Monday, August 28, 2006

A certain position in life

Jack Serpentine recently explained that some of his choices as of late have been because he has “attained a certain position in life” where he no longer has to settle for X.

This justification was used for buying a flat screen TV and having digital cable for sports and movie watching.

Agreeing with Jack's logic, Maime enjoyed some Cognac this weekend saying“I’ve gotten old enough that I don’t have to drink shitty booze. I’ve attained a certain position in life where I don’t have to drink Hawkeye vodka anymore.”

It’s not that Maime or Jack have suddenly cashed in the trust fund, it’s that many of us are (or transitioning into) young professionals, which means “what’s cheapest” no longer has to be the deciding factor.

Aside from the obvious (having HBO, drinking whatever I feel like ordering, smoking good cigars), I also take clothing more serious. I don’t buy shit just because it’s cheap, I actually buy what I need and looks right. I also get massages, facials, regular petties, go tanning when I look affright, and buy “really good” makeup. I did none of these things in college.

I hope this trend continues as I prefer first class anything, cars with leather, original art, good seats at the theater, really nice hotel rooms and antique books. Most of these things are not serviceable on a young professionals income, however, I am optimistic about the future as I may find the benefits of “selling out” growing in appeal.


Blogger A Unique Alias said...

I pulled the same thing. Then I realized that I'd spent two years and like $15,000 on "quality" booze and other frivolities that I was "entitled to".

Now I'm drinking PBR and have a rather nicely-filled savings account, instead.

1:08 PM  
Blogger V said...

You're right that there is def at least a balance to be had.

Besides, PBR is delicious.

1:10 PM  
Blogger nick d said...

Everyone you meet is always at a different point in their life from my experiences. And what we think of as "selling out" may just be someone growing out of a phase. Or what we think of as low brow, is someone just happy with where they are and dont need to impress.

As both student and young professional, however, I have to say I can appericate both ways.

1:12 PM  
Blogger Sean said...

V, I'm not sure how you drink your vodka, but I sure as hell can't tell the difference between top shelf and rail when it's mixed. Straight is another ballgame of course. If I'm making a Greyhound with quality vodka, I'm going to use freshly squeezed grapefruits. Otherwise, there is Absolute-ly no point in spending the extra cash. Hawkeye? Jesus, never heard of that one. Does it come from O.K. or something?

AUA, you're like the Buddah of blog comment threads. Except you drink PBR.

2:45 PM  
Blogger V said...

Nick: That is quite true.

Sean: I totally agree. It's a waste of good vodka to mix it...though I know several bloggers who would disagree as they love to mix that grey goose.

The furthest i go would be a splash, but even that's just in Absolute Citron...hardly top shelf (but still delish).

2:56 PM  
Blogger Lonnie Bruner said...

V & Sean:

By law, vodka is "odorless, colorless and flavorless". That's not an opinion; that's ATF edict. The differences someone can "taste" between different brands of vodka are like tasting tap water vs. bottled. You're only noticing different textures, ie, mouth-feel or heavier elements left from cheaper distillations, but there's still no flavor to speak of.

As for someone saying that one vodka is better than another, it's just those who've bought into the suggestive marketing. Vodka is the most boring of all the spirits in that sense.

My suggestion: switch to gin.

But that's just my two cents---not that you asked for it. ;-)


3:18 PM  
Blogger V said...

LB: While your two cents is always welcome here, I must disagree as vodka does have taste (and burn) that i find quite different among brands, particularly, top shelf Russian Vodkas, which are just amazing.

3:22 PM  
Blogger Heather B. said...

As frugal as I can be, there are just some things that I refuse to skimp on and can actually afford without starving to death. It's positively lovely.

4:03 PM  
Blogger Sean said...

LB, vodka is a marketer's dream. That's why there is so much emphasis on the bottle itself. I read an article awhile ago about the "world's biggest cheapskate". He was pretty crazy (funny) but one thing he recommended was taking cheap vodka and pouring it into the bottle of an expensive brand. The reason I like vodka is BECAUSE it has no flavor. To wit, I wish grapefruit juice was alcohol :-) You can have that gin....YUCK!

4:11 PM  
Anonymous bill said...

