While we were out and about yesterday we stopped for lunch. We could have saved some time and money and waited until we got home. Another hour or two wouldn’t have killed us. The question was more about how miserable those couple of hours, and the rest of the day, would have been. It led to a good conversation about how we define value.
Lunch wasn’t extravagant. We stopped as Hesburger, the Finnish burger chain, and both got a chicken sandwich combo. A quality piece of breaded chicken, a small fry, and a regular soda for €8.10 ($9.59 USD) each. Because tax is included, the total was €16.20 ($19.19 USD). Katie commented that a lot of Americans we know, who have never spent any time outside of the United States, would throw a fit over spending almost $20 on modest fast food. They’d expect a large fry and a large soda with free refills (there are no free refills here).
Quantity or Quality?
I pointed out that the American notion of value is largely based on quantity. They want the most stuff for the least money. The money we spent held a different sort of value for me. In the right perspective, it was worth far more than $20.
For a start, I got to sit and recharge a few spoons. That was an immediate benefit. I wasn’t going to be hangry as I dealt with the rest of our errands, some of which were going to be stressful. That would prevent extra spoons being used up by anxiety. It also meant that when I got home I wouldn’t have to prepare lunch, or clean up afterward. That saved spoons, and created a perception of saving time (and reducing stress) because I could just sit down and go back to work when we got home.
I was able to get two-and-a-half manuscripts edited, answer some emails, and do a little bit of writing. Had we not stopped for lunch, I likely would have been too wiped out to accomplish anything for the rest of the day. I may have had to borrow some spoons from today. That’s what I spend $20 on. The food was a happy bonus.
How do you define value?
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