guilty elitism?

September 4, 2007

i know that, for the most part, my personal tastes have been acquired and developed through various influences in my life. among those playing a significant role include: cultural, educational, social, economical and commercial factors. just as these progress, regress, morph,… of course, my preferences change as well.

trends in my likes and dislikes do exist though. for instance, i’ve rarely paid full price for any item to be found at a mall. in fact, i tend to like the items that not enough people liked and thus its relocation to the back of the store on the sale rack. conversely, given versions of the nearly the same item, i often prefer the item with most expensive manufacturer’s suggested retail price without seeing it, or the brand logo. in terms of cleaning products, for household or hygiene, i won’t stock up during sales; but if i find a clothing item that i love, i will buy a couple, even at full-price. if something appears to be made personally by the vendor, i’m much more inclined to shell out and rarely ever haggle.

lately, i want items that will last tangibly or memorably. since the latter is subject to terribly forgetful habits, the former most often comprise what is acquired, or rather that which i acceptingly spend larger amounts.

no, i’m not living outside my means and i’d like to believe that i’m quite practical about my purchases (except a few maybe).

anyhow, the point of all this rambling (and demonstrative of my point) is that i feel the need to justify my spending.

so, i bought a shirt at a price you paid for 11 shirts…i like mine and you like them. what makes it ok for you to judge me when i – in a socially acceptably way* – cannot comment on your seemingly frugal lifestyle.

HOWEVER, I can’t help this one little, teensy, weensy word-to-the-wise (perhaps you’ve heard it b/c i sure as heck am not the first to say it):

QUANTITY DOES NOT EQUAL QUALITY.

*yes, i am quite aware of what Bourdieu had to say about taste and not only do i agree, i have been intimately involved in the process of shaping “personal preferences”.

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