I think I’m in control. Until I come out of a store having bought something that was not remotely on my mind when I went in.
What did I spend $40 on at Marshalls?
I was returning things I’d bought a week earlier and grabbed the receipt. A $40 item jumped out at me: Gourmet Housewares followed by a string of UPC numbers that provided no further clue as to what it was. What could I have spent $40 on at Marshalls? And, more surprisingly, why couldn’t I remember what it was?
I tried recalling the Gourmet Housewares section I’d shopped in, and what items I’d considered. I did a mental walk-through of my house, trying to envision each room, striving to recall if there was something I’d needed—or wanted—for that room. Blank.
I could identify the other four, modestly-priced items on the receipt; how could I not remember the most expensive thing?
I swiveled in my chair, scanning my office space. Then I saw it.