The Post About My Motives are Fine

Rationalization. It's defined as "attributing one's actions to rational and creditable motives without analysis of true and especially unconscious motives."

If it were a spiritual gift, I would be the giver. If it were a white Spring handbag, I would carry it. If it were a box of Cheez-its, I would eat it up in one sitting.

This problem lends itself most powerfully in the arena of my finances. I can rationalize a purchase in less than 15 seconds with no turning back. I'm a victim of my own past selling tactics. When I sold handbags at a department store, I would present a purchase to a woman like so:

"This handbag is normally $450, but it's on sale today for 60% off. (wait for it...) AND I can give you a coupon for an additional 15% off. You will save almost $300."

They still paid more than $150 for the bag, but rarely could a customer resist the pitch.

I'm no different. In my closet hangs an Emory Alumni fitted t-shirt - size small. I'm an alumni, but not a fitted small, but the shirt was $2. So I rationalized it. Red clearance stickers are the worst. They're usually found in the section of a store isolated in the back where the slim can be picked with less chaos. That's where you'll find me. Justifying a shoe that's too small, a dress that's too big, and books I already own.

The Mt. Everest of this mindgame is Ikea. It's my own personal Mecca. I can rationalize those purchases on distance alone, since the closest store is more than 150 miles away. I went there yesterday and here are a taste of the spoils:

As for this gorgeous pillow:

It's washable, matches more than one room in my house, and cost only $12.99. Scan it please.

Do you struggle with rationalization?

UPDATE: I actually roadtripped to Ikea with two co-workers - Phil and Risa (names changed to protect the guilty - you can read more about them here.) Phil didn't appreciate that he wasn't namedropped in the above post. So I will say this: I'm a "social" rationalizer compared to his hardcore got-to-have-it addiction.


  1. I love the pillow! How about a painting to go with that!!! :) Shall we say the next God's Masterpiece Painting Event!?

  2. Jamie,

    Heidi and I love Ikea. We use to go there all the time in Germany. Glad you didn't spend too much money..I wish I would of thought of Ikea when I was driving through Atlanta today..

  3. Is it just me, or did you basically say that you are a crackhead who drove with other crack smokers to a crack house that usually has lots of crack for a great price?

    This must explain why you RARELY invite me to go shopping. I ruin the fun.

    There MUST be a nice balance between the two of us. We must find that person so he/she can make both of us normal.

  4. The Strings-Make it so.

    Chris-Now you will remember.

    Caryann-You do ruin shopping fun, with all your talk about stewardship and accountability. Boo.


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