Guest Blogger Jake Barnes: The Ultimate Luxury Item
Circle V Note: Here is another post from Guest Blogger Jake Barnes at our NYC Corporate Office.
I used to be one of those people who thought I was above "material" things. Friends and co-workers discussed their dreams of owning a fancy TV, a sportscar that could speed down highways at 180 mph, a speedboat to park in their driveway for all neighbors to see, diamond-encrusted necklaces or bracelets, Prada shoes, Burberry scarves, luxurious McMansions, etc, etc.
And I always said, "material things don't bring me happiness. Put me in a small apartment with good friends and a nice family and enough money to get by and I'll be fine."
The weird thing is: nothing changed. I still don't want a fast car, Armani suits, or a big house. I don't dream about speeding my new boat around the local lake or buying the latest electronic device. I don't even own an Ipod. But I've come to realize that all along, I dreamed of the ultimate luxury item. I dreamed of doing what I am doing now. To live in Manhattan.
I pay the price of a mortgage, boat payment, and Corvette lease every month just for the right to live in a tiny SoHo apartment and be able to write "New York, NY" on my return address. There tends to be a type of snobbery with people like me. I look at fast cars and big houses and think, "how empty." But I happily write out my check each month for the right "feel" cooler than Borough or New Jersey residents. I justify it. My commute is shorter (not true if I lived in Brooklyn), I enjoy the people in my neighborhood (I work until midnight and the people in my neighborhood would never accept a lawyer anyway), what if there's a blackout? (it's not like I would know what to do in Manhattan).
Point is, I love living in Manhattan because I, like everyone, enjoy luxury. The definition of luxury is different for every person. Some want cars and jewelry. Others want travel and concerts. Others want to live in Manhattan. We all do it for the same reasons: we enjoy the sense that not everyone can do it.
There is nothing morally superior about any of these options. After all, if you'd rather live in New Jersey, shop at Target, live in a boring planned community, and drive a $50,000 gas-guzzling SUV to meet your wife and kids at TGI Fridays after you finish your tedious mid-level management job, who is to say that is inferior to living in the most diverse, cultured, and exciting City on earth?
Certainly not me.