Strengthen your marriage with THIS principle of Marketing Management

July 31, 2008

Who knew walking down the aisle at Home Depot to buy a fridge could give you better footing on your trip down another aisle…

I came across a key marketing concept during some “light” summer reading: A Preface to Marketing Management, by J. Paul Peter & James H. Donnelly Jr. Selling is top priority in marketing, but how do you make sure the product isn’t returned after sale? The investigation of Postpurchase Dissonance is a hot topic in the field.

Doubts and second thoughts occur when there is a cognitive discord within the buyer’s attitudes and beliefs. Dissonance is most likely when the purchase decision is of psychological or financial importance, and/or the buyer has forgone a number of alternatives with comparable features. Hmmm, that doesn’t set marriage up with favorable odds, does it? I happen to have lucked out with a husband whose “features” are beyond “compare”, but the next section just might be helpful for those of you without a G.W. of your own (which had better be everyone reading this!).

 The textbook gives four helpful ways to prevent and/or reduce Postpurchase Dissonance:

1. By seeking information that supports the wisdom of the decision. (ooo you two have compatible astrological signs, that must clinch it!)

2. By perceiving information in a way to support the decision. (Your husband just went to Vegas without you because he said he didn’t want you getting a nasty burn in the desert sun…and you believe him)

3. By changing attitudes to a less favorable view of the forgone alternatives. (Just remember ravishing Antonio’s foot odour and Joey’s sinister collection of toy clowns)

4. By avoiding the importance of the negative aspects of the decision by enhancing the positive elements. (“He’s not poor; he’s a brilliant musician” – Note: don’t use that argument with your parents, who probably haven’t finished paying off that wedding of yours ; )

The book also suggests Postpurchase Dissonance can be reduced by admitting a mistake has been made. But really, would you want to wake up to a mistake every morning? Didn’t thing so. So if you didn’t hit the G.W. jackpot, just keep this little list in mind. And let’s just hope you have better luck picking your next major appliance *wink*


Before you can play the guitar… (part 10)

July 30, 2008

Need to catch up on parts 1 to 9? (Click Here)

…I had to go on rage. The rain squirmed in under my jacket’s cuffs and collar. It crept up my shirt sleeves and mixed with sweat to dribble down my back. Just lovely, I know. It seeped in through my ears and splashed up off spinning car tires, drenching my pant legs. My sneakers squelched deeper into the mud with every step, but I was too wet and mad to care about any of it.

Why can’t it ever be easy?! All I wanted was to play a guitar! Was I asking too much of the universe! Why did it have to be raining? And if it had to rain, why did it have to be raining so bloody hard? And why, oh why, didn’t anyone seem to know that the fabled “yellow awning” I was supposed to be looking for was, in actual fact, a flat BLACK sign!

Turn back, you ask? When I was so close? Never. And it was with great sopping triumph that I finally laid my guitar case down in the middle of the Music store. My jeans had undergone the incredibly economical, but indescribably uncomfortable, transformation from medium wash to dark. Claustrophobia, anyone? Water from my green too-cool-for-school newsboy was dripping into my eyes and I could feel my core temperature starting to plummet. Do you think any of the half dozen wandering/chatting employees noticed any of this? Of course not. Apparently, it takes more than a funky hat to get any attention from this class of hardcore music buff. (TW- take note ; )

Stay tuned for part 11!

Dropping shots with Padraig Harrington and Dr. Bob

July 29, 2008

When Padraig Harrington tapped in for a clean par on the 18th, he won the British Open for the second year in a row. We’re all left wondering… How in blue blazes!!!! Well, turns out his lovely wife, Caroline, had booked him some face time with the world’s top sports psychologist. You can find the genius list and quote below in this month’s Golf Digest article, Your 15th Club.  


Dr. Bob Rotella’s Mental Keys

1. Visualize the shot

2. Adhere to a pre-shot routine

3. Focus on your target

4. Commit to your swing

5. Accept the result

“Because (Harrington) already knows that he’ll accept whatever happens to his shot, he’s relaxed.”

hmmmm, I’m thinkin’ there might just be a life lesson tucked in there somewhere?

Before you can play the guitar… (part 9)

July 28, 2008

Need to catch up on parts 1 to 8? (Click Here)

This wasn’t rain. There was no quantization involved, no individual droplets spread evenly throughout a supporting medium. This was an unbroken deluge sent straight from the heavens. If you ask me, whenever the world soaks through and turns gray and heavy, a person should take themselves off to the nearest bed and curl up with a good book and a bowl of maple syrup drizzled cottage cheese yum… but enough daydreaming. Let’s get back to the action!

