Tuesday, May 15, 2007

I'm sorry, this costs HOW much?

After a year in "the real world" I'm realizing that there are some things that just cost more than I think they should. Large quantities of money that just make me stop and say, I'm sorry, come again?
My first instance of this was when I bought my mattress. In my head I was thinking I would have to shell out a solid $200 to get a rockin mattress. Maybe $300 if I was splurging. But I was sadly sadly mistaken. Silly little naive Lizzy. When I walked into that first mattress store with my dad and saw they started maaaybe at $400 for a crappalicious mattress I wanted to walk back out the door and go steal my plastic covered dorm bed mattress.
So it's an "investment" they tell me. Mattress last "a long time."
To which I reply, "What do you mean a long time?"
To which my dad responds, "You know, a long time."
"Dad, you're talking to a girl who is used to moving her entire life's belongings every 8-10 months, so I think our ideas of what is a 'long time' may be slightly different."
10 years.
15 years.
It all depends on how well you take care of it.
Sweet. I had only been alive 22 years and he expected me to picture buying something that would last more than half that duration for the price of about 8 front row tickets to really awesome concerts. It just wasn't workin out for me.

But a necessary evil, and I sucked it up.

My most recent episode of this sticker shock came when I bought my first suitcase. When I found out I was going to Paris on business I decided that maybe my lone orange Adidas duffle bag that I have had since 10th grade might need to be traded in for something a little more... sophisticated. So I went to the little luggage place conveniently located two doors down from my office to buy myself a suitcase. A red suitcase to be specific. Black is so... hard to find on luggage carousels. A red suitcase that I could take on the plane with me. Ready, set, go.
The man found me one that met with my specifications and I said, "How much is it?"
I thought I misheard him, what with the accent and all. Or that maybe he was mistakenly referring to the family size suitcase. Nope. $250.
Alright, well do you have anything maybe, say, under $200?
So we searched, and finally found a nice bag that was (in my mind) reasonably priced. I mean, seriously? Seriously. It's just a glorified box. Give me a break.

So I thought about it some more. There are quite a few more instances of "Are you serious?" that I've experienced since I started paying for everything in life. Here are just a few:

Dental insurance- why in the world is it so bloody expensive? I am healthy individual with no cavities, none, zip, I just want my twice yearly checkup, and you want me to pay basically as much as my regular health insurance that covers me if say I have a ruptured ovarian cyst or, I dunno, a heart attack? Thanks for the rip off.

Rugs- WHY?? I really just want an 8x10 rug for in my room. Simple. Cream. Nothing fancy. Does it really need to cost more than say, $25? That seems reasonable, right?

Pillows- Ok, this is absurd. Anyone who owns a pillow that is $100 baffles me. I was having trouble with my pillows ($20 a piece, on sale wahoo) giving me neck pain, so I decided to investigate "nicer" pillows in the hopes that this problem would be alleviated. And suddenly I was confronted with a myriad of options, ranging in price upwards of $120 PER PILLOW. And you have to buy MORE THAN ONE, duh. And they all look the same. They're white. They're soft. Are the $120 pillows filled with fur from an endangered species of alpaca fur or something? Give me a break.

Food in NYC- Well, this speaks for itself. The first time I went shopping in a grocery store here I nearly choked on my $4 ice cream cone. You want how much for a can of tuna? And pine nuts cost what?? Or I'll get a salad for lunch and it's like $10 and I still don't have a clue as to why a few pieces of brownish lettuce have just cost me that much. Maybe someday I'll understand. Or even just become immune to it. But for now, I'll just stock up on, well, everything, when I go back to central PA to the land of normal prices. Well, except for mattresses. They're really expensive everywhere, even in podunk PA.


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