Monday, November 3, 2008

Living in a Calgon Commercial

There are many good reasons to eschew wedding gift registries. To have them is really rather greedy. If there are household items one really needs, wouldn't it be more prudent (and ethical) to cut back on wedding extravagances and buy those things for one's self? Shouldn't we, after all, have contributed most of our wedding budget to fighting injustice, and asked our guests to contribute their gift money to similar causes?

This is the utilitarian conundrum that philosophers like Peter Singer demand we confront. As important as it is to strive for moral clarity in resistance to both culture and our own impulses, there is some soft consensus among ethicists that scrupulous devotion to moral purity produces diminishing returns for investments of anxiety, isolation and intellectual paralysis.

In other words, one may achieve greater good in a life characterized by self-acceptance, companionship, reflection and pleasure. This is how I can declare that there is a universal good in wrapping myself with a fantastic bath towel.

We installed new bath linens over the weekend, having received them as gifts off our Crate & Barrel gift registry. The bliss - as if I had never dried myself before - was immense. Oh gods, oh venerable Pallas! If I am not to see in my life the accomplishment of full human equality under the law, then I think the feeling of Organic Turkish Cotton after a warm bath will comfort me for a long time.

1 comment:

Sweet T said...

This made me laugh, and weep, all at the same time. Enjoy those linens :)