Want! Want! Want!

Posted by: benjamin   in Faith Lens Snapshots


While in “the city,” meaning New York City, this week I briskly walked passed a boutique on Houston near Broadway on my way to a lunch date.  The falling warm rain was changing the sidewalk snow into slush, so I slid a bit when I abruptly stopped in my tracks and reversed.

This vision halted my pace.

It’s so cute. I love its vivid color, length and asymmetry.

I didn’t even think of going inside. I just admired it for a few minutes, documented its existence and went on my way.

I didn’t go inside first because I was in Soho, which means the price tag wasn’t worth my time to be informed of it. Next, as one of my 2010 New Year’s resolutions, I tried to be more mindful in my purchasing behavior.

Though I enjoy stuff and things, I didn’t want my heart to be so set on them.

I still like to shop, but now, even if something is a bargain that I previously would have purchased, I ask a few questions.

Am I buying it for the shopping experience or because it’s something I really want?  Do I already have something just like it that I’ll quit wearing once I get it? Will I use it or will it sit in my closet? How much will I love it when I get home? Have I exceeded my discretionary budget for the month?

It’s really curbed my purchasing behavior.

Latter-day Saints (Mormons) believe in living within their means.  Modern day prophets have taught that debt is justified when it’s for education and a modest home, not for the lifestyle choices of clothing, vacations and dinners.

What we love and how we spend our time tells a great deal about who we want to become.

I also believe God wants us to be able to enjoy the good things of the earth, which He has provided.  I like that I can enjoy stuff and things and I’m pleased that through this last year, my heart isn’t as set on them. I’m more focused on meaningful interactions with people I care about.

I would have been just as happy meeting this friend for lunch at a Wendy’s in Nebraska as I was at L’ecole in Soho.

So, I got a little turned around on my way to lunch, but finally made it to the International Culinary Center on Broadway and Grand.  Here, culinary students made our food and it was delightful.

My friend ordered for me because of my late arrival.

This was his appetizer.

This was mine.

I liked his better, so he offered to switch. I accepted.:)

This was his entrée.

This was mine. I liked mine better, so I kept mine.:)

He had to go back to work on Wallstreet before our dessert arrived. So I ate some of both of ours.

You know the place is fancy when they have burning candles in the bathroom (fancy or maybe just courteous).

Then I set our for the Bolt Bus near Penn station to head back to Washington, D.C..

If anyone could help me understand why 3 cabs in a row on Canal St declined taking me to Penn Station, I’d appreciate it. Isn’t my money American enough for them?

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This entry was posted on Thursday, January 20th, 2011 at 12:02 PM and is filed under Faith Lens Snapshots. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

2 comments so far


I used to buy things that I *thought* I liked but wasn’t in love with, and inevitably that item would sit in my closet unused until it was too old to take back. Then I learned to take stuff back earlier. And I found that I spent a lot of time taking stuff back.

One day somebody told me that he doesn’t ever buy something if he doesn’t love it the moment he lays eyes on it. So that is my new policy. Finding something that you absolutely love is much harder than finding something that you think you like, but it means you don’t go through buyer’s remorse or second-guess your decision. ["The Paradox of Choice" talks about buyer's remorse and analysis paralysis.]

Anyway, there’s an analogy here between buying and dating. Especially because you only get to “purchase” one item — you only get to marry one person. So the flip side of this is that this can all lead to a fear of marriage and waiting forever to find the right person. BUT I don’t like the alternative, I never want to second-guess my decision after the “purchase”, or find the one I *do* love right after I purchase the one I kind-of liked. What’s the right answer? (No idea.)

January 20th, 2011 at 7:07 PM

Love at first sight with clothes? Sometimes I have to get to know them better.;)

“What is the

January 20th, 2011 at 9:27 PM

3 Trackbacks/Pings

  1. I Give D.C. Beggars the Cold Shoulder, But Then Turn It Over and Over in My Head | Mormon Insider    Jan 03 2012 / 12am:

    [...] I also monthly donate to a great charity, which I chose as an effort to support humanitarian work outside of the Church and to persuade my heart to be less attached to stuff. It’s a small effort to live simply, so that others may simply live. I wrote about this idea and my effort in 2010 to be more mindful of my purchasing behavior and my attachment to stuff in the post “Want, Want, Want.” [...]

  2. My Easter Dress, “the underwear” mentioned…again and Mormon Defense | Mormon Insider    Apr 06 2012 / 12pm:

    [...] I’ve written before about approaching  my purchasing  behavior more mindfully. When I saw this dress, I just had to have it. I paused wondering if all the lace dresses I’ve pinned on Pinterest  influenced my want or if I couldn’t have lived without it regardless of my virtual pinboard. Still working on that one. [...]

  3. My Easter Dress, "the underwear" mentioned…again and Mormon Defense | Mormon Insider    Aug 15 2012 / 10pm:

    [...] I've written before about a more mindful approach to my purchasing behavior. When I saw this dress, I just had to have it. I paused wondering if all the lace dresses I've pinned on Pinterest  influenced my want or if I couldn't have lived without it regardless of my virtual pinboard. Still working on that one. [...]

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