There are so many things that I want in life. Kate Spade purses. Order in my home. Useful and beautiful gifts. Harmony in my relationship. Good behavior from the children I take care of.
You can’t always have what you want. Or get what you want – whatever. So much so that it is a song lyric, right?
But you can try. Sometimes. And you just might find…when you try, it’s a lot more likely that you can get… what… you… need. (@#$#)
I’m a little reluctant to tell this story, but I’m doing it anyway.
I went shopping on Thanksgiving this year. Personally, I think that this is a little unethical, but I decided to reassure myself that some people actually do like working on Thanksgiving/aren’t able to be with their families who live far away/enjoy the overtime pay.
Anyway. I went to Best Buy because I really wanted a Microsoft Surface 2 Tablet. I waited in line outside for about 15 minutes with my mom. While in line, a Best Buy employee went down the line, asking what we were intending to purchase. There were “ticketed items” and “non-ticketed items.” With the ticketed items, you needed, you guessed it, a ticket to purchase that item.
The employee passed us and asked what we were planning on buying. I told him I was planning to buy a Microsoft Surface 2. He said “No problem. Not a ticketed item – and I definitely think we’ll have enough.”
As soon as we got inside, store employees told us to wait in a specific line if we wanted anything computer related.
I waited in that line for about an hour. It wasn’t fun – I’m still experiencing a little pain from my car accident when I stand too long (and on top of that, is standing in line EVER fun?), but it was okay. I made conversation with some of the people in line and made sure that any store-display laptop I passed was directed to www.homekeyorganization.com (clever, huh?)
After that hour in line, I reached a Best Buy team member to help me secure what I needed. This was a little weird, since RIGHT next to me was my best friend from my freshman year of high school. I was really wanting to strike up a conversation with her to see if she remembered me – but we had a huge falling out those 15 years ago, so I wasn’t sure this was a good idea. Luckily (or unluckily) I didn’t have time to take action on this, since the employees of Best Buy were incredibly efficient.
“What do you need today?” they asked.
“A Microsoft Surface 2. 32 Gigabytes. The $300 one,” I replied.
“Where’s your ticket? That’s a ticketed item.”
“No it’s not. The guy in line told me it wasn’t. He asked specifically,” I said, the anger slowly building up inside of me.
“Yes, it is. You need a ticket.”
“The guy in line told me I didn’t need one.” I was started to understand the Black Friday crazy customer rage scenario.
“Yes, it is. You need one. Sorry. You’ll have to wait until everyone else with a ticket has purchased one.” The employee did not seem to care.
“Oh. Okay.” I wanted to blow up, and was ready to, but realized that it wouldn’t get me anywhere, and my old ex-friend from high school would have to witness it, and that just wouldn’t work.
So…I walked away. I took a few deep breaths. And then I decided that I was going to ask for what I wanted.
I walked over to another employee and told her what happened. She motioned for a manager, who then walked over. “Tell him what you just told me,” she said.
I told him my situation and he said “Okay. No problem.” He then told another employee to get the product I wanted. I was then promptly rung up and out the door.
I think this is a really good example of asking for what you want. Had I not, I would’ve left there incredibly upset. I would’ve been angry for the rest of the weekend, including during my family’s Thanksgiving Dinner (which was held on Friday.) I may have visited Best Buy again over the weekend and been angry with the employees, though it wasn’t their fault.
Asking for what you want can make things so much simpler–and eliminate so much worry.
Asking for what you want is also a really effective tactic to try with your kids. A lot of times children can’t read our subtle cues. Need a certain behavior at a certain time? Ask. The more in advance, the better.
“I’m about to make a phone call – if you play quietly while I do this will help me a lot.”
Seems simple, but a lot of parents forget to do this. Prepping a child in advance, and telling them what you need, will yield a higher percentage of them doing what you want them to do. It won’t work every time, but letting your needs be known is much more helpful than trying to address them in the middle of everything.
