Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Reverse Snobbery

It was my mother's 60th (Happy Birthday Mumsy!) on Monday and she decided to take the day off and go into town.

We were wondering around and she says to me that she'd love to get some diamond stud earrings as a sort of celebration. So we start wondering around jewellery stores.

At some point she was persuaded to try on a pair of earrings. They looked nice - perhaps a little big. She asked how much they cost. A tad shy of $30k... Yep... $30,000 for a pair of decorations for your ears.

The really cynical version of me wants to say something about Christmas decorations usually being ½ price on boxing day. If you need it to be really glittery, I have it on good authority that glitter at the $2 shop is only... $2. I know... weird right?

There's something I find really disturbing about people ever spending that much on earrings. There's nothing practical about them. They really are nothing more than decorations. To think that I was a little irritated by tags on jewellery saying "Only $2 per day" - that's enough to feed a starving child in Africa... Okay - so that's still less than a coffee a day (though you get something from coffee). But then explode that out to $30,000 and you've got something really amazingly dismissive of people by spending that much money... on a decoration.

For the rest of the afternoon we indulged in a little reverse snobism. Suggestions of the idea that she should have tried to negotiate with the sales person :- "How much for the earrings without the diamonds? and how about just one?". Lunch on the Viaduct included a glass of champagne. A glass of champagne and an empty glass (we did order a second glass eventually... we really were taking the mickey).

Every now and again I come across snobbery on the Internet. For example, the Yahoo Answers page for "How does the bank rob you?" starts off with:
Okay...let me tell you a secret...I don't mean to sound rude towards anyone but...the people who complain about banks, either have no money, or don't have the slightest idea about managing it, or math...
Recently New Zealand banks muscled out smaller money exchangers using money laundering as an excuse. Yet another tax on the poor...

We all get that capitalism sucks. Let's be proud of the fact that we perhaps don't have as much money as the kind of idiots who walk around with $30k on their ears. That's not a bad thing.

Oh, and to the sales person who made my mother feel like crap for not being able to afford $30k earrings... or even the $14k earrings... you're in retail! Let's see where you are financially when you're 60...

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