There I am, soaked, trudging along beside some forsaken highway on the other side of town (after riding a bus and a city train for over an hour!), in all my tweed capped bag lady glory. You can imagine how delighted I was to discover there were ZERO giant yellow Music store awnings on the route mr tambourine man had prescribed. None the first time I walked it, none the second back and forth, and wouldn’t cha know it, no sign of it even on my third pass after getting more directions from a Cowboy Hat store. Here in Calgary, you’d figure asking anyone wearing plaid would be a safe bet for gettin’ the lay of the land. Not so much. Drenched and exhausted, I finally hauled my 5 ton guitar case into a Second Cup and called the Music store.

I remember hearing a far away voice on the phone saying, “You’re almost here”. But almost isn’t good enough when every muscle in your body is aching from carrying an impossibly slippery, garbage bagged, hand held harpsichord. And I was all out of new ergonomic body/guitar case configurations to help spread the weight. There was only one way I was going to manage the next five blocks…

Stay tuned for part 10!

Toni Morrison says it best…

July 28, 2008

“Writing is the only place where I’m not doing something that somebody else wants… What you want to make is this one little place like the facet of a diamond, just one little shape, and that’s where you live and that’s yours.”Toni Morrison (quote taken from current August issue of American Vogue)

Click image for Time Magazine's "10 Questions for Toni Morrison"

Click image to read Time Magazine's "10 Questions for Toni Morrison"

(photo source:

Teetering on 100 – waiting for David Feherty to give me a nudge

July 24, 2008

David Feherty

I’m teetering on the precipice. Below me stretch miles of wide golden green fairways and shimmering funnel shaped greens. The water hazards are safely iced over, and off in the distance I can just barely make out David Feherty cheering me on from one of the bunker trampolines. Turns out he’s as subtley graceful in the air as he is on the mike lol.

Where is this gilded heaven, you ask? It’s that tantalizing promise of glory beyond 100. No, I’m not talking about blowing out candles and getting a letter from the Queen. I’m talking about shooting a golf score below that magic number. Only after breaking 100 can a golfer hold his/her head high. No more “but I really do enjoy it” or “I’m using my husbands clubs” excuses. Because let’s face it, sure you may enjoy moments when you’re shooting 100+, the birds, nice sunshine, a decent put here and there, but there’s no way you are enjoying golf – the full body/mind/spirit fight to the death against physics, grass, and (toughest of all) yourself!

Now with my own set of clubs, a stiff cotton skort in cream, and a pretty pink polo top, I’m all out of excuses. This is my summer to break 100. I absolutely have to shoot 99 or lower! I’ve been going for it, with every muscle keyed up and every gray cell focused. Last round I was sure I was gonna do it. So what does a warrior woman do on on the eighteenth green when her husband tells her she just holed out for and exact 1-0-0 score? She starts to quietly cry, of course. I blame the pink polo.

(photo source:

City’s tallest building shortest on humanity

July 24, 2008

Searching for signs of humanity on my daily 8:02AM elevator ride up Calgary’s tallest building…

First hope: News of a Pakistan suicide bombing flashes up on the elevator’s plasma screen. In a crowd of freshly creased dress pants, a woman’s skirt twitches. Her hand goes to her mouth to cover her horror. I’m touched by her honesty. She feels it too, the sudden sharp sadness, the helplessness. Her hand falls back to her side, and I see that she was only hiding a yawn.

Second hope: Two heads nod in recognition. A comment, a joke, then laughter. The elevator fills with the unfamiliar sound. The two heads have short, perfectly coiffed, fruit scented hair. But the perfume quickly turns the trapped air sickly sweet, and their laughter sharpens into a piercing cackle. I look down. Two pairs of pointy black leather toes. I should have guessed.

Third Try: The elevator fills to capacity. Everyone wants a different floor, and mine’s the highest. I groan. I always get motion sick on amusement park rides. Someone has to do something. So I stick a banana in the door. Technically speaking, I wedge one end in the doorframe, so it’s jutting out beside the number pad in all its bright yellow banana glory. Nobody said anything. Nobody smiled. No one even acknowledged that there was a big banana sticking out of the door! Oh the humanity!!

Maybe I’m asking too much from a crowd of drowsy businesspeople, who are already late to wherever they’re going if they’re on the 8:02. Sigh. When not even a banana will jazz up your office workday, there’s only one more thing left to try… (click here to get noticed on the elevator to your next job interview!)