The Rich Get.....Well, Kinda Dumber
Apparently, it is no longer enough for the wealthy in America to buy luxurious items--now they want super pricey, rare items that blow right past our former definitions of expensive. According to the chief luxury officer at CurtCo Media (no, even I couldn't make up a title like that--it's real), the wealthy want things now that "shout quietly". Like the $700,000 Montblanc pen studded with rubies, sapphires, and diamonds that sold within days of arriving at the New York store. That's quiet? Sorry, but I think a $700,000 writing implement qualifies as a full on ear-splitting scream. I wonder what they'd think if they knew that every day I stick two pens in my uniform pocket out of my huge supply of free drug company pens, and most days I come home with two completely different ones--because, if it writes and it's within reach, it's good enough. And there's no shortage of free drug company pens at work. I also tend to gnaw on my pens when I'm thinking......and, while I guess choking to death on a ruby is something of a glamorous way to go, I think I'll skip it.
The article profiled a woman in New York (Nadine) who makes somewhere in the neighborhood of $24,000 a year, who spends about half of that on clothes and accessories--around $1000 a month. Here's her quote, which I think qualifies as the dumbass quote of the month: "My first priority should be my bills. But these designers bring out so many hot items that you must have these things. I am always late with my bills." She also mentioned buying a $1,100 Gucci messenger bag recently, because she can't always use the $3000 bag from Fendi that her boyfriend bought her at Christmas. After all, "you have to change your look, to look fresh". I guess Nadine can take comfort in the knowledge that when all of her debtors finally get sick of waiting for little unimportant things like rent, she'll be the freshest-dressed homeless person in New York, with a choice of really nice bags to push around in her shopping cart.
But here's the part that really got me. Louis Vuitton presold a limited number of $40,000+ patchwork bags made from samples from different spring and summer collections. (It's worth pointing out here that this price tag is only slightly less than the median household income in this country.) Now, I like to sew things, so I realized in a flash what this was about. Louis Vuitton has taken their scraps--the little bits of fabric that are too small to make into handbags--stitched them all together into Frankenpurses, and convinced the wealthy to pay enough money to support a small family for a year to purchase them. They've actually gotten people to not only pay for what is essentially their garbage (I'm sure they threw away their scraps before they realized what they could convince the wealthy to do), but to get on a waiting list to do so even before they were made. My mind boggles. I'll bet these people would faint dead away if they knew that the purse I've been carrying for over a year cost me all of $6 at Value Village, and probably didn't cost more than $20 brand new.
Don't get me wrong. I'm all for finding creative ways to use leftovers rather than throwing them out. I even think the purse idea is somewhat clever. But I'm astounded that someone would pay enough money to buy a pretty nice luxury car--for a handbag. Maybe it's because mine is sort of a catchall for gum wrappers, receipts, tampons, hairbands, a hairbrush, an assortment of cheap pens with and without caps, chapstick, etc. It's like a junk drawer with a strap, in other words, and I just don't think my junk needs a $40,000 storage bag. It also gets slung carelessly into my car, dropped on wet pavement, occasionally slammed in doors, and rifled through wrecklessly when I can't find what I'm looking for...which is often. If I've ever had a purse that didn't end up with ink marks and tears in the lining, as well as scuff marks on the outside and half of the stitches popped that were supposed to be holding the strap on, I don't recall it.
In the end, I don't think I want to be wealthy...I fear the surgery to remove my common sense might be too painful.
In spite of my shock and horror at the whole Frankenpurse thing, I did manage to get this far on the evening wrap (which is little more than a wide scarf, but I think it'll work fine):
I tried to get a good picture of the lace design I chose, but me and cameras...you know. I'm not going to give up my day job to be a photographer any time soon. Not unless the rich start realizing there's some sort of cachet in having all your wedding photos blurry and having the bride's head cut off in three-quarters of them. Then, of course, I'll be making $50,ooo a wedding. For now, though, I think Ed likes the shawl:
Okay, so really he was waiting for breakfast and not at all patient with this whole "take pictures of wads of yarn" thing, but you can't be a knitter's cat without some degree of suffering. Lastly, I offer a picture of Gracie, because someone mentioned they hadn't seen her in awhile...which is quite true:
As you can see behind her, the dropcloth is still there for me to finish the back door. Maybe I should leave it as is....it might add value to the house to have it "quirkily unfinished", should the rich people come looking. Maybe I could say that the French doors were left over from another house and that's why they don't appear to match. Hell, we could make millions.
Knit on, Friends. And don't forget to love your purse today. Clearly, it's more valuable than anyone suspected.