I once again found myself avoiding the impulse purchase at Wal Mart today. It's actually getting easy now. I guess practice really does make perfect! But the more I avoid picking things up on impulse, the more attention I find myself paying to the way stores market their wares. Today, for example, I was really intrigued by the stuff at the checkout.
You know the things I'm talking about. The array of reading material, with candy underneath, and across the way, the racks of...everything. Those odds and ends that just sort of end up being the things we'd maybe grab on our way out, thinking they'll come in handy. There are lighters, dangly air fresheners for the car, glue sticks. That kind of thing. I can remember once buying a keychain that doubled as a miniature tire pressure gauge. The thing was too small to handle, let alone uncap and stick in my tire (handy really, since I rarely check the pressure of my tires!). But for some reason, standing at that checkout stand waiting for the guy in front of me to write the girl a cheque (does anyone actually write cheques anymore?!), I got it into my head that I really needed one of these things, and the outrageous $10 they were asking for it was a great deal!
And then there's the magazines. It used to be entertaining to read the covers. It was even more entertaining to find something that looked so good, I just had to spend the $7 to bring it home with me. A week later, it'd be in the recycle box waiting for someone else to take it off my hands. And the headlines. My God! Seriously, when Cosmo claims to have the inside scoop on what men really want in bed, they actually just walked out to the front of the building and found a bunch of idiots who were willing to blab their sexual fantasies to a complete stranger! "Steve, Investment Banker, 29" is probably someone they found peeing behind the dumpster.
The candy issue should really be a no-brainer. But, that too, I had to learn the hard way. Before I had kids, I'd hit the grocery store after work, tired and hungry. On my way through the checkout, which was always interminably slow, I'd convince myself one chocolate bar wouldn't hurt. Back then, I was 30 lbs heavier than I am now.
The moral of the story here is that when you're in line waiting to pay for something, you need to stare straight ahead and do everything you can not to look at all that crap they're trying to trick you into buying. Actually, stare at the cashier. It'll probably scare her into moving faster.
And thank you to Jen at the wonderful blog I'm Just Jen. Take it or Leave it for this fantastic award!
I'm loving all this award action lately (it's true. I'm an attention junkie), but I'm not finding a lot of time to pass them on, so one day I'm going to write a massive post awarding all kinds of blogs with all kinds of awards. Just not today!