Just because I’m told to like something doesn’t mean I will. Being honest I hate caviar but love me some chips and salsa, would rather have a club soda than a dry white wine, found myself nodding off while watching Citizen Kane but adore Grease, would rather wear jeans and a hoodie than anything from the Paris runway, prefer chicken and dumplings with cornbread at Cracker Barrel to prime rib at Tavern on the Green, like driving a Ford over a Mercedes, grab for my NuBalance whites over designer Jordan’s, stay at the Doubletree over the Ritz Carlton, a Timex over a Rolex, my $25 purse over a $250 purse, love road tripping instead of weeks at an expensive resort, and many many more. You like what you like, and I’ll like what I Iike. I do not subscribe to the principle of because it’s more expensive or has a bigger following than something I prefer that I need to stop my likes for yours. Or that your likes are in any way better than mine.
That doesn’t mean I don’t contemplate the idea of these other things or leave myself closed off to the possibility of trying them, but for the most part I am not at all high maintenance. I have cut my own hair since I was a teenager, think of everything and anything in the way of cost effectiveness, and realize that I can exist without most of what others think is so cool and/or necessary. Brand names do not have a draw for me. Someone will show me something of theirs and instead of allowing me to draw a conclusion of how much I like or don’t like the item on its own merits, they throw in the brand. These are Uggs, that’s a Rolex, I bought this at Tiffany’s, or whatever. As if I’m going to be impressed that you spent a lot of money on something. I believe my $30 watch keeps the same time as yours for $5,000. The Ford I’m driving gets me to the ocean, the same as your $50,000 vehicle. Brands and status often have the opposite effect on me. I immediately think how dumb it is to spend so much money on whatever that was. Buy a cheaper watch, and use the rest for a child’s college fund, or a retirement fund, or a vacation, or here’s an idea — help someone else out with that money whether a family member, local charity, or any number of philanthropic endeavors. Flashy upgrades are totally lost on me. In fact, each time I lose just a little more respect for someone throwing the materialistic and status-centered whatever in my direction as something as if I’m supposed to be impressed. If I say, “I love that outfit.” It means I love that outfit, not I love that designer who made that outfit. I’ll be impressed they made a really nice garment, but I don’t care for it just because it’s something made with their name sewn on the tag.
Don’t get me wrong, fine things are nice, but the measure of appreciation for me is not the price or the company producing it, but the item of and by itself. Not everything with that special stamp of approval is deserving of our adoration, just as not every recording by a musical artist is worthy of the screams and cheers and claps. An established act sells their songs whether or not they’re as good as the musician in the subway playing for quarters. Fans automatically will convince themselves they like something because of who is selling the product.
Just don’t get sucked into the ‘Bling Ring’ way of thinking. Challenge whether or not the hyped-up item is actually worthy of your attention, or worse yet, your money. A hard-earned dollar is not just a term, it’s a fact of life.
A search to impress someone is a sure sign of impressing nobody but yourself. A hollow goal indeed. Substance, people, substance! … Sandy