March 29th, 2013

I recently caught myself in yet another iteration of using technology to tear apart the moral fabric of society. It took me a couple of times, because each individual time seemed just fun and innocent, to realize how evil this new practice of mine really is. I’m going to tell you about it, even though I’m a little ashamed, just because I think that maybe it’s not just me who’s using their smart phone in this way and I think that we should all just agree to knock it off.

The first time I was with my stepmother. Her daughter had passed a handbag along to her that she, my stepmother, didn’t want. She wanted to know if I wanted it, but she also wanted to let me know that she felt a little crazy about just handing it off because her daughter, who had received it as a gift, had told her that the thing was worth $1,500. We both just sat there, then, looking at the thing in awe, neither of us having ever owned a bag that cost $1,500. But then I got suspicious. How could such a costly bag be getting handed around like this? Granted, my stepmother’s daughter runs in an excess-cash kind of a crowd, but still it seemed like too big an item to just be handed around. Plus, the thing was just really ugly. So, I did a simple, easy little thing. I looked at the tag and googled it. A few seconds later, we knew it had cost $250.

That time didn’t feel so bad, and maybe still doesn’t. Yeah, a little of the magic got stolen away, but at least we stopped treating an ugly zebra striped purse with undue reverence. This second time that I’m going to tell you about, this is the one where I realized that I was crossing a line I would do well to stay clear of. I was, again, with my stepmother and she had gotten a fancy box of chocolates from a neighbor. She was really excited and flattered to have a gift that, to her, was so exotic and decadent, and a part of that excitement was speculating on how much the neighbor had spent on the box. And it was so easy. Again I typed in the brand and looked for the quantity and a moment later we knew that it was a $45 box of candy. Sucking away that magic was a little sadder. We both just sat there, feeling like the thing was a little less special, not because it hadn’t cost enough, but because it had suddenly become so known and so attainable.

I’m not googling the cost anything I get from anyone, no matter what, ever again.

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