Over the weekend, I was walking to work. This normally takes me about 2 minutes to get from my car in the parking lot to the front door. Somehow, on this particular length of trip, I was joined by two women in my wake who were very loudly complaining about the mall, the people in the mall, and the fact that people were shopping at the stores in this mall.
Granted, the mall I work at is pretty swanky - as the kids say. There are luxury department stores and luxury/high-end boutique retailers and lots of stores where I feel like you have to have a certain number of 0's in your checking account just to walk through the doors. When I first came to that mall, I felt I needed to get dressed up just to go, just to be seen. I felt I couldn't really walk around in shorts and a tank top during the summer months. Or, at least, not just any shorts and tank top.
Over time, that mall has become 'my' mall, however. It's where I work. I know just about everyone in mall management, most of the security, and at least have a passing acquaintanceship with half of the various employees.
But, the two women behind me were pretty loudly deriding anyone and everyone with a shopping bag.
"My god, look at all these idiots with their shopping bags," said one.
"I know! Like buying all that expensive stuff makes them better people," said the other.
The conversation went on from there. At one point, I thought My gods, it is a very good thing I'm such a patient person. Then I thought No I'm not. Who am I trying to kid? Then I thought about saying something snide to them like "If you hate this mall and the people in it so much, why the hell did you come here?"
Then I kind of laughed to myself, because I'm defending the mall and the shoppers and the expensive things. Expensive things that, in other moments, I would probably make fun of, too. I laughed, because for a second the words 'class warfare' passed through my head, but I knew I didn't think this was class warfare, nor do I necessarily agree with the Have's version of class warfare.
I suppose I have come to a point in my life where I like to own nice things, and I save for them, working very hard and denying myself a lot of other entertainments along the way. I think that's why hearing someone gripe about people shopping in the abstract pissed me off so much. To be fair, are there people that think they are superior to others because they can afford a leather coat for $3,000? Probably. I've met some who would be pretty good candidates for that post.
I wonder from the Rioters, though, is there an inherent problem with buying expensive things? For me, I might forego buying 2-3 cheaper sweaters to buy one very nice sweater. I might wait 6 years to get new plates, but then finally get nice dishes - albeit still on sale at the swanky department store.
I suppose the problem is whether you can still appreciate the value of the expense. Have you become so out of touch with what is actually expensive and what is actually cheap that you go on television and talk about how many cars you have at each of your homes?
What do you think about expensive things?
Love and Lyte,