$7 is where it starts to seem pricey

That the ham & cheese croissant at Starbucks should be priced at just under four dollars does seem a little high, but nothing crazy, and so but seeing as it’s Sunday, a day of idle routine and creature comforts, I show up here at 8 a.m. (Pasion del Cielo doesn’t open ‘til 9 on the Day of Rest) and I’m hungry and I’ve got work to do and it seems like, OK, an extra $4 wouldn’t be an egregious complement to the $2 coffee.

            Then somehow the barista rings me up and the total is over $7 (taxes, obviously) and I’m like, “No no, sorry, please no. Scratch the croissant.”

            So I’m here now with just my coffee. I’ll get something simpler to chew on at Pasion when I migrate over there at 9.

            But why did the number $7 trigger my penny pinching in the way that $6 did not? (To be honest, a $6 price tag would have been jarring. A $4 transaction and a $2 transaction, conducted separately and in sequence, is clearly what I imagined happening, and it would have convinced me I was spending less.)

            I think this has always been the case with ephemeral purchases, things I’ll only enjoy for a couple minutes. $7 is the number that always prompts me to stop and reconsider. Always has been. I think it’s maybe got something to do with the fact that, when I started buying mass-market paperbacks from the adult section at Borders, they all cost $7, and I only ever had like $12 at a time. So I had to be really discriminating with my choices.

            Do you have a cutoff number when it comes to meals?

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