Consumerism: The incessant search for “something”

 sports authority

Happiness for Sale

I’m tired this morning. I’m tired of having to do the right thing. Yesterday I went and bought some new shoes for my kid. I did the whole thing like you would imagine. I went into the store we looked all over. My kid found the most expensive shoe that he’d ever could imagine. Then, I had to talk him down from that.

He was looking for a new pair of cleats. The cleats were the ones that were worn by all of the famous football players. Yeah…of course, those were the ones he wanted.

Advertisers make sure to burn that stuff into the mind of these kids so that they don’t want to get anything else. For seven years I went without cable TV. I got so tired of dealing with the commercials creating new needs and wants in my kids that I just said the heck with it. I’m shutting this off.  By the way, this is an interesting article on what advertisers are willing to pay to do this (What $4 Million buys you at the Super Bowl)

I even had this idea that it would help build the family bonds. You know, I don’t really think it did.

Like all of us are kids are taught at an early age that on the order to be happy you got to get something new. Yesterday when I walked around the mall I noticed everybody was searching for something. I looked at my buddy and I said you know what they’re looking for right? He said he didn’t know. So I told them. They’re all looking for happiness.. man.

That’s what it boils down to right? Happiness. Everybody searching for happiness. It’s a little thing I like to call consumerism.

 


We’ve all been there. If I just had to fill in the blank we would could all relate to that.

But back to the cleats. So like any normal parent I walked around the store looking for something that was a lot cheaper that still somehow fit the bill and they thought were cool.

And eventually we all did settle on one set of cleats. I forgot to mention that I have two boys so we bought two pairs.

So good old sports authority forgot to ring up both pairs.

I’m sitting in the car preparing the receipts to be sent to my ex-wife so she can contribute. I noticed that they didn’t charge me for one of the shoes.

I mean we bought a whole bunch of stuff so I thought maybe it’s in here somewhere. I thought about turning a blind eye to it. However, I believe that these little things are what matters in life.

I’m an honest guy. I’m not about to surrender that position as a person and a human to some stupid $50 pair of shoes.

But truth be told right now I could use an extra $50.

So the dilemma started. It was pathetic. I forced myself to get out of the car and go back in there like a four-year-old who stole a piece of candy. It was like one part of me was in charge of another if you know what I mean?

But the story ends with me paying for the shoes and walking back to the car. I did have the feeling that I did the right thing but as much as that feeling was present I could also feel the fact that I just surrendered $50 that I could’ve gotten away with.

I would use the phrase bittersweet. But it really wasn’t bittersweet. It was bitter and then maybe a little more bitter.

So I’m ringing the pathetic bell on myself today. I don’t feel guilty so don’t think that. I just could see how the little boy in me wanted to get away with something that he was not entitled to.

— July 26, 2015