The list.

I shop for all sorts of things. Music equipment, music equipment and, of course, some music equipment. Some of those can be pretty expensive, like the music equipment. And I am not very smart about it when I buy. This is how it goes.

I hear about the thing. I am then maybe interested. Then: I am interested. Moving on to definitely interested. Then I ruminate and salivate. Equal parts each. That’s the most delectable part: when you know it’s going to happen but you haven’t pulled the trigger yet. Once I’m floating in my own drool (Ew!), I’m ready. R_E_A_D_Y: Ready. Ready to to some research, compare reviews, take information, answer pertinent question, think about it, believe what Peter says over John’s claim. I am ready. Then I shop, I really shop. I look at different prices, different providers. I evaluate, study, analyze, compare. Finally, after hours, days, weeks of agonizing, I press the buy button! Whatever I get, I deserve it, let me tell you.

But I still end up doing it all wrong. Why? Because I’m not doing a list.

Here is how it works: If you want to buy a car, you wait for the spring. If you want to buy a mattress, you wait for Labor day sales. If you want to buy everything else, you wait for Black Friday and/or Christmas. That includes purchasing music equipment.

Here is what would be a sensible shopping experience.

Calmly, I should realize that I need a piece of equipment. In a serene state, I should decide if I am interested. While reciting the twelve steps of Karma, I should look for the best brand and model that would suit my quest. As I am reaching Nirvana, I am deciding if I should even get the thing. Then, without fail and taking a deep breath every 40 seconds, I will put the item on the list for a distant future called the Holidays. And once that period of the year blessed among all period of the year comes, I should first try to levitate on a blanket of pink clouds, and then push the “Buy” button.

Yes, but that I do not do. I am promising myself I’ll make a list. Every year, cross my heart. To no avail. All too often, my list is empty by the time Thanksgiving rolls over. I’ve already done all my shopping during the year. Isn’t that ironic?