Last week my husband and I attended our school's annual fundraising auction. We have gone every year for the last five and it is always a fantastic evening of fun.
Last year I posted about the event - and the spectacle I made of myself, determined to pay whatever it took to leave with the classroom project for my son's class. As this year's event approached, I thought a lot about that night. It was great fun, but in hindsight I have realized that I didn't really want the project, even though it was packed with great items. I wanted two things - the photo book of the kids, and the satisfaction of winning. I was frustrated to walk away year after year without the items I wanted because the $400 or $500 I had set aside wasn't nearly enough to compete with the other bidders. It was almost intoxicating to be able to bid as much as I wanted with no limit but my common sense (which disappeared as the adrenaline started pumping).
This year, I walked into the auction hoping to secure one thing - a photo session with a young photographer I follow on Facebook who does lovely work. Other than that, I was content to walk away with nothing. I was determined to leave the auction-junkie in the past.
But then my husband discovered a large print from DC Comics that was going to be part of the live auction.
It's almost scary how quickly it all came back - the adrenaline pumping, the determination to win no matter the cost. I fixed an upper limit in my mind and knew I would continue to counter bid without hesitation until I either got the print or hit that limit.
I am glad we live our every day lives with restraint. While spending like this once a year at the auction is a lot of fun, I think ongoing spending like that could become addicting - and stressful.
[In case you were wondering, I did get the DC print for my husband and the photo session I wanted as well as one more item in the auction. It was a thoroughly enjoyable evening!]