Friday, January 10, 2014

Oh No, You Don't!

[This is an original piece that I wrote for illustrating the different decision making processes and the battles of the Id, ego and superego.Original Article - November 5, 2010 

The infamous boots

Oh yes you do! And so the fight between the Id and the Superego continues. Your battle of so-called inner voices in very urgent irrational decision making processes are what Sigmund Fraud, I mean Freud (Freudian slip intended) called our stages of sexual development. The “Id” is our impulse of want and needs instant gratification. The Id, according to Freud, is our basic instinct. However, the battles of our want and needs clearly extended beyond sexuality as I experienced last week when a local shoe store beckoned me with their tantalizing recession-proof “Sale” signs screaming claims of “up to 70% off” emblazoned across the store-front window. Seemingly, it was an offer that I didn’t want to refuse. Well at least that is what my Id told me, but according to Freud, my superego had other ideas which I really did not want to hear. The superego is our “inner parent.” The superego tells us “No!” when all we really want to hear is “Yes.” My superego tells me, “There is no point in looking because you can’t buy anyway...” Our superego is where we internalize our moral judgment based on how we are socialized and is responsible for the nagging guilt we sometimes feel. My Id disagrees and appeals to my latest boot fetish, “There are some good deals that have your name on them! They are yours and they’re on sale!” I enter with caution like a lamb to the slaughter amid rows of shoes and boots that indeed were up to 70% off. My ego so far keeps me in check. The ego is what Freud called the balancing force between the Id. Our ego keeps our Id and Superego in check -- on a good day of judgment. It is where we make decisions that we are aware of. It is the umpire between the fighting forces of Id and Superego that we experience in the throes of a shopping spree. The Id appeals to our basic instincts whereas the superego is our inner Nancy Reagan  that wants to “just say no.”

Meanwhile, I am lost among a sea of shag me shoes and fuck-me boots all in my size and color. In a fog of calculations of 40% off, 30% off signs, I spot a pair of four-inch heel thigh high fuck-me boots. I try them on and pull them over my thigh over the tight jeans I have on. Oh yeah! At this point, my Superego starts to scream, “You’ll never wear them! You’re wasting your money! You cannot justify this expense! You already have 2 pairs of black boots!” “But,” my Id ego weighs in, “these are different! These boots have your name on them. You need these boots! They make you feel like a whore! There is something empowering about that!” Goodness knows why, but actually there is something empowering about that. I am not trying to intellectualize here, but attempting to demonstrate the irrationality of the subconscious mind versus the rational mind. While the battle continues, my ego needs approval; vindication of the “wrong” that I am about to commit. I take out my iPhone and take a photo of me in them in a hooker-like stance in front of a mirror and post it to my Facebook profile with the caption, “I soooo want these boots! Should I get them?” Needless to say, my friends positively reinforced me with comments, like “Cor yeah!” and “Wear them when you next see me! lol” exclaimed some male friends. Girlfriends backed my “dilemma” with, “Go get ‘em girl! You deserve them!” I immediately had confirmation from very reliable sources that I should go ahead with said purchase. Needless to say I followed their sound recommendations. Ignoring my superego with the nagging chiding of, “How are you going to explain this to significant other at home?” I proceeded to the check out regardless of the unanswered question reverberating in my mind.

I ventured homeward bound up Powell Street amid tourist shoppers, feeling proud of my “deal” yet guilty at the same time. After all, I really couldn’t justify $70 when I already had two pair of black boots. My superego was starting to kick in too little too late. Later on that evening when I met a friend for cocktails, she admired my purchase, and I smiled. There are times when validation is worth every penny, no matter what the id, ego or superego says.

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