Sam Houston 2022

Sam Houston. 



A little ‘spaced’ out: We love our stuff and we are keeping it!



Sam Houston is the publisher of the Hood County News. He is also an actor, author, playwright, performer and entertainment producer/promoter.


Perhaps more so than any place else on earth, we Americans are a society of consumers. We are obsessed with acquiring “stuff,” and even after we acquire “stuff,” we want even more. In 1950 the size of an average American house was 983 square feet. By 2015 the average house averaged 2,439 square feet. During the same time period, the average number of people living in a house dropped from 3.6 people in 1950 to 2.5 people in 2015. This means while the number of occupants in a house dropped by 31%, the number of square feet increased nearly two and half times!

Why do we need so much space, and why such dramatic growth in such a short period of time? What do we do with all the space, which people did not have in 1950? The answer: we get more stuff! We “need” more knickknacks, coffee and end tables, chairs and sofas. We “need” more wallcoverings, paintings, lamps and beds. The “bigger and better” houses call out to us to be furnished, and that is exactly what we do.

Once we get a house decorated just the way we like, we are not satisfied. Every few years there is a change in style, or we simply get tired of our “look” and a change must be made. Out goes the sofa purchased a mere five years ago, and in comes the new. Wall decorations must change, as well as the other adornments.

And what do we do with the items that have been replaced? We get a storage unit to keep our “stuff” in case we ever need it “one day.” Nowadays, a cowboy cannot throw an old horseshoe without hitting a storage facility! The rental units must be very profitable, because there seems to be a new facility everywhere you look. It is not uncommon for a person to rent a storage facility and, in a couple of years, need to upgrade to a bigger space because the old unit is full of too much “stuff” as the “newest old stuff” gets added to the inventory. Thank goodness we have a safekeeping place for our excess “stuff.”

Granted, some folks do have garage sales to get rid of “stuff” they no longer want. Frequently they take the money and go to a different garage sale and buy someone else’s unwanted “stuff,” or take the cash and buy new “stuff.”

This is not to imply the only “stuff” we buy is for the house. Heavens no! Though the closet in the master bedroom is full, as well as the closet in the guest room, we feel compelled to get new clothes, shoes and accessories. While sometimes we sell or give away those items that have become unfashionable, more times than not we keep our “stuff” just in case we lose some weight, or something comes back into style. One never knows when they might want to break out a polyester leisure suit or the like.

We are consumers, even when there is absolutely nothing we need or require. It is like a genetic trait we cannot separate from ourselves. We are destined to buy, and then buy more.

I have decided to take my savings and invest heavily in Amazon and storage units. I have faith that their future is bright.

Thought for the day: How come people love clothing when they buy it, but yet hate 75% of the clothes in their closet?

Until next time … I will keep ridin’ the storm out. | 817-573-7066, ext. 260