Chocolate, Baseball, and Economics

On Wednesday, I read this entry at The Dredge Report. In it the author refers to this article from the Washington Post about Moleskine notebooks. She explains that she spends money on a few items that some might consider an extravagant waste, such as $8 for a bar of soap, before expressing a “WTF?” about people spending more than $10 on a notebook that has many much cheaper alternatives. I got her point, since I agree that one person’s view of irrational spending doesn’t translate to unacceptable. There can be tangible and intangible benefits in any product. Personal preference matters, and it’s what makes capitalism so interesting and effective. She concluded by asking what people spend their money on that some might find crazy.

For me, it’s a $4 pack of Cowboy Cookies or a $3 pack of baseball cards. I’ve written in the past about how perfect Liz Lovely cookies are, and Cowboy Cookies are easily the best cookies in their product line. Two giant, vegan cookies are enough to brighten any day, and $4 never seemed irrational after tasting one bite. They’re so good that sometimes I’m thankful that they’re $4 and not $2 or less, which would seem more “rational”. At $2 or less, I’d weigh 600 pounds and would clearly be a diabetic by now. I’m mostly kidding, but those cookies are that kick ass.

Now, baseball cards. This one’s a bit easier for me to accept the strange looks I might get. I’m 32-years-old and I’m still buying baseball cards. I’m not really collecting any more, because that involves too much expense and time. Instead, I buy them as a holdover, visceral feeling from my childhood. I began collecting in the early ’80s, expanding into a major hobby in the late ’80s. My interest waned in the early ’90s as the perfect storm converged: price per pack rose by a factor of three to six, depending on the brand, I went to college, and my funds reflected those of a jobless college student. When I entered the workforce after graduate school, trips to Target, where a reasonable variety of cards could be purchased, my interest reappeared. It’s continued more than sporadically over the last seven years or so.

There’s no rational reason for continuing to buy them, as they mostly sit in stacks in my closet. They’re unsorted until Spring Training every year, when I scramble at the last minute to find a few suitable for autographs when I arrive in Clearwater. It’s one of those silly habits that appears alongside disposable income. It would vanish if necessary, but it’s not at the current time. And it’s cheaper than a Porsche.

That’s where I blow my money. What about you?

2 thoughts on “Chocolate, Baseball, and Economics”

  1. My laundry list of items, in no particular order:
    – Ben & Jerry’s ice cream.
    – Pornography websites (I’m just saying…).
    – Chipotle’s burritos. Yum!

  2. 1. Tabloid magazines.
    2. Origins cosmetics.
    3. Underwear.
    None of these things are items anyone would necessarily consider “crazy.” What’s crazy is that I buy them in incredibly large quantities.

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