As a rule, I will find the least efficient way to do something. Seems I’d rather bang my head against a wall than take a straightforward approach.
It’s rarely intentional. I’m reminded of the sunk-cost fallacy: if I’ve spent a great deal of time trying to do something one way, why would I start over and do something a different way? Clearly, the thing that I’m doing will work, it just needs a little more time.
I’ve become better at acknowledging this when it happens. Learning to swallow my pride and take advice from someone else is difficult, but easier in the long run. This has helped in my relationships and my personal life. My therapist and I have had many discussions about why I’ve tortured myself making things more difficult than they need to be, and over time I’ve learned to not... do that.
That said! Rather than pony up money for the latest Nintendo system and purchase it outright, I’ve spent the last year finding a way to con the world into giving me one. Maybe “con” isn’t the right word; trick? Swindle? The point is if I step back and tally it up, I definitely could have picked myself up a Switch by now.
-Tried to win a Switch at one of those mall kiosks that you never see anyone win at, no matter how long they stand in front of them. I’m not talking about a crane game- this is one of those flashing light monstrosities that always have an iPad Pro or Beats headphones in there. Come, they beckon. It’s only one dollar per play. How hard can it be to line up some lightbulbs or put a key in a lock? My favored device was a “cut the string” type of deal, where you’d get the scissors to slice through a string that would drop your desired prize into the prize hole. After lining the scissors up perfectly several times in a row and seeing the blades be unable to cut through the string, I realized that maybe, maybe, this game was a scam. Damn if I didn’t git gud at that game though.
-Bought so many boxes of Post cereal. There’s been some kind of promotion lately where the Post cereal brand will have a code in the box that you can redeem for a chance to win a Nintendo Switch, and you’ll also receive some coins you can use for My Nintendo so you can finally afford that phone wallpaper you’ve always wanted. I probably went through ten boxes of cereal (well, my roommates and I) before I realized I was playing the lottery. It’s always that way though; that lingering thought in the back of your mind that says, “I’ve never won anything like this before, surely I’m overdue”. Maybe I should have gone with another box of Honeycombs instead of Honey Bunches of Oats...
-Attempted to use the profits made from flipping a Switch when they were still scarce to purchase another Switch for myself. It’s funny now, but a year ago it was still pretty difficult to find a Switch in stores. They would sell out online, especially the ones with red and blue controllers. I sensed an opportunity; the next time one went up on Amazon, I one-click purchased it and had it delivered to me. I decided to put it on eBay and Craigslist, and try to make a little profit. A noble, misguided effort. I’ll definitely never be a railroad baron with my business acumen. I did manage to sell the Switch on eBay for more than MSRP- but by the time the seller fees were taken out and shipping costs applied, I probably made less than twenty dollars. Which I then spent on that mall kiosk.
-Wish. Nothing wrong with wishing! It just might come true!
Once the wedding is all taken care of and my finances settle down a little bit, I’m walking into Target and taking the straightforward approach. No, not robbery. I’m admitting that I’ve taken the long way around and I’m ready to bite the bullet and pay for my Switch with my hard-earned money. Like an adult!
Then again, I heard about an online raffle where I can get more chances to win if I input my entire contact list...