Do You Feel Compelled To Buy Fairly Useless Stuff?

This was written by ‘coffeebreath’ on coffeebreath.wordpress. com and no other. This blog has been hijacked by anyone who portrays themselves otherwise. If you see abuse, you can report it, which will be appreciated. Sorry about you having to read that.

Creative Commons LicenseI was walking out of a wholesale warehouse club the other day and there was a table set up with three women standing around it. Before I realized it, I was swinging my huge, overstuffed cart around to listen to what they had to say. They were pitching for D.A.R.E. to keep kids off drugs*. This is could be considered a good cause. I wanted to listen to what the woman had to say, so I figured I would at least hear her out when she said, “A moment of your time, ma’am?”

There was a game on the table, similar to Candyland, but in a style with questions and answers involving other questions of course. Then there were other items, including a duffel bag, a parent’s guide book on keeping kids off drugs, a kids’ activity book and I think a water bottle or something. Normally there was a $39.99 price tag on just one of the items but they were asking $100.00 for the whole thing or something fabulous like that. (If a donation is being made, only a suggestion can be made, a set price cannot be made to a person, by the way). I determined, with a polite smile, that this was way too much, even for this cause and for me.

I do happen to have more than one mortgage right now and I cannot afford this right now (or ever) and I am scrimping with the way the economy is. I told the woman that I cannot afford this and she began bargaining with me. She said, “Well, what can you afford?” I did not think this was particularly appropriate. She said she could work with me and she began to piece together parts of the offer so that I could contribute less but still come away with something. Other people may have reacted differently or not even walked up to begin with.

The point is that sometimes we feel that initial pull to listen, to donate, to give in some way when we see someone asking for money. Girl Scout cookies, homemade items for sale, anything that people are selling. Do you feel compelled to buy? Maybe on some occasions more than others. Do you think people sense this about you?

Typically I always pass these things up; my kids even know this about me. They know that when we go into the local large chain grocery store, which I cannot believe started allowing soliciting outside the front doors, my reaction will be the same every time. I will not even respond or I will politely pass up whatever is being sold. I am always strong and not caught off guard when it comes to someone wanting to sell me something or offer me something. I don’t buy extra warranties, I don’t buy little do-dads, I am just not that type. But on the occasional occasion, I feel that strange itch and I don’t know what that is; is it human nature that we occasionally feel that compulsion to buy? Do we feel bad for people?

Do we think we will feel better about ourselves if we buy whatever little thing it is if we buy it? If we buy, say Girl Scout cookies, do we feel better because we are helping out the little girl who is selling them so that she can make more money? Are we filling some need inside ourselves? I do not know what it is but I think it should tell us something about ourselves.

* I am not saying that D.A.R.E. items or anything connected with them are useless in any way, of course

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. SM 3.12.08 @ 7:24


~ by coffeebreath on March 12, 2008.

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