What's it with women and cameras
What is it, I asked him, what did you buy?
It's a SIGMA something something, he said.
Actually, that's not what he said. He correctly named the exact model. But I usually get a dazed look whenever anyone reels off any numbers. So only the Sigma registered and I kinda lost the rest of the plot there :)
Anyway, Derek is off happily experimenting with this new super-zoom lens.
For two years now, I've been wanting something better than my point-and-shoot. But I haven't gotten around to buying it.
It's not that I cannot afford it.
As I was chatting today, I finally realised the real reason I haven't bought a camera in two years.
Guilt. With a capital G.
My ultra-conservative-about-money upbringing doesn't allow me to spend a hundred thousand rupees on a gadget.
And it's more than that. I also realise the real problem is that I'm unwilling to spend on a gadget that is purely for me. No one else in the family will use that camera. It's going to be just my own personal toy.
An expensive toy. That will lead to further expenses as I get into accessories, more lenses, photography lessons...
Guilt, guilt, guilt.
A peculiarly female thing? I guess a sociologist would have a field day over this. After all, this is a country where women eat last, after they have fed the rest of the household. Where women consistently undervalue themselves and their interests.
But is my guilt over an expensive purchase a female thing? I know many women who indulge themselves to death; usually in the form of jewellery or clothes or shoes or purses. They're buying fancy mobile phones these days as well; and cars and laptops. Many of these are women who don't have careers; it is the husband who brings home the bacon, so to speak. There is no guilt over these purchases - instead there is just pride and vanity, blessed by social sanction. Clothing and jewellery are a woman's way of telling another woman how rich she really is.
Unfortunately, that logic doesn't extend to womens' cameras. You can't show them off to other women, you see? :) Fancy mobile phones, even laptops and cars, you can show off. But the only people who seem to really understand cameras are men :)
Men really understand expensive toys, don't they? My male friends almost always egg me on to buy that new camera, and most of them offer advice on what model to buy.
My husband definitely has fewer qualms about expensive toys than I do. As I type this, the Bose he bought sits there twinkling at me. Before that, there was the custom-configured Wharfedale. But hey - to be fair to him, it's just two things in all our years together. So does he have guilt too? I *think* so. He certainly has the same ultra-conservative-about-money upbringing! Maybe that's why we don't squabble about money matters :)
Anyway, I think my camera story is drawing to an end. Why? Two things have happened - first, a new Croma store just opened near my house. Which means I am just ten minutes away from my camera. And second, we finally exchanged our credit card points for 25,000 rupees of Croma vouchers. Which means my guilt trip just substantially lessened :) Watch this space!
P.S. All advice welcome! Budget is anything upto Rs 100,000 for relatively light camera and decent zoom lens.