‘Right, that’s it! I am sick of this laptop. It freezes constantly, the battery is dead, it is too slow, the keyboard is beginning to pack up, and it is too heavy. We’re getting a new one tomorrow!’
That was the jist of my outburst. It was clear we needed a new laptop. I wanted one, my wife wanted one, and we could afford to replace it. Given this clarity, and the fact that I am not a technophobe (nor a techno geek), it should have been a simple case of going into a couple of shops, scoping out the offers, and driving home with one, shiny, new laptop. It should have been…
I don’t really understand what happens to me when I go shopping. I tend to only go when I really need something – as above. It should make things so much easier, but it doesn’t. If that purchase is tech then I nearly always talk myself out of purchasing.
This can take a few forms and the reasons for avoiding parting with my money are not many in number but powerful all the same. (Those of a casually racist bent may now wish to allude to my Scottish heritage being a factor, but I don’t think that’s it). The tech thing is particularly annoying. I am paranoid about buying something that is almost instantly obsolete as soon as I get it home. Laptop hard drives, memory, processors, screens, software capabilities and so on seem to improve so quickly that this is inevitable. I should be relaxed and accept it, but I can’t.
My second issue is the finding-it-cheaper-somewhere-else-after-I-already-bought-mine syndrome. I just hate when that happens so much, and feel so personally cheated, that I hang back from committing in the vain hope of a future saving. The stupid thing is that the saving might never come, and I am still depriving myself of the thing I have already rationalised that I need and can afford.
The third thing is more prosaic and difficult to pin down. I just don’t like spending money on things that I’d rather not if I could get away with it. (Oh aye, Scottish person alert!) The most common scenario is that after setting out, clearly in need of an item, once I am confronted with actually parting with the green stuff, I decide I can make do with what I already have or that I never needed it in the first place.
It’s not just tech, although it’s probably the most extreme example. Choosing and paying for clothes is another minefield of indecision and self-doubt. I rarely buy what I set out to get and come home empty-handed time and time again. Shoes are the worst. It took me six weeks to buy a pair of trainers after realising my existing ones were pretty much ready for the bin (I still have them).
So, is it a bloke thing? Is it a Scottish thing? Is it a me thing? I can tell you that whatever the answer, it is a very annoying thing!
Anyway, you’ll be very pleased to know that I made a right royal mess of buying the new laptop, and although I did get one, I am now not sure it was the right one or that I couldn’t have got it at a better price elsewhere. Ahem…
Now, how about choosing a Kindle? Well, there are three of them, oh, and some other rival ones, and they all do slightly different things, and they all cost about the same, and, and aaaaarggghhh!