What else can you think of that you want?
One thing that I want in the next couple of years is an engagement ring. (Oh-la-la!)
As some of you know, I met a wonderful man in 2014. We are moving forward with our relationship and are planning on getting engaged in the next couple of years.
(Now, this story is about asking for the engagement ring I want, but at the same time, there is another part that I think is significant: making my desires known. There are people who are interested in marriage and people who are not. I believe that people need to do what works best for them. However, I was very clear with my sweetie from the beginning that marriage is something that I desire – something that is important to me. By making this clear – and asking for what I want – I was able to avoid dragging out a relationship with the wrong person!)
When it comes to the jewelry that I will wear every day for the rest of my life, well…I am particular. Who wouldn’t be? I’ve read so many stories of women getting engagement rings that they don’t like and having this be completely uncomfortable and upsetting.
How am I addressing this? By making my needs and wants known.
The first thing I have done is to secure some diamonds. This isn’t as hard as it sounds – I’ve asked relatives who have jewelry that they don’t wear anymore if they wouldn’t mind giving it to me to be repurposed into an engagement ring. This makes the budget part of the engagement ring situation easier – the most expensive part is covered.
Another thing I have done is created a Pinterest board that I have shared with my sweetie highlighting the kind of engagement ring I want. This was he knows my taste, style and desires.
The third is that I have taken the business card of the custom jeweler that I know and taped it to the fridge. Obvious? Maybe. However, for a piece of jewelry that I will wear for the rest of my life, obvious is needed!
Now, this may seem like a lot. And it is! However, there are reasons for it all.
1. Reduction of Anxiety
When you ask for what you want, the person you are asking doesn’t have to wonder. Things are clear. Your needs are obvious. There is no guessing. For many people this can be a huge relief.
2. Avoidance of Awkwardness
Getting something that you don’t want or need can be awkward and uncomfortable. By making what I want known, the appreciation is genuine.
3. Leaving Some Surprise
With the engagement ring, I have given basic ideas and guidelines, but the ring and proposal will still be a surprise. This can be true of many gifts. While surprise is nice, sometimes complete surprises are unwanted or unwelcome.
When my sweetie and I get engaged and married, it won’t be because of a ring – it will be because we are in love and want to spend our lives together. Making sure the symbol of our love (the ring) is something that I will love and wear proudly is important. In order to start engaged life out on the right foot, I want this process to go as smoothly as possible – on both ends.
This is a long newsletter this week! – I know – but I have one more thought for you.
Make a wish list.
What you want this year may not be an engagement ring. It may not be something as big-ticket as a computer. But it feels so good to get something you want or need – whether it be a new sweater or a massage (or an organizing session from me! 😉
Let people know what you want. You are important. Asking for you want is not selfish – it has benefits that far outweigh perceived selfish concerns. Make a wishlist on Amazon or NearbyRegistry.com and share it on Facebook. Let your partner and kids know.
Asking for what you want could be the difference between getting a scented candle that gives you migranes or getting an acupuncture session that takes your headaches away.
I understand that today’s thoughts may be uncomfortable or controversial – but change often is.
One of Home Key Organization’s ultimate goals is to change the culture of gift-giving. I talk about gifts so much because with many of my clients, gifts are the biggest source of clutter – and the biggest source of guilt.
Imagine how it would feel for me to get an engagement ring that I hated. I would, of course, still love my sweetie – but having a ring that I didn’t really like would start things off on a sour note.
One thing you don’t have to imagine is the awkward discomfort of pretending you like a gift. You don’t have to imagime it because it happens all the time. We should always appreciate people’s thoughtfulness, of course – but if we can put small steps into place (asking for what you want!) to try to change those moments, why shouldn’t we?
I love this quote: “Never have anything in your home that you don’t consider to be beautiful or useful.” I challenge you this holiday season to give and receive only things that you think would be beautiful or useful. Don’t know if it would be? Don’t be afraid to ask.