Archive | 6:50 PM

Day 305: sweet consumerism :: what will you buy?

1 Nov

Sixty more days to go over here at The Promise 365.
If there is one question I get over and over, it’s “What’s the first thing you will buy when this is over?”

It’s a good question.
I vacillate.

Sometimes I just want to run down 5th Avenue with Holly Getty at my side and breeze in and out of the Three B’s (Bergdorf, Barneys and Bloomingdales).

Some days, I just want to slip into T.J.Maxx to discover what is on the rack.

Still, other days, all I really daydream about is buying a really good pair of jeans, that aren’t frayed all over the bottoms of the legs.  And fit perfectly.  And are long enough.  And don’t creep up or down my backside.

Who knows what I’ll buy when this promise is over?
It’s a story to be continued for sure.

What I do know is that I will never spend the same way again.

I’ve had a lot of time to think about purchasing and not purchasing this year.

And, I am struck by the way we spend things — our life, our time, our money.

I know for sure that I never want to buy out of impulse ever again.
I only want to buy from a place of love.

Which reminds me of a story…

I once worked at an art gallery.
I was an internet entrepreneur and the market was quickly going south.  This was web 1.0, the beginning of eCommerce as we know it, except it was just the birth of advertising based business models.  Which we all learned too late, didn’t work.

So I had to get a day job to support my other day job.
Enter Michalopoulos art gallery in Boston.

It was perfect.  I could sit at a desk all day long in front of a computer in the quiet splendor of paintings all around me.

All I had to do was answer questions for potential buyers.
OF ART.  What could be easier?

One day, at the gallery, I heard a voice.
A very familiar voice of a man.

I turned around and noticed that not only did I recognize his voice, I recognized him.  He was a very famous morning newscaster on a very popular, national morning show.

He inquired about a beautiful painting of a large and wondrous tree.
I gave him all of the information.

He told me he wanted to think about it (it was a purchase over $10,000) and he would call me back about it.  With that, he left the gallery.

A few minutes later I received a call.
It was that same famous man. He wanted to know if I could give him a 50% discount on the art piece so that the artist could say it was in the “Collection Of” this famous man.

I was perplexed but offered to find out the answer.
Of course the answer was no!  So I called Mr. Famous back and broke the news, the best I could do was a 20% discount.  He was miffed.

And I was a little sad.
Because I knew this very famous man had the money to pay full price, and my starving internet entrepreneur budget could have used the commission boost!

Just a few short days later another man entered the gallery.
He was immediately drawn to the same wondrous painting of that beautiful tree.

He asked me what time the gallery closed. I told him. He said he was meeting his family for dinner but would be back.

He never returned.
So I shut off all the lights and closed up shop.

Just as I approached the front door to lock it up, I saw the man scrambling to get to the door — with his two daughters in tow.

He begged me to let him in the gallery so he could show his daughters the painting.  I agreed, even though it was late, I was tired and still had a T ride home to Somerville.

His daughters approved of the painting, and he announced on the spot that he wanted to purchase it.  He dug out cash from his wallet and asked if it was enough to put the painting on hold until he could return the next day.

I looked at the thousands of dollars he handed over to me and obliged.
Sure thing!

The next day he purchased the painting, and beyond my personal relief of adding a commission to my bank account I had an even deeper understanding.

The painting went to the right person.
And it was bought out of love.

So, I don’t know what I will buy next year.
But, I do know this: when I do start buying it won’t be out of impulse.  And, it won’t be out of creating a collection.

It will come from a deeper, more meaningful place.

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