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Sometimes I'm weird

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I was at the bookstore today and I was in line waiting to check out, and of course they have that whole area crammed with stuff for impulse buying.  I try to control myself in those situations, because it’s obvious they’re just trying to make a buck off a captive audience, that’s why I REALLY hate ads in the movie theatres, but I digress.  CRAFT magazine was featured on the same stand as Business Week and Allure and some other magazines by the wait area, and the cover looked pretty hip and cool.  I love handmade stuff and, even though I’ve never bought the magazine before, having a project to do sounded fun, so last minute I give the magazine to the lady as I’m checking out and….IT’S 15 DOLLARS FOR THE MAGAZINE!!!

Ok, any rational person, seeing that ring up and expecting 3.99 or 4.99 to pop up would be assertive enough to say, “Actually, I don’t want that, thanks.” But…

As I was walking out, new magazine in-bag, I was SO KICKING MYSELF!  I mean, come on, I’m OLD!  I should have just said I didn’t want it!  But I have weird money hang-ups, and for some reason, the slightest hint of the cashier judging me like I’m poor or something made me follow through with the transaction.  And it’s not the first time I’ve done that!  I’ve actually bought clothing items accidentally WAY out of my budget and returned them the next day with another cashier because for some reason I turn blank-brained when something unexpected happens like that.  The WOW analogy would be “scatter shotted.”

I read this great book about “People Pleasing” last year, endorsed by Oprah so it had to be good.  There were many sections about never saying “Yes” until you took a moment to think about it, weighing if you really wanted to do the task, if you had time, etc.  It helped a lot and I and haven’t help host as many baby showers or done as many free student films since, but I guess I need to concentrate on extrapolating those lessons to the retail sector.

Well, goddamnit, I AM using that pattern for a party dress in that magazine no matter what!

Oops, I don’t have a sewing machine.

  • SwordSaintSoma

    YOU

    ARE

    AWESOME..

    *totally relates..

    last years guilt-buy were these PUMA motorcycle boots..
    i mean.. when i tried them on, i belonged to them.. but..
    they rang up as 250$..

    on a pair of boots..

    seriously.. you fems have nothing on me..

    i once paid for a four digit leather jacket..

    cus im a consumerWhore like that..

  • SwordSaintSoma
  • I did the same thing a couple of weeks ago. I picked up a copy of Computer Music magazine that had a cd w/ some cool demos on it and a price of 7.99. I got to the counter and the lady said “18.xx”. I looked at the price again and it was £7.99 and there was a sticker on the back w/ the American price! I’m a grown damn man who can buy whatever he likes, right? I *so* bad wanted to put it back but couldn’t make myself do it.

    Luckily when my wife asked what the hell kind of mag I bought that was $18 and I told her the story, she just laughed and said she couldn’t have put it back either. 🙂

  • stm

    See…the key is to take _a_ moment.

    Apparently, someone placed a shirt back in the wrong section. It looked the same, but it was different…and cost more.

    First moment: I should just switch it with the cheaper version
    Second moment: But this is quality stitching…I think…
    Third moment: He’s still staring at me…it’s not that important…I need to go.

    I’ve now decided that this shirt has magical properties. Other than it makes rational people over-pay for clothes… :^p
    (And, yes, I tend to over-think things.)

  • Rachel

    I try to avoid that sort of thing as well. I try to avoid picking up extra shopping when I’m checking out. I don’t like to give to people collecting to charities in the street because I prefer to have longer to think about which causes to give my money to. Whenever asks me for a commitment, I do try to stop and think for a little while before I say yes.

    BUT. When I do make a mess of it, I’m very embarrassed about speaking up about it, or saying “oops, no, I don’t want that after all”, and will just go through with it to avoid having to do so. I think part of the reason I’m embarrassed is that I know full well that I was dumb to get myself into that situation in the first place.

  • Mia

    I don’t know what Oprah says, but Mia says you should listen to metal and occasionally put on a mean face!

    (I’ve also had that “I don’t want to think I’m poor” reaction before, and it pisses me off that I think that way, as if money was something to measure a person by)

  • You can use my sewing machine. I’m not using it right now. 🙂

  • Carl

    I’m very assertive….too assertive. I had to grow up that way.

    It’s something that I’ve really had to adjust, living here in NZ. NZ customer service is incredibly different from American CS.

