The price of love
“Get a free sample of our new mascara!”
Commercials all around us. Giveaway blogs. For many of our waking hours, we are bombadeded with tips and free samples that will make our lives better. And it works. The blogs and sites that sell things, or even allow their readers to get something for free, are popular. Search engines find your blog if you include commercial in some way or another. And people want it, they search for it for hours to get small boxes delivered to their doorstep.
Statistics show that we buy more and more commodities on the internet. Local shops have to close as people desert them. It is much easier and more practical to just push a button on a computer. I don`t want to look like a bitter saint, because I am one of eager net-shoppers and I also type in my email if I can win something. I even share pages on facebook to increase my chances of winning. Sometimes I loathe myself for it, how can I support something I know will be negative for people who have spent hours trying to build up small authentic boutiques?
In Førde, many have tried to start something new, but most of them go bankrupt before they had the time to florish. There was this lovely store with beautiful dresses and a little cafeteria surrounded by exquisite design in Førde. Flowers on the wall, that you could admire as you sipped fresh coffee and eat home-made cookies. You could talk with friends, letting your eyes rest on cups with delicate ornaments. The boutique lasted perhaps a year before they had to throw in the towel together with their dreams. The same comes for restaurants. The big pizza places, always survive, but everyone who tries to do something different that will draw only the very curious and adventurous, realize that they have to quit when the cashflow stops. Førde was one of the first places in Norway, where the german store “Lidl” had to give up before they even began. In Førde, people like safety. Skepticism is as normal as the closed signs that pop up. I don`t want to offend anyone, as I know this is a simplification. Most people want to try new things, but there is a difference between wanting and doing. Many even get disappointed and irritated when something new disappears, like when they discover that someone else took their last piece of chocolate.
What happens when people try to give away love? Love is the most valuable commodity we have, so we should run to the store to get it. It should have a 24-7 open sign. We should talk about it: “Have you seen the latest love? People want to change the world by giving something to others!”. We should nod in happy agreement. It would be like a fairy gave us the present of a lifetime. The giveaway we don`t throw into our garbage when we grow tired of it.
Again I feel hypocrisy washing over me like detergent. Do I practice what I preach? Sometimes, yes. But like everyone else, I struggle. Luckily, I don`t have a television spitting out commercials. I spend time with books and friends, and love every minute of it. But I still get drawn in when I see the “for sale” signs. My heart pumps extra blood to prepare me for the hunt. My pupils probably dilates to get a better overview over the racks of clothes. Then I come home and realize that the jumper didn`t fit like I hoped.
Can love not fit when you try it on? Off course.
Sometimes we don`t know how to handle it. How we get up the zipper without help. It might be to tight, leaving us out of breath.
Sometimes we want to throw it off in frustration, as if we just discovered that we look to fat in those jeans. It is an art to master love, because it really is a confusing present. When we unwrap the delicate paper, and peek inside, we can`t quite comprehend what we see. Is it something we can eat? Something to try on like shoes? Or something that we shall put on a shelf to decorate our home? Is it a genie in a bottle that grant us our wishes? And where is the user manual? We are uncertain if it will break when we try to build it, so we would simply crave a recipe for love like we crave another hamburger.
But sometimes we are satisfied. We get the same good feeling that we get after a workout followed by a healthy meal, only to discover that someone has put a giveaway-present before our front door.
How do you find giveaways like those? Normally you don`t find them in front of your doorsteps. And you can not find the answer in a manual either. We must find the building materials for love ourselves, and we cannot order the building blocks on the internet either. But we can find them by looking around us. We can sit in a park and watch a mother laughing as her daughter jumps up and down when a fluffy dog comes over. We can see an old couple that look into each other`s eyes with so much love that we glimpse eternity. We can stretch out our fingers, instead of letting them type in ebay.com.
Best of all, we can give some of our love to others. There is still hope for us.
Still want to push the button? Try these: