Emotional Purchases: Our Anniversary Indulgence
To say that we didn’t spend any money on our anniversary isn’t entirely true. We did decide at the last minute to spend some money on a treat for the both of us.
Traditionally, the bride and groom eat the top tier of their wedding cake on their first anniversary. We saved ours for this purpose. About two weeks after the wedding I realized it was taking up too much freezer space and said that we would eat it on our first month “anniversary” instead. We would just get a fresh one made if we decided to honor the tradition when we reached a year.
The morning before our anniversary Eric and I discussed getting a replacement topper to celebrate the occasion. In order to stay true to tradition, I contacted the bakery that made our wedding cake and asked what it would cost to make a small round topper like our original cake (without the decorations). It was white cake filled with fresh strawberries and cream cheese all iced in buttercream. Yum!
I knew it wasn’t going to be a cheap cake but the price still caught me off guard. I asked if they sold the cake by the slice but they didn’t – I would have to get a cake made and the smallest one fed six. After exhausting the options on the phone with her I impulsively said that would be fine, and placed an order for the bare minimum to be ready the following day.
When I hung up the phone a little wave of panic set in and I questioned my decision. I ended up calling a few friends to ask if I made a mistake and if I should cancel it. My mother said that I should cancel the order and suggested making one from scratch to save money. Although I normally would have made the cake myself we weren’t having the cake just to have cake. Either we followed tradition with that particular cake or we didn’t need to do it. It certainly wasn’t a requirement for us.
When I chatted with Eric about my concerns I was surprised to hear that he still wanted to get the cake. He said that we weren’t just buying any old cake; we were keeping with tradition for our first anniversary and that should be considered in the decision. He also said that we could make it work in our budget by counting it into food costs. I agreed that it was a lovely thing to do and with my husband’s encouragement I decided not to cancel the order.
This was definitely an emotionally driven purchase rather than a rational one. After placing the order my rational side immediately alerted me that I needed to step back and ask for other’s opinions. Honoring tradition (especially when it is wedding related) can elicit a strong emotional response and I realized I might not be able to trust my own judgment in this situation.
I wonder if this emotional response is what leads “normal” people to buy really expensive wedding gowns, designer baby furniture, huge diamond engagement rings, even costly funeral caskets. I can’t imagine these are completely rational purchases. There must be an emotional component influencing the decision.
To help cover the cost of this emotional purchase my rational side will take the cost of the cake from the grocery budget. That should be fine since we are already planning to limit our grocery purchases this month to mainly the fresh essentials. In preparation for the move we are cleaning out the pantry and freezer so my grocery trips will cost significantly less.
And boy, is it a good cake! Thoroughly and utterly delicious! The cake is more like eight or ten servings, not six, so we are still enjoying it this week.
Of course, this will not become a yearly thing. It was a $40 splurge only suited for the first anniversary. When you think about what this anniversary COULD have cost us (in gifts we didn’t buy for each other) I think we got by on a dime.
Ok, so it was about 400 dimes, but that’s still not bad! :-)