February 23, 2011

Twelve Cupcakes

Today I was exhausted from last night's local events, from my cat waking me up at 6 a.m., from a dissertation interview that was in the morning. To be honest with you, I think I might still be hungover from Monday night, when I got slightly trashed after a traumatic floor hockey elimination. Or maybe I'm just sleep deprived.

After the interview, I found myself in the cupcake bakery near campus. But instead of buying two or three cupcakes like usual, I asked how much it would be for twelve of them. Twenty-three dollars. I paused for a long time, gazing at the cupcakes. "Okay, I'll take twelve."

I took the cupcakes to my department and passed them out to the staff. I didn't explain why I had twelve cupcakes, because there was no explanation. I just said, "Do you want a cupcake? You can have one. Here."

At the bus stop, an undergrad noticed the box and asked me if they were from the bakery near campus. I said, "Yeah, do you want one? Here." She was thrilled -- she said it made her day. We got on the bus. I wanted to give one to the driver, but people were pushing to get on, and I just kept walking. I brought the rest of the cupcakes home.

I have no summer funding, and I am supposed to be saving money. I am supposed to spend as little as possible every day. I was not supposed to spend twenty-three dollars on cupcakes. But when I get tired, that voice in my head just quits. I squint at the bright, beautiful cupcakes, and there's no resistance. I just say okay. I'll take twelve.

I'm going to sleep tonight, and then tomorrow I will make better decisions. I won't be tempted to buy cupcakes, because I'll just be here at home. Plus I already have some in my kitchen.


  • At least you shared them. I would hoarded them and eaten them myself!

    By Blogger Psycgirl, at 2/24/11, 10:56 AM  

  • I hear you, Di Di! Do you know they've done studies that have found self-control is literally a finite resource that can be used up?

    There was one where they had adults sit in a room either with a bowl of radishes or a bowl of freshly baked cookies for a half hour and told them they couldn't eat them (and they didn't). Then they gave the adults puzzles which didn't have any solution. The people who had to resist the cookies persisted for only ONE-THIRD the time as the people who only had to resist radishes.

    So, don't feel bad! You're only human :)

    By Anonymous Elliot, at 2/24/11, 2:00 PM  

  • That's a fascinating study, and I really believe it. Not doing what you want is exhausting!

    By Blogger Di Di, at 2/24/11, 8:03 PM  

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