Oftentimes when we think about shopping more thoughtfully or ethically or fair trade or organic or what-have-you, it quickly becomes overwhelming (But my shorts are from Bangladesh! My phone was made by who knows who in some factory in China! What can I do?! I like shopping! I’m on a budget! Baahhhhh!). Sound familiar? Or is it just me…
I’ll be honest – the response I often have when I feel paralyzed by the massive, systematic problems tied up in EVERYTHING is something like: “I’m just not going to think much about this, because it’s too much! But I definitely need to give some money to a charity somewhere…”
In the face of this totally unhelpful all-or-nothing paralysis, I’ve been trying something out. Trying to get down to the very basics of what and where I am spending my money. Namely:
Do I really want to give you my money?
On Sunday night, we tackled the insane: taking our 5-, 3-, & almost 1-year old kids with us to a professional hockey game. We were given free tickets to the game by a Calgary Flames rep at an open venue practice on Saturday, so we packed everyone up with low expectations and headed down to their arena, dubbed the Saddledome.
Photo credit: GEC Architecture
For me, there is something very appealing about the tap beer at the Saddledome. Don’t ask me why; it’s watery and flat-ish… it’s really not good. But when I’m there, I want one. When I was pregnant with my first daughter and went to games more often, it was all I could do not to have one!
But then I see the $8.50 price tag, and I think,
It sounds good to me, but just not that good.
Here, on the other hand, is a picture of me in 2007 at Yankee Stadium eating a $5 hot dog:
A FIVE dollar hot dog! Absurd, right? I’m pretty sure there was a $10 beer at my feet, too. Complete extortion, right?!
Was it worth it? Absolutely.
Am I a sucker? Maybe. But, really, I don’t think I’m any different from any of us. How we think about our money is not always logical, and it will always be subjective.
But if we even begin to think about the where and the whatof our purchases, the why and the whether-or-not will begin to surface as well. And we will be well on our way to shopping good.
What is something you have purchased with an unreasonable price tag which was totally worth it to you?
The threat of technology to our humanness is no new fear (hello, Blade Runner! …actually: goodbye, you are a super boring movie 😆). But, there seems to be an acute crisis of our current cultural moment, as we relate to technology.
Here is just a fraction of writings from the past month addressing this:
With so much pain, brokenness, ugliness in the world, attention to beauty, joy, & wonder is absolutely necessary!
Beauty may not solve problems itself... A stunning photograph will not end famine or war. Banksy's graffiti art does not solve Middle eastern contested-land conflicts.
But, the restoration, hope, and inspiration that come from creativity and beauty are like gas in the tank — fuel for the drivers & changers of the world.
We don’t receive a lot of returned items, but it does happen. Of course! There is some degree of risk in shopping online, always.
Stores take different approaches to return policies, sometimes with great sophistication in how it will impact your willingness to purchase. Here's a little peek at what I've learned over the years (as a customer and also as a retailer) about return policies.