First of all, let's make the assumption that it is possible to recognize and revel in ubiquitous cuteness without reacting at the checkout stand. Of course, I'm only talking about gratuitous and unnecessary cuteness here.
That cute journal/spatula/scarf/pillow...that you not only don't need, but oft times won't even use. Why? Because it just too dern CUTE to use/consume/give away. We save it for that special something or someone or special occasion that never materializes. (And if it does, we forget where we put it.)
My solution to this dilemma is a shopping technique I think of as
Go ahead. Give in to temptation. Put that darling little knick-knack in your basket. Imagine where you will place it to maximize it's cuteness. Set the table with it, wear it, plant something in it...and then put it in your shopping cart. (This works both in brick and mortar stores AND online, I might add.)
Continue your shopping...for the things you REALLY need.
Pretty soon you will begin to notice that it's not QUITE so cute off the display shelf. Unaccompanied by its color cousins and back up band it's not QUITE so tantalizing. It slowly dawns on you that it really doesn't fit into your kitchen's color scheme...doesn't enhance your thick waist/ankles/skull...or is more 'precious-moments' cute than 'shabby-chic' cute.
Further cart possession eventually leads to a new sentiment about your knick-knack:
- You need it like a hole in the head;
- don't have the cabinet space for it;
- realize you already have three almost just like it;
- are already bored by it, and
the coup de gras:
You can already see it in the trash or, more likely, the Salvation Army donation box you've just put on the front porch.
Voila! A new definition of a product's life cycle is born.
And you put your little knick-knack back on the shelf.
Well done, you!