Who on earth are the Jonses?

Who on earth are the Joneses? 

Whether it is an idiom, phrase or a saying, you can count on me to get it wrong. This might bother some people, but I simply press on with feigned confidence, to the amusement of those around. I try hard by pausing and thinking before speaking but it’s just one of those things that you either nail it or not.

It’s not through lack of interest. I’m intrigued by sayings and what makes them readily accepted. Have you ever wondered who the Joneses are and how they apparently have it all? Assuming that ‘all’ is the latest gadgets, fancy cars, and the biggest and best of everything. 

A 1913 comic strip by cartoonist Arthur R. Momand, known as Pop, appeared in the New York World Newspaper. It depicted the McGinnis family trying to keep up with their neighbours, the Joneses. It is thought that Pop was a newlywed living beyond his means and had referred to his own neighbours, the Joneses, who seemingly had everything.

We all know that chasing the proverbial Joneses is pointless and exhausting. And yet it is in our nature to admire and strive to be like those around us. However, the pursuit of status through material things doesn’t interest me. As Simon Sinek rightly points out, life is an infinite game; by definition, it cannot be ‘won,’ and the game never ends. And yet an unstoppable force continues to set the invisible (and pointless) bar higher, driving trend after trend and the inevitable consumption that follows. 

I choose to surround myself with possessions that unfurl memories and spark joy. Etchings from a special friend, photos of a whale shark dive, a heart urchin found buried in the sand, a ‘V’ from an old printing drawer, and a feather from a Spotted Pardalote. With these items, I have created a place where I belong.

We approach our work the same way. We are never driven by trends and are unfussed by what others (including the neighbours) are doing. Instead, we choose to connect with our clients to create intriguing spaces just for them. In fact, I’ve never worried about the neighbours; yet ironically, mine just happen to be…yep, you guessed it, Mr and Mrs Jones.

by Jane Valentine