Thursday, June 21, 2007

Generous or Stupid?

I like this band, Band of Horses well enough; (I really liked their precurser, Carissa’s Wierd) and they’re gonna be playing July 2nd here in Seattle, when Mimi and Jen will be out of town and I’ll be looking for something to do, but the show is sold out, so I was poking around on Craigslist to see if any tickets were being offered for sale.

There were a few, (but not nearly as many as requests for them) and most were asking around fifty bucks which led me to believe—I’m not sure why—that the list price was thirty, so when I saw an ad for one or two, best offer, I emailed that I’d be willing to spent forty for one and would throw in a little bit of what they usually refer to on Craigslist as “420” to sweeten the deal.

Within minutes, I got a reply saying that this was an offer that couldn’t be passed up, so I rode my bike downtown and gave this nice young woman two twenty dollar bills and an envelope with a thumb-sized clump of the deal-sweetener as promised. She smiled pleasantly and thanked me; we said good-bye and went our separate ways, satisfied in a deal well done.

But when I got home, I looked at my ticket and it turns out the price of admission is only fifteen bucks, so not only did I treat the seller to an added bonus, I also paid more than double the original price. No wonder she leapt at my offer.

So I feel pretty stupid now, but why can’t I just feel generous? After all, I was perfectly happy with the transaction until I saw the original cost of the ticket, so what’s the problem? I should just feel pleased that I did a perfect stranger such a good turn.

And maybe I’ll run into her at the show and get her to buy me a drink.


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