It’s odd how certain items you buy can end up affecting your life. The most inexpensive, off the cuff purchase can pay for itself over and over, while some things are just so stupid, they make you wonder if you’re actually much dumber than you give yourself credit for. Here are some of those things.
1. Nice Sunglasses
I’ve learned my lesson. It took the better part of a decade, but I finally figured it out. There’s nothing more annoying than having one go to pair of sunglasses and then not being able to find them. It always happens on the sunniest of days, too. Here’s the weird thing–I only do this with pricey shades. If I’ve spent more than $50 on some sunglasses (which I’ve done more times than I care to admit) you can guarantee those suckers will get up and walking away at some point in the next six months. Afterward, I’ll usually pick up a pair of cheap banger shades, and suddenly, no matter how hard I try, I can’t get rid of them. It’s like they realize how worthless they are and they’re hanging onto me for dear life, whereas my expensive sunglasses just decide that they’re too good for me and leave. I’m now on 18 months of the same pair of $5 Wayfarer knockoffs that I bought at a liquor store, and I think I’m doing it for life. So, goodbye Ray-Ban, Costa del Mar, and Oliver Peoples. It’s shitty Chinese replicas for me forever.
2. Box Of Nice Cigars
About a year ago, I binged on all of “The Sopranos.” In many ways, Tony Soprano is my spirit animal. He wears comfortable button ups, shorts, and loafers, and he also doesn’t take care of his body, he has a smoking hot wife who’s super cool, and he works at a job that no one really understands. So what did I do? I spent a few months drinking red wine and I bought a mini humidor and 40 nice cigars to be more like the guy. And that was a fucking stupid idea. My plan was to quit smoking cigarettes (which I should probably still do) and switch over completely. That lasted less than a week. I just don’t enjoy smoking cigars as much. If I’m being honest, I don’t think anyone my age should. Sure, I enjoy chomping on a stogie on the golf course every now and then, but if we’re being honest, I’ve never seen anyone in his or her twenties smoke a cigar and not look like he or she was trying way too hard to look cool. Cigars should be something you’re not allowed to buy until you’re 40 unless you just had a child.
3. Sound System For My Car
I’m not saying that sound systems overall are stupid. There aren’t many things better than getting into a luxury car and banging old school Nas through your custom Bose speakers. I was a dumbass, though, and a poor one at that, so I just replaced all of my speakers with affordable aftermarket versions, and hooked up two 10-inch subwoofers to an underpowered amp. The results were…meh. Yeah, the bass hit a lot harder and some songs sounded really good, but the fact was, I didn’t know dick about sound systems, so the balance was all over the place and I’m not totally sure it actually sounded any better. Then the amp kind of groaned and petered out to the point that it only really powered one sub at a time. It was dumb. That’s lesson number one about purchasing anything: don’t spend the least amount possible. Make sure you can either spend the right amount of money, or don’t spend any at all.
4. Every McDouble Ever
When I’m in the middle of eating a McDouble, it’s always the best idea I’ve ever had. I’m just sitting there, mouth full of “beef” and “cheese,” wondering aloud how it’s possible that something so delicious could only be a dollar. Then, a few hours later, my body reminds me. Look, I’m not one of those “clean eating, only natural ingredients” hippie dippies. I also don’t think it’s anti-capitalist to say that whatever McDonald’s puts in its Value Menu food cannot possibly be good for you. Does that mean I won’t ever buy a McDouble again? Absolutely not. I’ll find a way to either talk myself into it, and it’s usually through one of two inner monologues: “Oh, it’ll be fine this time, you don’t ALWAYS shit melted wax when you eat there,” or “Don’t kid yourself. You can’t afford anything else, so it’s either this or starve. You got us here, dick.” I’ll eat it again. And regret it. And the cycle will continue.
5. Ping Pong Table
I brag about very few things. I’m a decent writer, a great drunk food cook, and a phenomenal ping pong player. Actually, let me contextualize that. I’m better than most people in the world at ping pong. I won the company tournament at my last corporate job where most of the employees were software programmers. This means many of them were from ping pong-centric countries, and they had a lot of free time on their hands. Several of them had actually competed on an amateur level. Conversely, I’ve played against actual table tennis competitors, and they’ve wiped the floor with me. Basically, if you refer to the game as ping pong, I can probably beat you. If you refer to it as table tennis, you’re either a pedantic dick or I’m fucked. Anyway, I decided I was finally going to buy my own table for my apartment to stay sharp on my game. It was fun for a while. One of my good friends was a college tennis player who would regularly beat me, so the competition was solid, but then he moved back to Texas like a jerk and suddenly my opponents dried up. See, people who aren’t great at ping pong don’t enjoy playing people who are good at it. It’s not like I’m an asshole about it, but I can see how it would be frustrating when you hit a shot that’s impossibly hard for you, and your opponent just sends it back like it was nothing. Slowly, our ping pong table became used for beer pong and a place to throw our shit down when we came home from work. Once I realized it was really only taking up space, I sold it on Craigslist for a fifth of what it originally cost me. Maybe if I had more talented friends I wouldn’t have had to do that. I hope you assholes are reading this.