What is it about free things that has us so entranced? Are we not adults with money? We are allowed to make our own decisions about how we spend it, when we spend it, where we spend it, who we spend it on, what we spend it on, and why we spend it. Right? Or am I wrong? Living in my own delusional universe where my paycheck is always a highlight of the week. Especially that mid-month one where your monthly bills are paid and your account looks extra padded. Watch out world, I’ve got money to blow. Temporarily. Until the end of the month at which point I have regrets.
Yet I too hear the word free and immediately perk up. Free what? Doesn’t really matter, I’ll consider most things if something free is provided. Could be as simple as a free sample. Could be as fantastic as a party favor. I mean, come on. You get to party, likely where some free food makes an appearance, and you get a gift for attending. What more could you want? Even when driving, if I see a pile of free firewood I’ll think for a second about how cool it would be if I were cool enough to have a house with a fireplace in it so I could stop and get some free firewood for it.
That’s more of a baby boomer thing, though. Houses are so much work and I’m just simply not here for it yet. Also the current market likes to constantly crush my slight desire to be there that likes to creep up every few weeks or so. Who has time for their own maintenance? I just fill out an online form and it gets fixed. Do people really enjoy yard work? I enjoy watching people do the yard work through a window in my air conditioned apartment while I’m supposed to be working. Are there people who enjoy signing their souls over to a bank for a multi-decade mortgage? I’m not sure I like my current city enough to be here for another 30 years. I’m still exploring all my landscape options.
Where were we? Houses? No. Parties? Fun, but also no. Free things. Like this blog. Nothing but pure entertainment for you at no cost. You’re welcome. During our lifetime, I believe we all temporarily evolve into the if it’s free I’ll be there mentality. Which, of course, is for the duration of your college years. Nobody maximizes the opportunity for free stuff like a college student does. Free shirt for wearing school colors and walking to class? Too easy. Free sandwich for being at a restaurant during a certain time window? What class, it’s sandwich time! Free mug for walking into the library? Maybe I could get good grades this semester.
As an adult, I’m not as easily swayed. But when there’s something I don’t really want to go to and the invite mentions free food, or a free shirt, I’ll consider it. There’s still a 50/50 chance I say no because, again, adult, have money, can buy my own food / shirt. OR I could save that money, get fed for free, and do something even cooler later. Like go on vacation, or try the new brewery. Endless opportunities when you take advantage of certain things. Certain things not including people. Taking advantage of people is the worst. Nobody likes those people.
Like if my job came up to me and offered to cut my salary slightly, but to incorporate some free company swag items to make up for the difference, I’m not 100% sure that I wouldn’t at least consider it. Depends on what level of items we’re talking about for sure, but it wouldn’t be an immediate no from me. If we’re honest with ourselves, though, a free pen is not the same as a free Amazon Echo. It’s not even on the same playing field. If we’re talking a $10 t-shirt vs a Patagonia jacket, I mean … what is even the question? Of course I want a free iPad. I’m not an idiot. A keychain? I probably have enough.
My point is, I think that most of us deep down enjoy when we get stuff for free. Why do you think Christmas is so popular? Free gifts just for waking up that day. You don’t even have to get dressed. Or leave your house. Like, what is better than that? Unless you’re a 1% and then you have to make sure you look picture perfect for your Insta post. If it doesn’t go on Instagram did it even happen?! Yes, the answer is yes. It’s possible to exist and not post about it and still have a ton of freaking fun. A thought for another time!
Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who would enjoy this post and want to share it with them, that would be awesome. Sharing is caring, after all. Don’t forget to subscribe to get these in your inbox twice weekly and follow TRP on Twitter for frequent musings. Thanks for reading!
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