October 15, 2013

My Moral Dilemma at Best Buy

I love a moral shutdown.
For many of us, life is a constant battle of morality and values, forming one's standards and trying to fit in as a good hen in this world. For others, life is standing up for one's political party until the government shuts down. Since I am one of the former hens, I am constantly faced with decisions that challenge my moral code and threaten my popularity on social media. These dilemmas can arise at anytime, even on a casual shopping trip to Best Buy.

Since buying a new camera this summer, I've had a $20 gift card for Best Buy. I figured this would be easy to spend since the store is loaded with music, movies, electronics, and refrigerators - some of my favorite items to buy. Instead of spending it immediately on something shameful like Jersey Shore DVDs, I saved it for when I knew exactly what I wanted.

Over the summer, I went to Best Buy multiple times with high hopes and a plan, only to leave dejected, empty-handed, and winded. When I wanted to buy Veep Season 1, they had every HBO show except Veep. When I wanted the new Cher CD, she was still the warehouse. And when I wanted a European adapter plug, Best Buy wanted $45 (I left immediately). But after all these failed attempts and a looming expiration date, I formed a solid plan to use this gift card happily and move on with my life.

I planned to buy the new albums from Nelly and Miley Cyrus.

Calm down.

Yes, I bashed Miley Cyrus's We Can't Stop music video. Those images still haunt me. Then Wrecking Ball came out. I liked the song and almost liked the video, but so fresh after joining the Miley witch hunt, I chose to keep quiet and listen to Wrecking Ball in the coup. In spite of wearing no clothes, scary hair, and licking everything, Miley's music is catchy. After hearing the album a few times on Spotify, I didn't hate it. And I hated that I didn't hate it.

I got a tetanus shot.

I formulated the perfect plan to use my gift card and get the new Miley tunes without spending my money on it. Also buying the new Nelly album would finish off my gift card and make me feel better about myself. If the bill went a bit over $20, I could spring for the few extra dollars.

I B-lined to the new release section of the CDs. I looked in every slot of that section...no. Miley. Cyrus. How on earth was that possible? Not only was it definitely a new release, Miley is also the most talked about pop star at the moment. I expected a whole shelf of her Bangerz album. I stood there for 10 minutes, not moving, just scanning every CD again. I spied the new Nelly album - deluxe edition... $18.99. I refused to spend my whole gift card on one stupid CD, no offense to Nelly's efforts. I've been a fan for many years, but not even Britney or One Direction at $18.99 would sell me unless it included a life-sized cut out. That price certainly was no "best buy."

Maybe it's spelled "Byrus."

I refused to accept that Best Buy was Miley-free, so I scoured the shelves. Around the corner I found her, stacked into multiple slots but awkwardly on a shelf facing the back of the store. I guess the stock boys didn't like the VMAs. Her deluxe edition was $16.99.* Regular: $13.99. Also not "best buys." Blimey!

*When there is a deluxe version available, I have to buy it. I feel like I'm missing out and getting ripped off if I don't. 

For my original plan, I'd have to spend almost $20 on top of my gift card to leave with those 2 CDs. I just couldn't do it for one album for which I had mixed feelings, and the other I didn't want to monetarily support. I continued to browse, scanning every CD left in the store. I wanted some new tunes at a best buy price. But the value-price shelf just had CDs like the one Pink album from that period where we didn't care about her.
To Miley or not to Miley.

I went back to the Miley shelf and stared. Part of me said, Just get the Miley CD! Who cares? You know it's catchy. You know you want it. That's all that matters. Get it! 

Then there was the rest of me, Spending money on something shows support for it. While I like some of her music, I can't separate that from the trashy, twerking mess raking in millions from her shock value. I don't want one cent of mine to encourage her to ride any other medal object naked. And keep your tongue in your mouth!

I stood there as workers passed me. Thankfully, no one buys CDs anymore, so no other shoppers interrupted my moral dilemma. As much as I wanted to just get the damn Bangerz album and move on with my life, I just couldn't with a clean conscience. I'd feel guilty. I'd feel embarrassed. I'd feel slightly responsible for next year's VMAs train wreck. Although still conflicted, I walked away.

Thankfully, The Great Gatsby was on sale, so there went half of my gift card. But I still had $10 to burn. My morals said no to Miley, Nelly was way too pricey for this stage of the game, and that flop of a Pink CD kept staring at me. I pecked around for Backstreet Boys Greatest Hits or the One Direction movie, but no dice. After an hour in the store, I settled for Ariana Grande's new album. She's talented. She's wholesome. She's friends with Miranda Sings. Sold. Thank goodness I could leave the store.

We all have a scale of support respect for artists. Miley Cyrus can sing, her music is decent (for the most part), and I appreciate her "staying true to herself," even if that means gyrating naked on unsanitary objects, like Robin Thicke. (She is a 20-year-old girl - prime spring break years). But my hard earned dollars from Hens on Ice do not need to support her spectacle. After an hour at Best Buy, this was my personal Miley Cyrus moral conclusion. What's yours?

Just close your eyes.

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