These days, whenever Jules Zucker has to run an errand, she throws a Reese’s Fast Break candy bar into her bag.
“We’re living in an era where security and ‘the big joys,’ if you will, are not guaranteed at all,” she said. “So all we have to fall back on are small comforts. It’s almost like a poor man’s hedonism.”
Ms. Zucker, a 26-year-old music coordinator living in Brooklyn, is just one of the many people who have been reimagining their lives to include more small pleasures after two years of canceled plans and lowered expectations throughout the coronavirus pandemic.
Tracy Llanera, 35, a philosophy professor at the University of Connecticut who studies nihilism, said that this treat-forward approach is one way people are reclaiming some of the freedom and stability that has been lost since early 2020.
“In the Covid pandemic, the thing that confirms that you’re suffering from existential nihilism is the lack of control,” Ms. Llanera said.
Amid these feelings of ongoing helplessness and grief, she said, people try to find consistent and reliable pleasures.
“Something about treat culture is that you’re always regularly going to get the treat,” she added. “You can depend on that, at least. There’s a guarantee that this small little ritual that you have every week will at least satiate something in you.”
And though the pandemic has altered people’s spending and saving habits, it has also encouraged people to redefine what a treat means for themselves more often and more creatively. Daily walks, for example, have become a coping mechanism for many workers who no longer commute to the office.
Source: NY Times