If you are anything like me, you are probably pretty careful about how you spend your money. You have a weekly budget which allows you to buy basic necessities like food, toiletries, and transportation, and you have the little lump of leftover cash that you spend on non-necessities like the occasional dinner to pamper yourself with. Sometimes the financial surplus affords you an opportunity to buy your loved one that ‘little something’ to make hearts grow fonder. Or you buy that book that you have been eyeing at the bookstore forever because the library never gets around to stock up on. In any case, every cent matters and you are a firm believer in ‘a penny saved is a penny earned’.
It was Father’s Day a few days ago. Naturally there was a lot of gift selling to be done. ‘This Father’s Day, get him the perfect gift’ ads were plastered everywhere: on tv, on billboards, online, and in stores. While riding on the bus today, I picked up a 4 day old magazine-one of those free local ones that seem to always be in circulation on buses. While leafing through the pages, my eyes landed on a Father’s Day advertorial that made me do a double take. Here’s why:
“Joining forces with LOccitane, shaving brand Plisson has created a limited edition set of accessories which include a brush (£75), exotic wood and chrome brass-handled razor (£100) and organic juniper berry and shea butter Cade shaving cream (£18).”
Yikes! With prices like those, Dad had better get a ‘PASS THROUGH: NO QUESTIONS ASKED’ ticket to heaven as well. The irony of a ridiculously expensive everyday product being advertised in a free magazine that is read by people who ride buses is not lost on me.
I bet you my beloved teacup that Hunky, aka my dashing and sensible husband, aka father of our adorable kids got a very similar brush for £2 on Amazon. Aside from the one time he used a £1 razor that made his skin burn like it was dipped in the devil’s kettle, I’m pretty sure that his generic £4 razor works just as well as the one above.
Reading the advertorial reminded me about a discussion I had with Hunky not too long ago about Tamarind, a popular and über pricey dine-in cruise ship based in Mombasa. How does Tamarind manage to stay in business for so long, considering that the cost of a dinner for two is equal to the average Mombasan’s monthly salary? Are there many local tycoons whose patronage keeps Tamarind (no pun intended) afloat? I doubt it. Is it our innate human desire for a taste of the high life that drives average citizens to dig deep into their pockets and sacrifice sensibility for the taste of the drop of luxury? Maybe.
Rich or not, I doubt anyone in my immediate circle will ever buy a £100 razor. However my dear reader, if you happen upon a truckload of cash and decide to buy the Plisson razor for yourself, please let me know how it feels to glide all that money on your skin.