There is a certain category of item, mostly personal electronics stuff, that although in theory I would love to own, in practice, when it really comes down to it, I will opt against parting with the money. Examples of this are: the Playstation 3 (would love to have, but will simply not buy), a really nice gaming laptop, the Nintendo WII, a color laser printer, a large flatscreen TV, those nice $200 noise-cancelling headphones that they sell at the Apple store (forgot the brand — Bose? Harman Kardon?).
Although the reasons for this are mostly financial (e.g. $200 for a set of headphones!), sometimes it is not strictly the case. For example it’s not just that paying $400+ for a PS3 is too much money; what worries me, rather, is paying $400 and then not being able to manage the logistics of actually using it. As it is I spend 2-3 hours every day on maintaining and creating content for this blog, plus I have a family and 2 kids (and 2 dogs) to take care of, plus I have a full time job, plus I like to find time to do art/painting (I don’t), plus I have dozens of books and magazines that I would like to read, plus I’m supposed to be building the websites of 2 friends. And although there certainly is a gamer that lurks within me, I have always thought of myself as a PC gamer, more inclined to be playing strategy games such as Civilization IV than console-style games.
So, in effect, the only way for me to own any of the above mentioned items (PS3, $200 headphones, etc.) is for them to just fall into my lap.
Which is how I was faced with my recent dilema: I won a brand-spanking new PS3 console at my company’s Christmas party last week.
The PS3 came with a receipt, and therefore I could either (a) keep it, or (b) take it back for store credit. After deliberating for some time (with my wife “voting” against keeping the thing) I decided to take it back. Now I have some $440 of credit at Best Buy that I can use to get whatever I like, and I’m thinking about what I should I get instead.
I’m considering those $200 headphones !