Monday, January 4, 2010

Starbucks Planner

Back when I was in high school, leather organizers, fi-lo's or whatchamacallit, complete with address book, calendars, notepads and daily section, were so popular that it represented cellular phones at that time. Everyone had it, small version, leather version. National Bookstore had a steady supply of fillers if you had consumed all your notepads and contact lists. There was no shortage. It was that popular.

There was a time that my mom bought me an organizer in our recent trip to National Bookstore. She must have desperately thought that an organizer could be an answer to my problems with Algebra. It was a subtle hint to get my uninteresting but messy adolescent life organized. But I just looked at the serious checkered leather apathetically thinking what the hell am I going to do with it? I was in high school. I had few people whom I could call my friends, and seriously, why would I ever need to get their beeper numbers, home address or phone numbers? It's not like there's a constant need to stay in touch with them on weekends. I practically see them every single day of my every single boring high school life. Besides, the batch record from the class secretary was always available just in case I need to, you know, stay in touch. And what would I ever write in the daily planner? My assignment? My lunch date? My imaginary trip to the parlor, to the dermatologist, to the dentist? Those things I could do mentally. I'm far from having a schedule same as the next business tycoon to forget something.

But everything's worth a try at least once. There must be something with these organizers I thought. So I surrendered. I was able to use it for a couple of weeks. I even had a bit of fun writing stuff, although a bit exaggerated, on the daily section. I was able to gather substantial contacts, not necessarily of my friends, but contacts that could fill my address book nonetheless. I kept it, updated it and took it with me for a month, but after that it was accumulating dust in my room. I've tried it again, skipped months, but the relationship didn't work out for me. Putting things that I need to do in organizers, I believe, was a waste of my time. I could practically just write a note, fold it and keep it in my bag. And usually I do remember important stuff. If I don't remember it within the day, it's not that important. I do my assignments on time and I don't need an organizer to remind me of my daily, routine tasks.

So organizers in general do not mesh with me unlike some people who can't function normally without it. My sister is better with organizers. She takes notes of birthdays, parties and periods. My friend in college even had the effort to buy different colors of pens, put stickers just to make an imitation of her life interesting. If her organizer's not with her, her world would crumble. Organizers somewhat remind you of how busy or idle you are. Organizers identify interesting lives to boring ones. Unfortunately, my life isn't worth organizing because it's too boring to begin with. I hardly go to parties, I don't have client calls, variety of lunch dates or business meetings. My life is a bit more structured that I don't need organizers to keep me on track with random stuff.

Soon enough Cellular phones replaced the organizer-phenomenon. Personally, I do use cellular phone more because it doesn't waste paper and serves as an alarm. But surprisingly planners and organizers are still alive and have maintained a relatively impressive market. Starbucks for example have massive sales results during Christmas season because of their annual planner releases. It's become a phenomenon that some of the retail and coffee shops followed suit. My boss, office mates and some friends make sure they buy planners on time and these sophisticated planners cost about 500 on the average. Whereas I, every year, was never interested. Buying at Starbucks, I would always give my stickers for free.

But ironically, this year, I unconsciously collected stickers; and realized that I have increased my visits to Starbucks. It just dawned on me that I was able to acquire 2 Starbucks planners. How did that happen? To avail it, each planner, based on the required coffee consumption, is worth 2,500 each. So practically I spent almost 5K in the span of a month for coffees. Yikes. Some people are supposed to be happy because they got two most-sought after planners, but instead I was a bit bummed. Was I spending that much for coffee? That can't be. That shouldn't have been. I can hardly pay my bills only to realize that I got two planners because I drank expensive coffee too much! Guilty.

I gave the other planner to my sister as a gift and the other planner is still with me, boxed up and untouched. Frankly, I still don't know what to do with it. I'm not an organizer type of girl. There is a high risk that I might just waste it. I tried to sell it to office mates for a very cheap price. Only 500 bucks since January already started, but it's either everyone has their 2010 planners or I'm selling to someone like me.

But now that I gave the other planner away, what am I going to do with the other? I still don't know. It's currently beside me waiting to be used. I don't know what to expect from it cause I have yet to study the contents. Some say that I should give it away for free to someone who would really use it, who has a life more colorful and busier than mine. But there's a part of me that wants to keep it, to try to let this thing organize my life. Since I technically paid for it, why not try to use it even if it meant risking the whole thing?

Anyways, I just found out that the proceeds of this 2,500 bucks per planner will be sent to charity. So, all is well. There answers my financial slip-up for the two planners. What is done, is done. And it's a justifying feeling that I helped somehow even if it meant by overspending too much for coffee this Christmas. In the end, I helped the unfortunate and got 2 Starbucks planners in return. So be it.

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