A Justification of Frivolity

Today after work I swung by the store, bought the movie 300 and a bag of Munchie Mix.

Not that it was THAT kind of day but I seemed to need the distraction of mindless battle scenes and enhanced six packs.  I haven’t taken the plastic wrap off the DVD or ripped open the junk food yet but that’s not to say that I won’t before the evening is over and it’s time to brush and floss and crawl into the flannels.

Whenever I feel exhausted after a day I always have a “I deserve to…” mind set.  “I worked hard today therefore I really do deserve to buy something soft or pretty or salty or mindless or _____________________ (insert indulgence here)”.

And I got to thinking, why is it that often I always feel the need to justify a frivolous purchase even if it is only to justify it to myself?  Not that I do so all the time, but I frequently have the following conversation with myself as I stand in the aisle of the drug store or the supermarket , chip bag or magazine in hand:

“Now, do you REALLY need this?  Think of all the money you can save if you just read magazines online” or “seriously now, why do you need ANOTHER bubble bath then you’ve already got three bottles on the go?” and finally “Go for it.  It’s not like you spend your money on booze or tobacco.”

Maybe I’m contemplating the idea of indulgences because lent is just around the corner. For years I’ve always tried to give something up.  One year it was coffee.  I made a pact with one of my grade 12 students that I’d give up coffee if he’d give up smoking.

Four days into it :  “For the love of God Ms Helm have a cup of coffee.  I promise I won’t have a cigarette.”

I must have been REALLY grumpy in class that day.

It was then that I realized that it may be more important to GIVE something BACK to my world as opposed to GIVE something UP if for any reason than to keep my students safe from the wrath of my withdrawal.

But back to the justification of frivolity.

If the end result of silliness and triviality is a harmless distraction from reality, if even for an evening, than I say it’s worth the price of a DVD.  Sometimes I think some people deny themselves just to make themselves feel better.  Is it more nobel to publicly reveal your sacrifices than be privately indulgent?  Now I’m not saying go out and gorge yourself while watching staving orphans on television.  What I am saying is that being able to identify our motivation behind some of our actions we can learn A LOT about ourselves.

That being said, what mindless purchase do YOU deserve this week?


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