I pretend that I don’t watch much television, but the truth of the matter is that I just really prefer to watch my stories (yes, I like to pretend I’m an 80 year old woman) after they’ve already aired. You see, I’m one of those unique people who don’t so much enjoy watching commercials.
But there are a couple of shows that I really enjoy and I will suck it up and watch them in real time even with commercials. I particularly enjoy the “gadget” commercials. There is something delightful about watching someone get Very Excited about how much easier their life is because this piece of plastic helps them crack open eggs in a way that they never could have managed with just their bare hands!
It’s all fairly ridiculous, but what is the most bizarre to me is when it’s time to find out the price of this life changing piece of flotsam. Because the advertisers know that to simply tell you what you’re going to pay would be silly. They have to tell you could be paying, that way you know that you’re getting a good deal. So despite the fact that no person ever in the history of the world has ever paid $20 for a pair of E-Z Peel Mitts that let you just rub the skin off of your potatoes, you can get not one but two pairs for only $9.95!
The manufacturer’s suggested retail price is a totally made up number. There’s no reason for anyone to ever pay that because it’s not really based on anything other than the cool factor of the product. But we feel like we’re beating The Man because we see that number and it makes the thing that we’re buying worth something. The real value, however, is what people will pay for the item.
I do this to myself all the time. I compare myself to another person and assign a lower value to me than I do to them. I’ll see myself like that piece of cheap plastic crap that pretends to be worth something, but is actually just worth a buck and a half. My real value gets lost because of the ways that I allow myself to simply be an imitation rather than my genuine self.
But what if instead of viewing myself as a cheap knock-off, I instead become the best person that I can be? What if I choose to live authentically? What if I give myself more grace?
I think it would be difficult to estimate the value of that.
Alise Wright is married to her best friend Jason and is the mom to four incredible kids. She enjoys knitting, playing keyboards in her cover band, eating soup and keeping an eye out for killer robots. She is currently working with Civitas Press collecting stories about depression for the Not Alone community project. You can read more of her writing at her blog and can follow her on Twitter.