Cost is Not Bad

No Free LunchI’m not fond of the aphorism There’s no such thing as a free lunch, because it is usually delivered as a bucket of cold water to drown a flicker of hope.

But it’s true. Everything costs something. The price only seems free when what we trade is given willingly and considered of little value or infinite supply.

That fishbowl you put your name and address into for a free T-shirt? How many pieces of mail—or email—did you subsequently receive to pay for that freebie? (I added a “W” as a middle initial once when purchasing something online. Every month I get recyclables in my mail box addressed to “Lin W. Ennis.”)

There are many ways to protect yourself online, such as one-time use email addresses, but that is not the theme of this peeve.

Have you considered the costs of friendship? If you never have time to go out together shopping, to a movie or gallery, or for a meal or drink, how available can you expect that friend to be? Friends, similar to spouses or lovers, require you to “put out.” You’re probably better off not thinking of it as pay-for-play, but as an investment.

Here are a few other examples of things that seem free but to my opinion are not:

free soda refills empty calories
second helpings more calories than you need
free movie tickets two hours of your time (and taste in film?)
free online samples pay shipping and join subscription
free dessert cost you your commitment

I’d like to hear from you in the comments. I’m sure we are bombarded daily in more ways than we realize.

But just because it isn’t free, doesn’t mean it’s not worth it!


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