Free Stuff

I don't like free stuff. I don't trust it.

Buy one, get one free. Why? What's wrong with it? If I only want one, do I have to take two? What if I don't want two? Should I take two and give one to the homeless guy outside the door? What message do I send to the world when I say, no thank you? I don't need two. I can afford to spend money that would buy me two, but I only need to take one. So look, everybody, how rich I am. Look and be grateful. That because I threw away my money on one, you may now have two.

Grocery stores - okay. Sometimes I take the deal in a grocery store. If I want the thing in the first place. Sometimes I wonder what they do with all that food anyway. So in a grocery store, taking the deal is only my part in the endless combat against waste.

But I just saw a deal for Ottomans on Amazon. Buy one, get one free. Why? What's wrong with it? Who wants two Ottomans? You're really gonna get someone an Ottoman just like yours for Christmas? I don't think homeless people need Ottomans. And what about the people buying only ONE Ottoman? Are they being horribly overcharged just so you can have two?

I worry about stuff like that. I don't like it.

My bank greets me with offers of cash back on purchases. I always wonder why. I always wonder who is paying for that? Where are they getting the money to pay me cash back on stuff I bought? It's not like they keep the profit that the guy who sold me the stuff was counting on. Is it?

Really. After all the hoopla about bank overcharges and hidden fees, why are they offering us cash back? Is that what the hidden fees are for? And once they hook us in with their little cash back offers, when will it end? And do I have to keep switching from one bank to another, taking advantage of one deal after another, just to keep getting some free stuff? It sounds exhausting. It sounds like I'm taking taking money from somebody else's (even my own) hidden fees.

Free stuff makes me nervous. There's a catch, I just know it. There's something I missed in the fine print. Somebody's paying for the free stuff.

It's probably me.