Marie Kondo’s Greatest Con: Making Us Throw out Our Crap, So She Can Sell Us Hers

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Marie Kondo’s Greatest Con: Making Us Throw out Our Crap, So She Can Sell Us Hers

Illustration: Arati Gujar

“Marie Kondo Bewafa Hai” was scrawled all over the walls of my house in a garish shade of red. It looked like blood, but it was just red lipstick. Not any ordinary lipstick, but a lipstick that sparked limitless joy every time I held it in my hands.

A few months ago, I had over a dozen lipsticks in varying shades of red. They all looked the same to me, especially when I didn’t wear my glasses. But Tidying up with Marie Kondo on Netflix changed my life forever. It taught me not all lipsticks are equal even when you are wearing glasses. They are more than inanimate objects; they’re meant to ignite feelings as well. Or so Kondo had us believe — the alternative being feeling like an insensitive moron.

If it weren’t for Kondo I would never have found out that the frog-shaped ashtray that I had picked up from a flea market (because it was so cheap) was meant to add to my happiness quotient. Kondo convinced me that I could make my home more joyful than Disneyland. But first, I had to forge an emotional connect with all my indulgences and necessities. My needs and my wants. It wasn’t easy. I had to make a mountain of all my possessions and then turn it into a molehill. It was like making my emotions run a marathon.

There were 16 pairs of jeans, 25 little black dresses, 75 pairs of shoes, scarves, tops, shirts, and cardigans (saris are sacrocant). I looked at them. Held them close to my beating heart, and asked them, “Do you spark joy?” I rubbed my face against them before deciding who to break-up with and banish from my life forever. I had to fight back tears, even as my least-favourite purple poncho made its way to the sack of discards.

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Kondo convinced me that I could make my home more joyful than Disneyland.

Netflix

I tossed and turned in bed, fantasising about my pink, flowy skirt that made me feel like a Rajput queen. Guess what? I had thrown it away in haste because I was so eager to declutter my life, just because Kondo said so. It tears my heart apart to think that my precious stack of diaries from my teen years may have progressed to a new life-cycle as lifafas at some grimy pakora stall, smelling of stale oil and sweat.

Rehabilitating myself was not easy, especially when my  heart felt as empty as my house. Yet I carried on bravely with a smile plastered on my face. Like Joker. And now, after guilt-tripping me for being a hoarder, shaming me for being a greedy consumerist, and sweet-talking me into believing almost all my beloved stuff that I had collected over the years was dumb crap because it didn’t spark joy, you have the temerity to come up with an online store that sells even more crap!

How could you, Marie Kondo?

Do you even realize how tough it was, teaching myself to be happy with my almost-empty closets and crockery cupboards, while polishing my only tea-set and folding my six remaining satin shirts and two-and-a-half towels into little balls! I had to live with the all-consuming guilt of being a heartless bitch for discarding possessions that had stuck with me through thick-and-thin (waist sizes, obviously).

But I have to acknowledge your business acumen. You made us believe almost everything we own is garbage, only to make space for your crap. Were you laughing behind our backs while we were busy looking for objects in our house that sparked joy? I will also concede your crap is no ordinary crap, but pricey AF. It is so pretentious that it makes me think a jade ball that goes in my lady parts (available on Goop, thank you very much) is a good purchase.

I am consciously uncoupling with you, Marie Kondo. You pretended to be the Zen Queen when you were in reality just a clever saleswoman.

Of course, the brass tool holder sparks joy in you because some fool still mesmerised by your Declutter Guru aura is considering spending $ 275 for this useless piece of shit. Are you telling me this brass tool holder will wash my laundry, give me a back massage, and cook me a nice meal? You think I should shell out $ 75 for a tuning fork with rose-quartz crystal from KonMari because I need to calm down? When did useless stuff become so expensive?

I know you think we are whack jobs because we followed you like hypnotised rats as you played your pipe of joy and promised us inner calm. Guess what? My daughter has still not forgiven me for giving away her collection of tattered pyjamas that she cherished more than my unconditional love for her. Maybe I will buy a shiatsu stick from KonMari and hit myself hard with it for being such a fool and smear my face with Binchotan charcoal. I might as well look the part too.

I am consciously uncoupling with you, Marie Kondo. You pretended to be the Zen Queen when you were in reality just a clever saleswoman. The KonMari method has heightened my sensitivity so much that all I can do is cry and buy more red lipstick for my wall.

Are you also selling inner peace on KonMari? Because I seem to have lost mine.

You fooled me once, shame on you. But you won’t get to fool me twice. No Marie Kondo, I cannot do. I won’t do, because you are just a silver-tongued Kon.

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