    When there’s a problem out here, I no longer have to assume that I’m dealing with a dishonest and predatory institution. I assume that I’m dealing with an honest and pleasant person who’s going to help me resolve the issue. I try to look past the issue and see their humanity.

    What does this have to do with your issue? Well….maybe you can assume that people will perceive you as an honest and caring person. You can assume that they’ll see your humanity. Assume that they’ll want to help you and do right by you. Assume that they’ll be as understanding of you and your dilemma, as you would be of them, if your roles were reversed.

    See them as an ally and engage them as such.

    Because if they’re not like that: if they’re apathetic and contemptuous of your humanity, then you have every right to rip out their arms and beat them with the bloody ends (figuratively speaking, of course).

    If you’re having difficulty asserting yourself, for yourself, then it might help if you imagined that you were doing it for someone else. Imagine that you were acting on behalf of someone you cared for, someone who was vulnerable and needed you to be strong, for them. As an actor, you might find it’s easy.

    Once you’ve had practice being strong for this vulnerable and treasured person, then you might find it easier to do it for yourself. Because it’s ok to be vulnerable and it’s ok to treasure yourself. You should love yourself just like you love your boyfriend and your cats: with caring, compassion and understanding. All those things that you are willing to give to others, you are entitled to give them to yourself as well….including your strength and determination.

    You definitely have those qualities Felicia. Without them, you wouldn’t be where you are today.

  • Ben

    Why do we do these things sometimes? Consider it super micro-economics when we perform these little internal debates in our heads about the value of items. (i.e. this shampoo costs 50% more than the other stuff but it really smells nice)

    You just didn’t have enough time to perform your internal debate to weigh the value of the item with the cost of the item and as a result felt compelled to do something you really didn’t want to do. And where does that leave you? With a small bout of buyers remorse. At least it was a magazine and not a car or something big.

    Like some of the others on the board have said, give yourself a chance to pause and have that internal discussion. I think we pretty much decide if were buying something right away and use the rest of our brain power to rationalize the decision.

  • Virginia

    The best way to solve the impulse buying problem is to get a Nintendo DS with one of it’s many puzzle type games, and just play that while in line. If you like sudoku or however you spell it, that one can be played on the Brain Age games, and it comes with different difficulty levels.

    Another good thing to do would be to bring cash only… it’s easy to pay for shit you can’t afford if you’ve got your debit or credit card on you, but when all you’re carrying is cash, you can’t magically summon more for the transaction.

    I grew up dirt poor and am now a slightly less poor college student, so there’s always been an angry little devil-me on one shoulder saying “fuck that item, but it back, goddamn overpriced bullshit!” while the little angel-me nods in silent agreement.

  • Virginia

    Ok… so I realized the cash thing would make you look poor, BUT you could say: “Oh damn, I must have left the visa in my other prosche, sorry about that” …say it with a straight face and condescending smile, put X item to the side, and pay with the cash!

    I’m a genius.

  • LOL. Not having sewing machine isn’t good.

    Could you show us a picture of the dress when it’s ready?

  • Well, the love of money is the root of all evil, so throwing it away can only be a good thing. Right?

    What you need to avoid situations like that is a small, official-looking laminated ID card. When it’s suddenly loads more than you expect, you whip out the card and say something along the lines of “Retail fraud division, undercover department. We’ve been getting reports that this is grossly overpriced, and I’ve been despatched to investigate.”
    Then proceed to be as officious as possible, asking questions abot where they got it from and so forth, before finishing with, “I’ll let it go this time, but be careful in future. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to be getting to MacDonalds about their so-called Happy Meals.”

    Then you can simply leave the shop with a purposeful stride. It can’t lose!

  • Aw, so sad to hear about your buyer’s remorse. I write for CRAFT and while I get the sticker shock thing, it’s also way more like a book than a magazine if you weigh content versus ads, etc. It’s a “mook”. Most craft magazines are just thinly-veiled ads full of ugly projects and I think our mag is something you really want to stick around, y’know? I also write for the blog so you can always read that for free if it makes you feel any better. 🙂

    http://blog.craftzine.com/

    I’m happy to have just discovered the Flog, loved you on BUffy and even saw you in Tom Lenk’s show at Acme a few years back! The Guild rocks and weirdness of weirdness, the blonde lady in your Cheetos commercial is my yoga instructor! It is a small damned world…

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