Monday, May 16, 2016. I used to love those Mastercard commercials. Mastercard would assign monetary “values” to various activities (first class air fare, 8 course meal, some fancy new car) before delivering an amazing punch line to a feeling or state of mind that you literally could not price. Hence, the “priceless” campaign. There is no doubt if you dig deep you will remember. Come on…. “There are some things money can’t buy. For everything else, there’s Mastercard.” Here is a great one:
I went to the mall this morning (alone) to shop for myself for the first time in 15 years. As I zipped through store by store all I was thinking about were those Mastercard commercials [OK, I also admit I was also thinking about which of these stores were future restructuring candidates]. But as I thought about those commercials, I actually recalled some of my favorites. I remembered the one where the parents took their kids to their very first baseball game. There was one where a couple gave their kitchen a “night off” because they went out to dinner (and everything in the kitchen (knives, bottle openers etc.) started dancing together). In total, there were 160 different priceless ads over 9 years, all voiced over by Billy Crudup (who even appeared in one ad towards the end of the campaign).
As far as the mall is concerned — and for those keeping score — I was Steph Curry-like, shooting about 50% from the field. This means that I tried everything on tonight for Jen and only need to return half the crap that I bought. Aside from useless stuff at the Apple and Microsoft store (including a keyboard that is driving me nuts as I type this and a new green phone case to match my wrist band), I bought sweat pants, work out clothes and underwear from 6 or 7 different stores. I have been wearing the same sweats and t-shirts since college, but ever since I got sick, Jen has been buying me all new “hang out” clothes. So I figured I would get in on the act too. Yet with all this new stuff that I have carefully folded like everything else in my closet (likely as a result of the medication that drives me to organize everything), would anyone who knows me be surprised to hear that I am sitting at my desk in old, ripped sweat pants and my Cornell t-shirt that has crunchy and permanent arm pit stains? I will put on a new shirt after I shower tomorrow.
As I thought about those commercials throughout the day and the moments at the end of each segment where you simply could not put on a price on what was being suggested, I realized that my day itself — and most of the moments during its course — was priceless. There were so many things that I did today that you simply could not pay for. And if you think hard enough about your day (even when it is a crap one), there are no doubt priceless moments every day. You just have to think about it.
Here were some of the priceless moments of my day:
- Eating breakfast with my three boys and wife.
- Taking Jake and Ryan to school.
- Responding to emails and texts from family and friends.
- Driving with the windows down.
- Walking around the mall without an agenda or schedule.
- Talking to a guy at the Gap (after buying sweat pants Jen wants me to return) who is in a full cast for 9 months because his achilles was ripped off, and thinking I would be back in court before this guy could fully walk.
- Hitting my rear view mirror on the hut where you pay for parking on the way out of the mall and not really caring.
- Eating a bagel at the house with one of my best friend’s from childhood whom have I have known for 30 plus years.
- Walking around the neighborhood in the sunshine.
- Getting a huge hug from Brandon when he got home from school.
- Hanging out with my Uncle Jeff, who flew in from Florida, for 4 plus hours just talking about life.
- Watching Jake play baseball (even if he lost his shit after walking four guys and hitting two batters and me having to snap at him to get his act together after he was pulled). [I know, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.]
- Having dinner with Jen.
- Hanging out tonight with a few great friends and talking about life.
- Trying on clothes for Jen.
- Organizing and filing away all sorts of work emails after going through each carefully and making sure I still know what is happening on my deals.
- Responding to posts on my blog from people that I am inspired to hear from and whom I haven’t heard from in years.
- Texting with one of my closest friends from high school that I am so grateful is back in my life.
Whoever came up with that Mastercard campaign is a genius. While money certainly helps to makes things easier, the most important moments and things we do during the day come without a price tag and cannot be purchased. That is what being “priceless” is all about.