Hats off to Lisa Antionore for guiding me toward this story from today’s NYT. The general point: Buying new stuff might be sorta fun, but it doesn’t do much for your long-term happiness. Money is better spent on experiences; on memories. Or, as Lisa’s husband, the legendary Paul Duer, once said to me, “It’s all about the stories.”
Which is why the wife and I and the kids are in Spain for a month. The experience. The stories.
Truth is, that’s one of the best parts of my marriage. The wife and I rarely buy material gifts for one another. Instead, we celebrate birthdays and anniversaries and such with “Fun Days”—we plan a surprise fun day for the two of us to enjoy. Typical example: Go to the city, have a massage, a great lunch, catch a movie, take a nice walk, dinner, meet friends for drinks. Something like that.
We also alternate planning vacations, with the other person not informed until we arrive at the airport. Two years ago she took me to Guatemala. Fantastic. Last year I took her to Paris. We generally travel on the cheap, but memories don’t have a price tag.
Seriously, read the article.