To have choices is a great feeling - you have the basics covered, and you can set priorities for the rest. You're too smart to make choices based on marketing hype. Express yourself!

4:15 PM  
Blogger Lonnie Bruner said...

"The reason I like vodka is BECAUSE it has no flavor." -- that's the most honest thing I've ever heard a vodka drinker say.

4:30 PM  
Blogger Lonnie Bruner said...


Through some digging around, I finally found the ATF code on vodka. (Yes, I'm bored at work). The exact wording in the law regarding vodka is that it is "without distinctive
character, aroma, taste, or color".

My point, proved.

4:41 PM  
Blogger Protagoras said...

I'm just like Maime and Jack - I work really hard for the money I earn and feel like I deserve to spend it on comfort. We've been brainwashed since birth to strive for luxury and comfort. Owning expensive things is the American Dream. Status and class are defined by how expensive your shit is. Of course we all want to be in the upper class.

And it's the reason I have zero savings and no hope of owning a home for many years. But, I have great earning potential which is what I've been riding on for so long. My parents were extremely frugal people, and because of that we lived in a nice home and I owned nice horses and trained with the top riders in the state. If I keep spending the way I am, I will not be in a position to provide any of these things to my family.

4:53 PM  
Blogger KassyK said...

Great post. While I am DEF not in a position to spend, I do enjoy the finer things although I don't do it in the traditional girl ways.

I don't mani or pedi or anything like that. I just buy really well fitting jeans that happen to be very pricey (but I also wear the same pair now that I bought in college soph. year so my money goes far) and expensive makeup. Certain things are always worth the money: Nice handbags made with love and good leather. :) A good colorist and stylist. But most of my girls do the mani/pedi/tan/eyebrows thing. I think i just don't like random strangers touching me lol.

6:23 PM  
Blogger c.c. heat said...

I can't wait to use that big screen to satisfy my man crush for Julian Wright. Thanks for letting Serpentine make that purchase.

9:57 PM  
Blogger Irish Red said...

As long as you buy it because it's better ...not just because it's more expensive. Spending money because you CAN is silly.

8:25 AM  
Blogger Living in Dupont said...

I have a strange little way of rewarding myself... when I've made it through a week, I get to choose something to do just for me. I generally don't spend more than $20, but Friday afternoon when I get out of the office I either decide what I'll do that night by myself to enjoy it (aka go to a movie or something of the like) or I stop on the walk home and pick up a new cd/dvd/book of choice at Olssen's or Second Story. I collect old books, and have a huge obsession with buying my new music and movies (I've never been able to bring myself to download anything, I'm not sure why!).

I guess eventually my tastes will change, but for the most part I'm happy with a new book each weekend to spoil myself with.

9:09 AM  
Blogger Barbara said...

I find that you go through phases: There's that initial realization out of college when you notice that you have more money than you've ever had in your life. My inclination was to spend all of it, not to the point of going in debt, but just eeking by each month. I loved expensive clothes and entertainment. Then I married someone who knew about saving money and learned to behave better financially. Having children was the real financial depressor. But now that they are finally slowly getting off the family bank account and I am the principal breadwinner (since my husband is retired), I see myself saying, whatthehell -- good clothes, makeup, massage, vacations, bring them all on! I'm in the second half of life and I'm planning to enjoy it!

10:49 AM  
Blogger Patrick J. Fitzgerald said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

10:51 AM  
Anonymous Jay Gatsby said...

"Most of these things are not serviceable on a young professionals income, however, I am optimistic about the future as I may find the benefits of 'selling out' growing in appeal."

Living first class is nice, but overrated if there's no human element at the core. I know plenty of vapid people who order the highest quality of everything because they claim to "deserve" it. Frankly, I think by "deserve" they actually mean to say that they're buying whatever it is because they think (and want to show) they're better than everyone else.

Make sure that "deserve" means you've earned whatever first class item/service you're buying through hard work, determination and personal growth. Any other reason is simply lying to yourself.

10:55 AM  
Blogger Floyd said...

Remember how people 'round here (back home for you two posers) bitch about "latte-sipping, elitist limosine liberals?" Remember how just a few months ago Serpentine bitched out the baby boomers for screwing us in the ass because they wanted the nice things right now?

You've already sold out.

3:42 PM  

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