Friday, February 06, 2009

The Charm of the Unowned

What is it with the seduction of the unowned?

I know I'm not the only person to recognize this. Maybe it's the skill of marketers plying their trade. Maybe it's an innate craving always for "just a little bit more." Or maybe it's that the item on the shelf actually IS better than the item already in possession at home. Whatever the case, there is a strong attraction to have more even when we're in plenty.

Just the other night, I'm driving home from Bible Study at church on a cold Wednesday night when the craving for a sweet treat hits. Starbucks is right on the way home, and their Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate is SO good. I resisted, though, because I knew I had milk & hot chocolate mix at home -- I didn't need to blow an extra $4 on that Starbucks hot chocolate.

THEN I began to think about Chick-Fil-A's Vanilla Milkshake. So good. There's nothing else like it. It didn't matter that it was 35 degrees outside -- it still sounded good to me. It didn't need to make sense -- it just felt right!

Thus began the tug-of-war with myself. The sensible me began to lecture myself about not wasting money, and already having hot chocolate mix at home, and how that made more sense on a cold night anyway. It was a battle. My truck could have easily steered it's way home or to Chick-Fil-A.

Why?! Why is the Chick-Fil-A milkshake so much more attractive than the hot chocolate at home? If I could whip a similar milkshake up in my kitchen in 2 minutes, I doubt it would have the same appeal as the one they hand me out of the drive-thru window at Chick-Fil-A. Why am I so seduced by what I don't already have?

It's like going to the bookstore and seeing (and smelling) all of those fresh, new books. And I forget about those "other books" that I used to be excited about, too. You know -- the ones that seduced me on the shelf, before I purchased them, marched home with them triumphantly, and then sat them on my shelf at home to display as a trophy (to what, I don't know... to my knowledge base? To my personal pride? To my taste in book covers?... there's no telling...), only never to be opened again. What is with that? That's pathological!

Thankfully, my car maneuvered it's way home where I made myself a hot chocolate. And I tried to talk my heart into believing that it was satisfying & fulfilling. But there still wasn't that thrill -- that RUSH -- of gathering something new.

I wish I could get my heart & my mind to sync up on this issue. And on several other issues, as well.

1 comment:

Jonathan Storment said...

I was just thinking last night about this Phillip.I was about to order a couple of more books from Amazon, and realized that I did not really need them, but just loved getting new packages in the mail.

Good post Phillip.