September 22, 2011

need vs. want

today i bought the young boys two quilts at target.

i love quilts. i have loved the circo line of embroidered and embellished quilts forever. i have waited for them to go on clearance, every year, only to miss them because, NGL, i won't buy them even at half off. they must be 75% off!

well, i've been stalking our neighborhood target and even one a little further than our neighborhood ever since they got the new line.

turtles? LOVE THEM!

when i noticed they were 30% off my visits increased. last week they were 50% off but i didn't really have $70 to drop on quilts. did i hold out until or cave? i held out and yesterday i stopped by. still 50% off and plenty of full and twin sized quilts (i needed one of each). this morning i was tempted to stop at target on my way to work but didn't. i did, however, stop by on my way home and they were 75% off, baby.

however, there were only full sized ones left and i didn't need two full sized ones. there was also one cars one left (also full-sized) so i got one of each, figuring a little "extra" quilt never hurt anyone and pea may not have a twin sized bed forever.

of course now i'm doubting my logic. my youngest boys are two and five. they always want what the other has. i can "force" the turtles on sprout but pea already had an opinion when i showed him the turtle quilt the other day. he'd much prefer the transportation one. which means sprout would, too.
anyhow, i'm walking towards the registers with these two quilts in my arms. just last week i bought two beautiful wool carpet runners at target. also 75% off. they were normally $90 each and i walked out with both for less than $45 (target debit card + 5% savings = awesome!) it caused some drama with awesome papa because 1. he didn't know what a ridiculously good deal they were 2. it didn't matter, he doesn't think i should be spending money on stuff like that and 3. he wasn't sure we needed them even though i've been eyeing them for two years now.

awesome papa is a pretty lucky guy. i let him know when he's right and he was right about the runners. i'd liked them since we were in our old house where they wouldn't have fit anywhere. i thought they'd go very well in this home, especially since nearly half the square footage is tile. turns out, i didn't like them much and decided, even at $22 a piece, i didn't need them and therefore they weren't a good deal.

i've come a long way. just last week i walked away from a $120 radio flyer wagon marked down to $30. true story. (and yes. at yet another target). but still, i'm walking to the registers and feeling an overwhelming sense of first-world guilt. my kids don't need more blankets or bedding. they don't need anything. i've been battling my conflicting negative world-view and anti-consumerist beliefs with "shopping to fill an emotional void" syndrome for years and just when i feel like i have a healthy grasp on my spending habits i now have to balance and reconcile my desire for simpler living with the desire for my room-sharing children to have matching bedspreads.

i used to spend so much time and energy shopping mindlessly that now i fill that time and space with over-thinking each purchase, weighing and analyzing want vs. need. perhaps i waste less time thinking about stuff, these days. for instance, instead of walking around with something in my cart before deciding whether or not to buy it,  i can just look at it or hold it for a few seconds and know. i knew i wanted these quilts even if need was not a factor. i knew i wanted these quilts before i even had two little boys sharing a room. i knew i wanted them so much that i was stopping by target at least once a week for the last few months and more than once a week more recently, just to look at the pricetag on these quilts.

so why were these quilts causing so much grief? i really wrestled with the question of need. i almost put them back after all that time spent waiting for them to go on final markdown. i felt good that i could provide beautiful, detailed, and colorful 100% cotton quilts for my children but immediately struggled with the possibility that they were made by children in a labor-camp somewhere in indonesia. THESE ARE THE THINGS THAT GO THROUGH MY HEAD EVERY DARN TIME I'M IN A STORE.

and still. i bought them.

is this normal? is this what "aware" people do? i tell myself that if i was really aware i wouldn't have spent at least 60 minutes running into target over the last several weeks just to check on the boys' bedding aisle. i would have been procuring the confidence and fabric to make my boys their very own custom quilts.

but what do i know?

1 comment:

  1. it is not normal, but it is what aware people do- down to considering the sweatshops ;0)

    we are also trying very hard to balance need vs want. funny you write about the spreads, cause i have been considering going in to get my daughter one for her 'new' (to her- it is my first big girl bed) twin bed going up the next couple weeks. we have plenty of bedding, sure. but nothing cute and twin sized to actually fit.

    but we're also broke =) even at 75 off. i find it best just to stay out of the shops and enter giveaways... helps curb my 'hey, that's a great deal!' spontaneous purchases.


thanks you for making a connection. all comments and feedback are like little sprinkles of starshine!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...