Friday, January 2, 2009

Deal shopping

I'm an educated shopper

In my family, if you're going to shop, you do so carefully. My family is not one for impulse shopping. Not for most things. From a young age my parents taught us (my siblings and me) to shop around for things before buying -- know what you're getting and know that you're getting it at the best price. I've employed this several times in my life. Recently I bought a guitar, but I read reviews, shopped around for prices, and found one with good reviews for what came out to be a reasonable price. Just last week I bought a new mobile phone after browsing and searching for over 9 months; I'm very happy with my selection and I got it for $100 less than the retail price. I bought a black suit I've been eyeing for almost a year for over $260 less than it the retail price due to getting it on sale. My parents taught me to shop. It may sound overtly capitalistic or materialistic that I point that out, but I think it's a good quality to have.

I don't always do what my parents taught me. Today I was a Best Buy and found a game I've wanted to get for a few months -- it wasn't on sale, but the price wasn't unreasonable so I bought it. I also checked for the Sarah Connor Chronicles Season 1 DVD: $28 and sold out. Later that evening I was at Barnes & Noble and they had a DVD I wanted to get (the NIN: Beside You In Time blu-ray) for $25. Well, it's not a bad deal, but I figured I'd wait. When I got home I checked on and found said DVD for $18, as well as the game I just purchased (and opened) for $37 from the manufacturer and the television series for $13 still. So, I made the purchase since the two DVDs totaled $31 which allowed for free shipping and handling; I saved about $15 on the tv series, but lost about $13 on the game. I'm still considering it a win.

I think it's possible to apply this same capitalistic methodology to finding a girlfriend/wife, but I feel that may be too simplistic. Unlike mate-hunting, a mobile phone cannot decide it doesn't want you to buy it. Hunting for the exact model of product you want does not entail factoring in what the phone wants or whether or not the phone wants you to own it. So far, my inherited skills of shopping have not transferred over into dating.

It kind of scared me

While at Barnes & Noble today I found a book called The Birth Order Book by Kevin Leman which outlined my personality traits, strengths, and faults to a disturbingly high degree of accuracy. I grabbed the book from the shelf, found the chapter labeled "Last Born" in the table of contents and turned to it. The opening line said "I'm willing to bet that if you're the last born you grabbed this book, skipped the first 8 chapters and turned straight to this one." Eep. From there it detailed how the last born is often somewhat manipulative, can go from being extremely charming and persuasive (they often make the best salesman) to very rebellious and temperamental later. They (we) are often very driven to make an impact in the world and stand out -- be it through positive or negative means. We are very persuasive and often succeed, not because we truly want to, but to "show" others what we can do. I browsed through the "First Born" and "Middle Child" chapters, as well as those on "First Son" and "First Daughter" (being my brother and sister, respectfully). Those were also quite accurate down to the perfectionist being the middle child (my sister was valedictorian in high school and after college got into the three best PA schools in the country) and the first born seeking leadership roles (my brother loves teaching and he wants to be a film director and/or director of photography). I'm tempted to actually purchase it.

Used, of course, from for about a quarter of what Barnes & Noble wanted.

[I've just learned you need to type the date as 2009 instead of 09 in blogger's scheduled post option in order to get it to post; that was the reason for yesterday's lack of a post -- blogger didn't post as scheduled due to a semantics issue.]


Brooke said...

This made me laugh so hard! Unfortunately, I don't think your "capitalistic methodology" will work with finding a girlfriend/wife, however, it would be very beneficial to find someone with the same shopping skills. Fighting against someone who is an inherent shop-a-holic could be disastrous to your marital bliss.

When Internet Explorer 7 first came out, I was NOT a big fan of the Tabs feature. However, now I can fully appreciate them and the benefit that they provide when comparison shopping. I have found Ebay to be very useful when looking for the best deal.

As for the book you mentioned, if you do decide to purchase it, I wouldn't mind taking a glance at it. I find that sort of thing fascinating, but you know that.

Oh yeah, glad to hear that you are "totally and really ok" with the cute girls following your posts. I am sure they will love that! :)

nae4blue said...

I'm the middle child. Reserved. I try to buffer the blow that my sister leaves with her youngest sibling impact. It's hard. But I'm also the oldest. I'm my dad's eldest daughter, but I've always been the "babied" or the "favorite." I discussed this once with one of my psychology teachers and she was so intrigued by it.

Pick up "The Psychology of Romantic Love" by Nathaniel Branden for some good capitalistic principles on how to pick up a good girlfriend/wife. It exists. It exists if by capitalistic you mean practical and rational. No lies. Read it. Seriously.

Becky said...

I wrote a paper on birth order and personality my freshman year at college. It was interesting to me too. And I remember feeling similarly about dating when I was buying my used car a few years ago. With cars, you can have them reviewed by a mechanic to make sure they're a good deal and you can ask the previous owner about any issues. With dating, you can't exactly get a good unbiased review from a previous "owner" (significant other).