Is This “Free” Thing Free?

Choose The Free Stuff!

sales receipt
What was my cost again?

Is it wise to choose FREE things? Or to rationalize and choose not to accept anything that is free?

We have all felt the letdown. We have expectations when someone says we have won something.

Is Free, actually Free? It’s our choice. We choose if it’s free. If it costs anything, it isn’t FREE!

What happened to all those freebies I was going to get? O, I have to PAY for those?
What else is free that I have to pay for?

“YOUR cost for your ‘free flight’ is $385.00, but that’s only the free half of the flight.

The rest you have to pay for. “Ok, so I have to pay for the FREE part of the flight, but since that was FREE, I still need to cover the cost of the rest of the flight?”

…..Is this trip necessary?

If I was offered a free flight to see my family, I know I would buy that ticket, or pay that tax.
But……
I thought free meant ‘without charge’. That it wouldn’t cost ME anything.
No strings attached…… No timeshare weekends.


We All Love Free Things!

window mannequins
Stores use creative financing!

Grocery stores are the best “free-ers” ever. This is due to creative financing!

Picture it: $4.00 each (if you buy 4 or more) OR, if you buy one, the price is $5.75. So we spend $16.00 to save $7.00.

Am I being unreasonable here? Should I choose to ignore this sale? Check the expiry date.

What if you won something and it was FREE?
Yes, I mean it, Free.
So now you have won a car AND you have to pay the gst to get it?
On a $60,000 car that’s $3,000.00.

If you can’t pay the gst you can’t have the car.
Even though you bought a ticket, is it still free?

The car is free, the taxes aren’t. How did that happen? Shouldn’t the vendor have foreseen this and paid it out of their profits?

I heard you. You said: “we don’t do that here”.

$1,000,000.00 House!

house with wrap around porch
Is it still free?

What if you won a house worth one million dollars, but to pay the tax would be $50,000.00!

PLUS the land taxes for the year.

If it’s in an expensive area, as most million-dollar houses are, that is several thousand dollars MORE.

I wonder why they do that. It spoils everything.
I didn’t want that free house anyway.

I should not have bought that ticket.

AND my point would be…..Can you afford this free house? OR Do you want to choose to ignore this windfall?

Just the thought of winning something free, of this magnitude, is enough to give you anxiety.
It sets your heart racing and gives you brain fog.

What Has My Experience Been Like?

people at the pub
After the renovation, it was ver-ry nice!

One of our favorite restaurants in town closed for renovations.

Yes, the food was good, but it was pricey. After the reno, when they re-opened, well, it was ver-ry nice.

We looked at the menu – it had been revised. All shiny and new. The prices had shot up!

Our waitress gushed about how happy they were to have us back! So their re-opening special “freebie” for us was….. wait for it….. free BREADSTICKS all around!

I was a little sad about probably never going back there again.

Yes, we understood that everything was going up. ‘We all have to make a living. Get used to it; it’s the way things are’. But this was our place.

We met our friends here. We ate, drank, and laughed.

We felt betrayed! (I’m not hungry anymore.)

We tipped lavishly, the service was always great. The FOOD…..Don’t get me started!

We were even allowed to cook our own steaks once! They WANTED us cooking in-their-kitchen!

We were good public relations. They knew we would tell our friends. And we did! 
We were treated like VIPs!


Ok This is not Just about Free;
It’s Also About CHOICE

In high school, I was a babysitter. Coming from a large family, looking after little ones was easy.
Fun, even.

The kids were great and well-behaved. There was food to eat while I did homework.
Long talks on the phone with my friends. Well, not too long…..it was a party line.

But four nights every week babysitting! By the time I was sixteen, I wanted to go out on a date!
I did not want to mind children all the time, Mother Goose style.

one guy became a dentist
One of my charges became a dentist!

But I loved the freedom of having my own money.
There is always a BUT.

Mom said I had to take the ‘bad’ with the ‘good’.

In the beginning, I wanted the babysitting job! I actively went out looking for it. And here it was, on my doorstep, around the corner.

One of the boys became a dentist. I like to think I had a hand in his decision.

I am NOT responsible, however, for the little guy who is still living with his parents. He must be 40 by now!

Later, I gritted my teeth when I babysat and I wanted to move on to something better; more out there; more fun.

I wanted to work downtown at one of the local five-and-dime stores.

Why did I want this? My friends were working there. This filled my need for independence.
I had more money in my pocket. I could pay for my own milkshake!

Maybe, if I had continued to babysit there would be more dentists in the world.
There might also be more kids still living at home, in their forties.



Free To Drive

driving girl
I was free to drive!

It is known as ‘freedom’ to be able to drive.
As a teen, I was not anxious to learn. I confess I didn’t feel like learning anything for a while.

I would have loved the freedom of having someone drive me around! But that option was not available.

If I never learned to drive I could have been driven everywhere. Except….my family reminded me that there are buses out there.

Well that would have been MY choice anyway.

Since I did learn to drive, I loved the independence of it. I would sneak away for a coffee, or sit on a bench.

I drove fast, with all the windows down and the wind whistling through my hair.
I’d sing out loud!

Have to admit I really admire the car trick in the movie Footloose.
I said I “admire” it; I won’t DO it.


I Choose To Live in a Rural Community!

roosters on the farm
All farms have roosters and chickens!

Yes, it is close-knit, small; people know your business.
We know their business. We live far apart.

One day, I stopped at a farm stall. I noticed some small plants for sale. I asked for hostas.


The hens had eaten the leaves off the hostas and they looked naked. But they were FREE. I needed these plants to help strengthen an eroding riverbank. Would they survive?

They came back the next year, healthy and strong.
This time, free was good! They were a little ugly for a couple of years, but they did become attractive.

While I was living overseas, I experienced something really free!


Free Entertainment

he made us laugh!
Laugh for Free!

In Belgium, we frequented a pizzeria where the preparations and the oven were in the front window.

BUT, facing us – the diners, was a man who captured our attention.
He was a regular worker in the restaurant, but he couldn’t sit still.

He had to see the funny side of things

He made us laugh. He was an off-the-street comedian. He acted out what was happening around us, or he just made fun of pizza.

It didn’t matter what he did; there was that expectation of glee! He chose to be happy! The entertainment was Free.

It brought us and many people back for months……until he left. He moved on. I would like to say that I wished him all the best in his new venture. We wanted him back!

Now the entertainment was gone and we could eat at any nice pizza place, closer to home.
That’s where we’ll find him.


Maybe The Best Free Thing Of All

I grew up in a semi-rural area, where the yards were big and some lots were empty on our street.

Every night and on the weekends, we all showed up to play baseball on the open lot next door. Some kids came from further away, but it was usually us who gathered; the group from our street.

baseball catcher
It was our baseball field for ten years!

Parents appeared and tried their hand at it, (not too bad).  Some brought a chair and smoked under the trees.

Babies in strollers and young parents watched us play. 
No one could throw a ball from the outfield like Maryanne!

One day, the people living on the other side of that lot, started to clear the land. They were building a house. Their original house was tiny,  and they had to move up; build on the lot.

But they were digging up our baseball field. It had been ‘our’ baseball field for ten years!

George Sr. chose to put off building his house for at least four of those years.
Know why? He loved to see his children and the whole neighborhood
in that field. He watched us grow up and saw the evolution of our lives.

We had a FREE recreational area on our doorstep; this brought the activity to our street and united the community. Everyone was happy.

George Sr. chose to give this gift to his neighbors.

He gave us a FREE gift.

Regards, Corinne

Next Time: What Should I Pack?

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