You might remember our little dog Dutch from other posts- the shoe eating, bone hoarding, but lucky-for-him-he’s-cute pup. Even though Dutch was adopted into our family long after our two cats, he thinks he’s in charge; in fact he thinks he needs to enforce the “law” around here. So much so that my son Andy nicknamed him Deputy Dutch. Dutch also believes that what’s his is his, and what belongs to the cats is his too. A few weeks ago, while cleaning, I found a couple of the cats’ toy mice behind some furniture. They were happy to have them back and were having a fun time batting them around and chasing them. Well, Deputy Dutch doesn’t like when the cats make a ruckus, so he had to put a stop to it. But not only did he interrupt their good time, he wanted the mice for himself. The cats were enjoying them, so why shouldn’t he? Only problem- he is a dog, and these were cat toys. He doesn’t have the grace or agility to throw the mice in the air and pounce on them. All he had were these dumb, fake mice that sat there. Too small to chew on, and besides, they didn’t taste at all like his beef flavored bones. Dutch desperately wanted something that he saw making someone else happy, and without thinking about whether this was something that would make him happy, he jumped right into it, with less than satisfying results.
We’ve probably all done that at one time or another. I know I have. It’s easy to look at someone else enjoying something and wanting that for ourselves, without considering if that “thing” is the right thing for us. I remember in particular impulsively buying a counter top pizza baker.
My kids were always selling pizza to raise funds for band, so we had no shortage of pizza to cook. I had visions of this pizza baker making the best pizza ever, and dreaming up some fun family nights of making pizza and playing games. So I ordered it online, in a late night, weak moment, paying more for it than I could afford at the time. I don’t really know what I was thinking, because it was a countertop pizza baker, and I can’t stand having things on my kitchen counter. It would have been convenient to leave it out and stick a pizza in whenever we wanted, but I had to put it away, out of sight. And you know how it goes, out of sight, out of mind, so the pizza baker still sits buried in the back of my cabinet to this day. I can’t remember the last time we’ve used it, we never had thrilling family nights around the pizza baker, and honestly it didn’t make very good pizza anyway.
There’s nothing inherently wrong with buying things to enhance your life, but as I learned the hard way with the pizza baker, impulse buys are often not a good fit and end up being a waste of money. What I was really looking for was a way to create special memories with my kids, and had I thought it through, I might have spent my money on something we all could enjoy together, rather than on an appliance that I found annoying. Can you relate?