Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Great Need Vs. Want Debate of 2011

Anyone who knows me knows that I can logic my way out of a paper bag, especially when it comes to shopping. I can convince anyone that spending $100 on a new dress is totally worth it in 2.5 seconds flat. Does my logic make sense? Not always. But usually people get so annoyed with me that they just let me win to change the subject. Or they are left paralyzed in confusion, thus allowing me to make my purchases in silence. However, when it came to getting the things I needed for my apartment, I needed to make sure I didn’t get too carried away.

I was searching for mostly kitchen stuff. Plates, bowls, glasses, pots, pans, utensils, etc. As it turns out, the only things I owned for a kitchen were as follows: A popcorn maker, a French press, a coffee maker, a coffee grinder, a cocktail shaker, a collection of shot glasses, a set of margarita glasses complete with a pitcher and a salt plate, and a mug that says “The Bitch is Back.” (Purchased on my first adult trip to Vegas while Elton John was still there. The fact that it’s totally appropriate for my life right now is not lost on me…) However, unless I was planning on eating nothing but popcorn out of the bowl it is popped in while drinking margaritas shaken in the cocktail shaker followed by coffee in a “The Bitch is Back” mug, I needed a lot of stuff.

In addition to needing the essentials, I had a few essentials that were essential only to someone like me. I had been saving up for a very long time to live on my own. Free couch aside, I was not going to buy used pots and pans at a garage sale or get mismatching plates from the 99 Cents Store. I will not use glasses that are chipped or that don’t go together and I will not be content drinking wine out of my “Bitch is Back” mug. If I was going to make my own home, I was going to use my hard-earned money and do it how I see fit.

To keep me on track, enter my friend Meaghan. She suggesting that I make a list of needs and one of wants and then she would help me decide what really was a need. For everything on my “need” list, she made me come up with three good reasons and then she would be the final say of what was a need and what was a want and whether those “wants” were worth the money. Hence, the Great Need vs. Want Debate of 2011 began.

For example: A Crock-Pot? I could start something in the morning and then come home to a finished dinner. I can make large batches of soups and stews and then freeze them to have ready-made food for when I get home to late to really cook. I can make chili. (On a side note: Meaghan loves my chili and I knew I would win with that. I really should’ve gone to law school…) Needless to say, she let me get a Crock-Pot.

There were some items I wouldn’t budge on (Wine glasses and mortar and pestle.) and others that everyone insisted I needed (a blender…That I have used once in two months. Thanks guys) and some that were just plain shot down (Martini glasses…Apparently I’m not Frank Sinatra and am not encouraged to live like him…They are still on my list though.) Yet, the longest leg of the debate involved salt and pepper shakers. Every argument I had, Meaghan had a counter argument. This is a paraphrase of the argument that lasted about 30 minutes in an aisle in Target.

Me: I need them because I will need to put them on the table. What? I’m going to use the big container I buy salt and pepper in?

Meaghan: You don’t even have a table. Or room for a table.

Me: But I have the counter. And I’ll have stools.

Meaghan: Eventually. You’re not buying stools right now because you can’t find any that you like or are in your price range. So, therefore you don’t need shakers.

Me: But what about when people come over? What am I supposed to do?

Meaghan: Give them the containers they come in.

Me: No.

Meaghan: Actually, you can buy disposable shakers at the grocery store for a lot cheaper that these.

Me: Yes but what about the environment? I want something I can reuse.

Meaghan: So why not buy cloth napkins and extra dishtowels so you don’t have to use paper towels?

Me: Because washing all of that costs money. I don’t pay for water, so washing and reusing shakers is a cost efficient way for me to help the environment.

Meaghan: Yes, but why not just collect bottles and cans and then that would offset the cost of washing. Plus, then you can afford to continue to buy the disposable ones.

Me: But the disposable ones are so ugly.

Meaghan: Being pretty doesn’t mean it’s a need.

I eventually gave up, letting her know that I would buy some as soon as she wasn’t with me. But at dinner that night, I permanently borrowed some from the restaurant.

I would call that a happy compromise. (Except maybe for the restaurant…)

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