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Monday, October 25, 2010

Perception of Value

I like Halloween.
I like Halloween because, even as an adult, I like to play "let's pretend" in my own mind.
I'm not much of an actor, but I enjoy the process of theatre.
Because of that I enjoy costuming.
Halloween is the one time of year that I can wear costumes out and about without anyone thinking it odd.

$100 is a lot to spend on a costume. Even if it were a costume I REALLY wanted I probably wouldn;t spend $100 on it at the Halloween store.

But I am CERTAIN I have spent more than that on all of the components that are making the costume I am going to wear this year.
One piece alone (not quite finished yet) has a $5 piece of PVC tube, 1 $10 piece of PVC tubing, a $5 PVC tube cap and a few PVC couplers ranging in price from $.90 to $2. There is, in this piece, a motor, some lights and a couple of switches. All in all, this one piece will probably have cost me $50 when I am done with it. Does this bother me? A little. A VERY small amount. Why? Because of perception.

By buying the pieces one at a time and assembling them I FEEL like I am saving money. I FEEL like each expenditure is insignificant (and, really, each ONE is; it's the summation that isn't).

I find it interesting that, even knowing that perception is the key to value, that I am still perceiving something that is A LOT of work AND costs more as being less wasteful than spending $100 on a costume at the Halloween store. Granted, this costume is not available in any store so I CAN'T just purchase it, but if it were I would have to examine the cost versus the amount of work.... and I would probably still choose the harder and more expensive route. Sigh.... at least I'm consistent in my behavior.


  1. So....what are you going to be for Halloween?

  2. Something that cost FAR more than I thought it would. :-)

    Surprise first; pictures later.