Thursday, January 26, 2017

January 26, 2017

Comparison Shopping, Social Pressure, and Baby Socks

First: baby socks!

Part of my knitted care package for a coworker's baby shower.

There was a fundraising campaign around the office to raise money to buy her, through Amazon, a $260 crib that she wanted. I am not comfortable with that on several levels (Why buy new? If buying new, why not buy local? Why in the world $260 for a crib?!), so opted out.

Second: Shopping for said baby shower lunch. I know I sound like (and sort of am) a grinch, but to me the best gatherings are simply about getting together and exchanging good wishes, good food, and shared times. The more contrived they become, the less I want to participate.

A different coworker planned an elaborate party, included a taco bar buffet for 50 provided by our small direct team, fancy decorations, color-themed disposable serving items, etc. The sad part is that she struggles financially and is among the least well compensated by job role, but feels that it is very important that we do this shower in this particular way. I suggested that perhaps we could dial it back--just having cake and punch and presents, or a random potluck, but she was willing to take on all the expense herself to make it work. Which doesn't seem fair or right. So, other team members are stepping up to provide said food items to even out the distribution.

I feel like it is the right thing to do (though I wanted to opt out), but I am grumpy about it.

I asked UFF Dad, who has a more flexible schedule, to pick up 4 cans of refried beans and 2 bags of tortilla chips for my share of the planned taco bar. I asked him to go to BiMart, thinking it would be cheaper than our local fancy-spendy grocery store. He is less aware of comparison shopping, doing less of it himself, and didn't realize that $1.29 is a lot for a can of beans (79 cents at Winco). An extra $2 spent right there!

Spending for today: $8.99 (for baby shower lunch)

What do you think? Should I have opted out of the lunch buffet?

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