a gift from an estranged relative: a decorative ashtray made out of a nautilus. At least, we think it's an ashtray. Maybe it's a paperweight. Hard to tell.
"Do you want this?" My husband said to his sister. "I have no use for it."
My brother-in-law threw up his hands and said, "What are your poor future children going to do, when you throw away their toys because you 'have no use for them'?"
Yes, he actually said that. See, brother-in-law is an enthusiastic consumerist and bit of a hoarder. He doesn't understand why we would throw things away, or why we would choose not to buy something that's on sale. When we get rid of things or sell things, he thinks that we are cold, uncaring, unsentimental people. I think he actually worries for our future children, afraid that they'll be deprived of toys and presents.
Maybe my brother-in-law feels threatened by our minimalism. I don't know. I want to tell him that it's not that we don't like stuff, it's that we choose to keep only what we love and use most. But as you may have guessed, this particular relative is great at arguing, poor at listening. It doesn't bother me much; except that this particular relative has a big mouth and who knows how he is describing our new lifestyle to other family members. "Don't give them any presents, they'll just throw them away."
On second thought, that may not be such a bad thing. Ha!