Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Boots Vs. Buddies: or, the Social Network Happiness Experiment

If you are reading this, it might be because you encountered this yesterday:

Welcome, newcomers, to my blog, my OTHER hamlet of creative internet self-expression. The Lindsey Grant process is not complete, but it has been institutionalized: I have decided to put exactly $109 where my mouth was.

Now, later yesterday evening, a friend's 6-week old baby looked at me with his giant eyes, and my wallet flew open! And thus, the moneybags mood that I posted about was satiated. But I was so enchanted by your answers, ranging from quotidian needs to hearts' desires (and a few flattering requests for me to come visit... I will be writing to these dear friends especially, shortly). I have decided that I want to return something-- something tangible, something purchasable-- to each of those who commented on that status post. I want to enhance our little ephemeral FB interaction. I regard FB as the world's most seemingly trite but potentially moving website. I want to ground our interaction and see if facebook can, for once, make life measurably better. And that measurement happens to be $109.

Maybe a little backstory might be nice.

It all started this weekend. Your author was chained to her desk, slogging through post-structuralist psychoanalytic feminist readings (the kind of homework assignment that makes your eyes bleed... ok, get bloodshot. You get the idea. NOT. FUN.) To turn my weekend around, I headed to Nordstrom Rack, ostensibly to get new eye make-up remover, aka, a NEED.

Exhibit A: a WANT. A girly, magnificent WANT.
I came out with the world's most beautiful, perfectly slouchy, not-too-brown-not-too-grey, $109 Steve Madden fall initiation boots (See Exhibit A). The guilt for such a purchase was considerably high, being a poor grad student, but I rationalized, thinking of all the mileage I'm going to get out of these boots, and the large gap they fill in my modest boot collection, and how much money I saved by getting them from the Rack. 

(And what do you know, they even matched the sundress I victoriously found on sale earlier in the summer, mentioned three posts ago! See: Exhibit B).

Exhibit B: Taylor Swift, eat your heart out.
 Ok. Fashion part of this post over, for the fellas' sake.

Now, Mrs. Tara T. Boyce was nearest to understanding what happened to me next this weekend:

I hadn't seen the TED talk she referred to, but I had read this article, from the NYT "Your Money" section:

Spend money on other people, get happier? The article loomed ominously in my mind, right next to the mental image of the Rack receipt in my wallet. I knew there were a lot of people's needs and wants that I could spread out 109 dollars over.

No dice. I am only slightly ashamed to admit that the boots stayed. They premiered at church, to great acclaim from my favorite shoeholics, Jeff and Rich, and then the boots spent the rest of the weekend next to my closet door, so I could see them always (I really am not a big shopper, despite the tone of this post. This purchase was big and exciting for me. Don't judge.). 

I remembered buying a present on the spur of the moment for my brother recently, and I compared the two types of happiness I had experienced from these two purchases. Now, some of you might scoff at me, and I'll probably eat my words later... but the happiness level was about the same, from boots to my bro's gift. :)

And thus began the idea of seeing what exactly another $109 could do for me, happiness-wise, if invested entirely in the needs and wants of others. But how to maximize its purchase potential? How to ensure that it goes towards those within my circle of acquaintance who would welcome it? Enter the self-selecting answer: facebook.com.

And so here we are, twenty something responses later. To Jerry, Lance, Camille, Tara, Josh, Michelle, Jillian, Spencer, Megan (Shaunna, I'm gonna go ahead and say you can take over Summer's wish, sounds like you fit her need perfectly!), Angie, Steph, Taylor, Russell, Auntie J, Shaun/Maria and co., Melissa, and Aunt Diane:

Will you send me your home addresses, either through the comment section below or by email at lindseyannchristensen {at} gmail {dot} com? You might not get what you asked for, but I want to make sure I come through for you. I want to make some people happy. 

(In response to Darci and probably my Mom's concern: don't worry that I'm in grad school and poor. I work full-time, so I'm not THAT poor. And I have the delicious feelings that this will be worth it). And to those who want me to come visit them: I have something extra special planned for you. Send me your addresses, and I'll "see" you later :)


Joshua said...

Wow. I dig this idea. I just moved (again) so here is where my quaint single life will be sequestered for the next month or so:
Josh Brothers
741 N. 700 W.
Provo, UT 84601

Kathryn said...

You're awesome Linds. :)

MeganandClaudy said...

this is so cool you're doing this! And, I do love those boots :)

Megan Lavin
1473 South 550 East
Orem, UT 84097

taratboyce said...

Or, I'll just post it.

1457 East 1370 South
Provo, UT 84606

Make sure you include YOUR address, okay?

Michelle said...

I saw my name on that list and couldn't remember what I requested. I checked...different Michelle. Ha, you kill me with this idea, though. :)