I’m the guy they put all the stuff up next to the counter for at Wal-Mart. I’ve made some incredibly stupid impulse purchases over time. Here are a few:
1) A computer. I HAD to have it. Thankfully it wasn’t a Commodore 64 but still a very old Radio Shack model with a lovely blue screen. I qualified for credit, bought it and brought it home. The elusive Donna was less than impressed. It froze up on me a few times in mid-writing and within a few weeks I was very sorry that I’d brought it and it’s clacking dot matrix printer home. Eventually I sold it to a friend for a tiny fraction of what I paid for it.
2) A house. Believe it or not I once impulsively bought a house without getting the elusive Donna on-side. You would think that would have cured me once and for all but it didn’t. I did learn not to buy a house she hadn’t seen and approved of first.
3) A guitar. I didn’t know how to play and thought I’d buy a guitar and it would just somehow come to me. I messed with it for a few days. My finger tips throbbed from trying to press down on the strings and pick out the notes to “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star”. When I realized it would take more pain and much more time before I was cranking out the Billy Joel or Jackson Browne tunes I sat the guitar in a corner and much later it passed on to my friend Tim.
4) Art. “What a smart investment for such a young man.” The lady at the store said. I spent about $125 too much for a frame and print that would later be appraised at $5. But it was Sir Galahad finding the Grail. I still have the Art but I think it’s actually gone down in value.
5) A dozen roses. I had a crush on a girl when I was in grade 12. She was in grade 9. She had a boyfriend who threatened to beat me up if I kept talking to her. I was pretty sure I could out run him if I needed to and truthfully I suspected that he was the kind of guy who was much more confident hitting girls than he would be hitting another guy. I walked by a florists and saw the roses. I bought them and left them for her in what I perceived was a romantic gesture. 5 minutes of conversation later I realized I was more in love with the idea of her than I was in love with her. She turned out to be very boring, very cute, but very boring.
Impulse has been both a generous friend and fierce foe. It’s led to some wonderful, happy accidents and it’s also led to pain, grief and frustration. And I’m most impulsive when I’m hungry. I do much better when I don’t let myself get bored, hungry or tired.
How about you? Pick up anything you wished you’d walked by?