Do I Need To Buy This?

Do I need Jack Stack’s Pork Sampler for Two? Four pork ribs, half a pound of pork burnt ends, half a pound of pulled pork, and a half pint each of hickory pit beans and cheesy corn, a pint each. Do I need that? No? Well, then why do I have to keep talking myself out of buying it?

Yes. it cost $27.38 with tax. $33.38 with a tip. What would the special cost if I was buying it at regular price? More than $25. So buying it now makes more sense, is more economical than buying when it’s regular price. I’m going to buy barbecue from Jack Stack sooner or later, anyway. I’m saving money in the long run. But, if I buy it now, I am still going to buy more later, so…

But. I don’t need it. I have food at home. And now, in this climate, it is a time to be saving money, to be cutting back, to be tough with myself financially, to really be saving money, not spending on luxuries like take out. I will need that money later. For whatever. I need to be smart and sensible and hoard my money for the next rainy day, or  the next shut down.

On the other hand, people need their jobs. Restaurants need business to stay open and pay their employees. I should be supporting my local businesses by patronizing their establishments and spending a little money if I can. Small businesses need my help. Right now. More than ever.

But, all I really want are the pork ribs. And the beans. I’m no fan of burnt ends; there is some gristle at the end that prohibits mindless chewing and swallowing. I don’t need pulled pork. I’ll eat it, if it’s there, but I don’t live for it. The ribs usually cost $16. The added meat dishes for an extra $9 are an incentive to spend the extra money.

This is that itch again. The Spend Money, Buy Something Itch that won’t let me go until I have put a dent in my bank account or credit. It keeps begging and begging until I have wasted some money on something inessential or spent money I should not have. Disposable income is not enough.

Be gentle with ourselves. Be kind to ourselves. Take care of ourselves. I’ve been hearing this advice for months. This 3-day sale is an invitation to treat myself. Treat yourself; is that what I heard someone say? It is all right to throw money at momentary pleasure, at a few minutes of barbecued perfection, if someone says something that seems to validate my desire.

I can wait until the next sale, though. I can. I should. I want to. 

I haven’t treated myself properly in a couple of weeks and I’m worried that if I don’t give myself something soon, I am going to do something…regrettable. I’ll go on a bender. I’ll go on a spree and splurge and damage myself financially. I’ll spend the next two years paying for another piece of exercise equipment I’ll barely notice before I have owned it for a year.

Bu, those pork ribs. Succulent, tender, juicy, savory. I could make a salad to go with it. Sweet onion dressing. Bake some rolls. Eat like it’s my birthday all over again. 

And feel slightly guilty and selfish and emotionally immature and irresponsible and foolish and wasteful and silly. After the pork ribs are gone, then what? Gnawing on pulled pork and gristly burnt ends I didn’t even really want. Is it worth $25? Can’t I just air fry a chicken breast and feel just as good about myself?

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