The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

12 June 2004

Received wisdom (one in a series)

Bruce works in retail, which gives this observation additional resonance:

"Why do you want what you want?"

The answer to that question should never be "I don't know".

I almost always have an explanation for any purchase I make, although sometimes it's as lame as "It made me feel better."

And I wonder if I'd make more such purchases if I had more discretionary income.

Posted at 9:54 AM to Almost Yogurt


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So Donna, why did you buy a Mike Nesmith Finger Ding Doll from eBay? I don't know Sh*ts and giggles......[read more]



"Because I've assessed my needs and researched the available options and concluded that the product I've just told you I'm looking for, is the one that best suits me. And if you don't have it, just say so instead of trying to sell me something you do have that I've already decided isn't what I want."

I would imagine that's as far from "I don't know" as bruce would care to hear. ;-)

Posted by: McGehee at 10:09 AM on 12 June 2004

"Why do you want what you want?"

Because.

Fortunately I've never claimed to be mature :).

Myria

Posted by: Myria at 10:11 AM on 12 June 2004

Some people — not necessarily Bruce — feel that there is a range of acceptable responses to this question, and if you fail to give a response deemed acceptable, you have no business making this purchase. (Buyers of simulated ghetto clothing, sport-utility vehicles, and houses seemingly too big for their lots are automatically suspect.)

The only really bad answer, I think, combines "I don't know" with "And I really can't afford it." Debt can be justified at times. But as George Carlin once noted, you shouldn't be paying 18 percent interest on Tic Tacs.

Posted by: CGHill at 11:49 AM on 12 June 2004

Some people not necessarily Bruce feel that there is a range of acceptable responses to this question, and if you fail to give a response deemed acceptable, you have no business making this purchase.

Well, philosophically speaking, unless the person asking the question is financing the purchase, I don't think I would respond well to having my reasons for it policed.

Morally, though, Mr. Carlin is right on target.

Posted by: McGehee at 4:51 PM on 12 June 2004

given that "the more money you earn, the more you spend," it's reasonable to assume that you would purchase more stuff, "just because," if you had the means.

Posted by: aldahlia at 6:40 PM on 12 June 2004

Well, when I get the car paid off next year, the first order of business is to double my current meager savings (which I had to slice to be able to afford to buy this house), and then to reduce some other outstanding debt. Buying stuff is a tertiary concern, though I'm sure some stuff will be bought. :)

Posted by: CGHill at 8:20 PM on 12 June 2004

Smarmy Economics Class Answer: "Because I derive a greater number of utils from making this purchase than I would from buying something else or from saving the money."

Posted by: Phil at 10:32 AM on 13 June 2004