An experimental psychologist at the University of Minnesota, Vohs is lead author of a new study in the May issue of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology in which she argues that making decisions — something most of us are forced to do countless times each day — lessens our ability to control our impulses.
In Vohs’ view, choosing one option over another is a uniquely depleting experience, one that makes us more likely to indulge in bad habits.
I think we can all vouch for this in some form or other. Whether you’ve purged your closet down to only the clothes you really like and then find each morning a little easier when you open the closet. Or if you know exactly what you want, go to the store, find it, and leave. It’s a great feeling.
I know that I don’t get out as much with two small children but when I do I am CONSTANTLY having to maintain self control over even the smallest things. It’s like this entire universe of stuff I don’t need just calls my name when it’s in front of my eyes. This is one area being married has helped me. I now do not do impulse buys and if I do buy something unplanned I strongly justify it in my head before buying it, take it home and almost already prepare to return it if my “justification” doesn’t pass the “husband test.” It has greatly reduced the junk I bring in the house!
Weddings have a million choices. Even just picking a wedding vendor isn’t simple. You have to CHOSE where to even begin your search – magazines, asking people, websites. Then you have to narrow down who you will call, then you have to set up interviews (chosing times on that and whether you’ll bring your mom or fiance), then listen to the vendor and chose whether you will sign the deal or keep looking. Even if you do sign a contract there are a million choices within the vendors options.
I was lucky that we found most wedding vendors through word of mouth. This meant I never interviewed more than one vendor and signed right away, taking out a huge burden initially. And because we had a certain mentality about our wedding – it’s about the mood and our friends, NOT about spending a lot of money, it made it easier. Our wedding food was “Just fine”, nothing special, our flowers were just fine (my bridal bouquet was very lovely), our reception spot was just fine – the church basement. We had a wonderful wedding because it was about the people we love. And while we didn’t spend as much as the national average, we also didn’t feel cheated! That is one of the reasons I hate wedding budget talk – the implication is that you either have to spend hundreds of hours “doing-it-yourself” to save money (but what about your TIME?!), or you have to cut important corners by having a morning wedding with punch when everyone has an evening wedding. For some people that’s just great but for many of us I think we want our cake and eat it too! 🙂 We have to stand up for what we believe in and what we value and let all the comparisons and wedding magazine photos go by the wayside. They show a reality most of us don’t participate in and even worse, the don’t show the reality of what is really going on – strained parent relationships, fighting, stress and bitterness that may develop when you plan a high stakes wedding.
I don’t have the magic answer to having a wedding on a budget, but I do know that if more of us built a community of support, it would be much easier to make all those wedding decisions and not feel cheated or stressed. Unfortunately those wedding communities by their very nature can’t be on the major national wedding websites whose primary revenue comes from the high end advertisers who want us to spend a ton of money on our wedding. If all the brides were frugal the advertisers would not support the website and in turn the website would go away…
So just how do we TAKE BACK OUR WEDDING?!