I found a nice article that explains why, in the long-term, dancing tango makes me happier than buying tango shoes. 😉 “Do Experiences Lead to Greater Happiness Than Material Purchases?” on Get Rich Slowly. It is a nice reminder for me, someone who tries not to be too consumerist but tends to throw that out the window when I see a nice pair of tango shoes.
Yes, I love my shoes. Yes, it is very gratifying to find a lovely pair that fits well in a style and color I like and don’t already have. I also find it helpful to share my experiences and read about other women’s experiences buying shoes. If we don’t have the right equipment, we hinder our ability to dance well (and well into the future).
However, I get the shoes so that I can dance. Once the newness has worn off, they are just lovely shoes I enjoy wearing for the purpose of dancing. And the dancing is, really, what makes me happy. Tango provides exercise, social interaction, and an opportunity to get into a “flow” state—all three of which are cited examples of why paying for an experience creates more happiness than paying for material goods.
So there you go. In case there were any question, now it is clear: the shoes make me happy for a little while, but ultimately they are an investment in the greater happiness I get from my tango experience.