Well, it's Thursday (in New York.. almost Thursday in Seattle). You've almost made it thought Status Anxiety Week. Hasn't it been fun?
Did you know you guys left 133 comments on the "What Do You Make" post? (Felt good to get it all out, huh?)
I was sitting here thinking, "What else do we talk about this week? We've already covered the big ones - salaries, real estate, and outsized social ambitions... what else could we possibly cover?"
Then I was thinking.. how else do people show wealth (or fake it... or not care...) and started thinking about cars and clothes and hair and shoes.
My friend T who is *quite* the fashionista totally shocked me by driving a Jetta. I was proud of her for it, really. I just figured that a girl who rocks Loeffler Randall shoes, a Goldenbleu leather capelet, and whatever brand of skinny jeans is on the verge, well, she would drive... I dunno... an Audi, a Mini, a zippy little Kompressor.
When I asked her, she was hardly apologetic. She basically said, "No one in Seattle cares anyway, so I spend my money on clothes." And if you know Seattle, well, they don't give a shit about that, so what Tracy really meant is, "I indulge in what I love (clothes) and I can give a fuck what people think (about cars)." At least that's how I took it.
I dressed like a moron until maybe 5 years ago. I mean, my lameness has been diminishing gradually over the years, but your inner Anna Wintour would cry to see photos of me in middle school. And then a few years ago I started trying to figure it out. I also got a fashion/accessories-related job and had to, well, kind of care about those things. So, since these things do seem to matter in my job, I try to throw in a few bit ticket items with my uniform of jeans and some kind of black top. The only things that spice it up are aggressively large snotty handbags and shoes. I am partial to Louboutin, Zanotti, and Costume National. I am not going to lie.
Now that the economy is, well, having a bit of a correction, I do look at some of my shoe/handbag spending and think, as Scooby Doo would say, "Ruh Roe." The hard thing is that you can't go back. I try looking at $79 shoes and can't do it. I can't buy a shoe without a leather sole. Cannot. You slip and slide in them... the construction is wonky, they fall apart, you wouldn't bother to keep and re-sole them. Plus, shoes is my business. You learn to love the craft of shoes. And once you live in a pair of shoes that treat you right, shoes that are really well made, you can't go back. It's a bad new habit I just can't kick.
So - - after all that, here's the question:
Now that we've all upgraded
Now that middle class chicks in Seattle are buying $400 shoes
Now that we're spending $6 bucks a day at Starbucks
Now that you're spending $225 on hair cut/color a month
Now that you have that Mercedes payment
Now that the kids are in private school
Now that you eat out at restaurants 3 nights a week
Now that you go to pilates class or the gym
Now that you buy fresh flowers every week
Now that you are getting used to a big vacation every year (I mean... that's our birthright, no?)
...can you cut back? And if so, on what?
What indulgence have you adopted in the last 5 years that you are willing (or have had) to abandon? Or are you keeping up the new habit, and just scrimping in other areas (like... keep going blond, but no trip to Mexico this year?)
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Labels: status anxiety