Friday, January 16, 2009

Anyone Got Any Super Glue? (Feet Need to Stay Attached to Ground)

United States of America Congressional Gold Medal Recipient<br>
Cornelius VanderbiltVanderbilt.  The name right there says a lot, carries a certain stigma with it; is, in it's own way, a high class brand.  After two years, I should be used to what Vanderbilt is, in all its preppiness glory.  Yet today I was completely taken by surprise when I was reminded of just how much I don't fit in here.

It used to be different, last year I mean, and the year before.  There were some great real, down to earth, people in the classes before mine.  You know, those people who remind you about real life just by being themselves.  They've left now, graduated, on to bigger and better things: being attorneys.  My best grounding person has up and left, back to the Yay.  Schools not the same, somehow less tolerable.

Tonight was the first night of my Intellectual Property Licensing short course.  The class itself was great, but a few of my classmates made some comments that smacked me upside the head.  The worst part is, they were all members of what used to be my "group," the BLSA people (not all members of BLSA, but the general group that hangs around BLSA).  But most of the BLSA people with whom I connected are gone, what is left is a strange (to me) mix of bougie pretentiousness and snobbish wealth.

Chello's Wife (who really isn't married to or even dating Chello, but got this nickname because she's always just a few feet behind him, like a Muslim wife) piped in on the discussion about brand dilution.  She was upset about how designer Michael Kors diluted his brand by offering a line called Michael by Michael Kors at Macy's.  If you're asking who's Michael Kors, that was exactly my first thought.  My second thought was "wtv?!  Macy's is expensive high end stuff."  Well, turns out a sweater by this Kors guy runs somewhere around $1500.  At that price, it better include the whole flock of sheep, too!

Then another girl started talking about how she used to be a food elitist and only buy brands she had seen her mother buy because if she bought the store brand she was convinced it would be nasty.  She explained that she's no longer an elitist because now she'll buy store brands.  Stores like Whole Foods make it possible because the level of the store ensures that the food inside will all be quality.  (And for a moment I almost thought she was no longer an elitist.  Meanwhile, I'll be walking to Apple Market to get my 33 cent Always $ave macaroni and cheese.)

Another girl was explaining that people buy Prada because they know they'll get good quality and yadda yadda yadda.  I don't care how good you think your quality is, there's a point where it doesn't matter and isn't worth the arm and the leg to buy it.  Yes, sometimes it makes a difference.  Do I think my new Timberlands will outlast my $15 KMart boots?  Sure, but that's mostly because my Timbs are made out of stronger, more durable materials, not solely because they're Timbs.  There's a point where a leather jacket is a leather jacket and a purse is a purse, and shoes that cost as much as rent are just absurd.

Luckily, I got to sit by one of my old friends, JT, in class.  He's fairly grounded, although I can't give him complete down-to-earth cred because his fiance (who is very sweet) is very much a part of the high priced brand club and he goes along with it sometimes to keep her happy.  At least I had someone who could understand my eye rolling though.  And when I got home, my good grounding person was only a phone call away....  :)


Jeannie said...

soo - you want the super glue to glue your feet to the ground so you don't kick them? Just remember that there's nothing wrong with being frugal. It helps you save for things you really want, or need,later (or to splurge on something you really, really like that you wouldn't buy otherwise)

goldenrail said...

No, I won't the glue so I don't get carried away with them.