In the grocery store yesterday I saw a woman pick up some type of beef from the Publix meat section, put it in her cart, and walk off. By the time I picked out one pack of chicken the woman had returned only to place the beef back on the shelf. She realized we were looking at her, so she began to explain why she was putting the meat back and what she planned to have for dinner instead. I smiled and said something along the lines of, “I totally get it.” Truth be told I did not hear one word she said but for some reason, I felt the need to support her decision to return the unidentified meat.
I wondered how many times I had picked up something in the grocery store only to revisit that aisle later during my shopping experience to put the item back. Usually, I put stuff back because it’s (a) not on the grocery list or (b) would increase my intake of unhealthy snacking. I found it oddly comforting that this woman put back her item just like I had done so many times before. Why would any of us put something in our grocery cart that we don’t want or need? Immediate gratification is the only thing I can surmise. We all love instant gratification, don’t we? The first bite of a delicious cheeseburger or the enjoyment of clicking on checkout now through Amazon. Prime Memberships have propelled us into a sense of bliss knowing that within a matter of hours our shiny new purchases will be delivered to our door.
It wasn’t so long ago that Willy Wonka taught us the dangers of instant gratification. He desperately sought out an honest little boy or girl to take over the Wonka empire by way of a golden ticket. Five lucky little children got to tour one of the happiest places on earth. One by one those naughty little boys and girls fell victim to ‘I want it now’. A never-ending supply of chocolate from the fudge river. Taking flight with the fizzy lifting drink. Altering your molecules to become a tiny version of yourself through Wonka Vision and especially the infamous Everlasting Gobstopper. The full-on temper tantrum by Veruca Salt desperate to own a goose that lays a golden egg is not soon forgotten. Since the movie’s debut in 1971, I can only imagine that everyone was as appalled as I was by this terrible behavior. While most of us don’t scream now, now, now, we are in some ways inching toward this behavior being acceptable within our society.
In typical Mrs. B fashion, I will divulge my “I want it now” behavior. It makes me sublimely happy purchasing endless Seasons of Project Runway and classic movies like Vegas Vacation and Animal House. Once procured through my Amazon prime account I download it right away and dive into hours of mindless viewing. Inevitably the bill comes (right away to my email) and I am mortified to see that the miscellaneous line item in my budget will now skyrocket over $40, and that’s on a slow month. Why would I waste so much money for something I could rent or at the very least acquire other options for pennies on the dollar from E-bay? Because I WANT IT NOW, that’s why. While it makes my little heart elated to have this purchasing power I am going to think twice before I tap on the “buy now” button on my iPad.
It’s Friday morning, take a deep breath and try to remember that patience is a virtue.
Sincerely in love with my Amazon Prime,