I walked into the fitness center this morning at 4:50.  Three others beat me in, one being on the elliptical, one being on a stationary bike, and the third being on the treadmill.  All of them were older than me, and I’m half dead at 50.  In the previous four days, I had been the first in the room, so I was somewhat stunned to see so many folks of any age in the room.

As I climbed onto the second treadmill, I quickly scanned the others in the room and they were all intently staring at the TV up in the corner near the door.  It was a Time Life advertisement for “a very special collection of hits”, “only available on TV”, “restored and remastered”, “never before released”…or so they said!

I quickly put on my headphones, cranked up the iPod, and blasted my favorite tunes.  But I kept looking up at the TV as well, drawn to the groups flashing on the screen in 10 second increments.  Sadly, I knew all of them, and the more I watched (even though I couldn’t hear), the more I wanted the collection!  Based on the stares from the others in the room, they too were tortured by the lure and allure of this particular CD collection.

All of us were the very customers Time Life was looking for when they picked that particular time slot and that particular channel for this particular collection!  And worse yet, in those last precious minutes of merciless taunting, they flash the kicker – “if you buy now, we’ll give you the incredible low price of $149.95”.  It had to be incredible, otherwise they wouldn’t have said it!

That iced it.

I want it.

More importantly, I want it now.

I certainly don’t need it now.

We live in a world that lives on impulse and wants immediate satisfaction.

Sometimes it works out ok; but more often than not, it doesn’t.

As one who has knee-jerked his way through life till now, here are some simple suggestions for handling this particular situation:

   (1) use that much needed time on the treadmill to ponder hard as to whether or not you need that “special collection” that was obviously pulled together just for you

   (2) if for some reason you do decide you need it, make sure you don’t try and order while you’re walking fairly fast on the treadmill

   (3) if you decide to order that must have item from the TV, right before you call, realize you can most likely get the songs you want almost immediately from iTunes

   (4) if you still decide to order that “none like it”, “only for a limited time” collection, realize that though they say “only on TV”, it’s very possible that it is indeed available at one of your favorite stores, so you probably could get it much quicker by visiting that venue

   (5) if after all that thinking (I know that’s hard if you too are over 50), you still want this “never before and never again” set of songs, then go for it, have it delivered overnight, and put that particular set of “timeless hits” picked “specially for you” on the CD rack with the hundreds or thousands of other CD’s that you also have that are rarely listened to anymore.

After all, our economy needs you, just like they need me!  In fact, we’re fueling the optimism that supposedly exists today!

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