While out to lunch with a group of lady friends the other week, we got to talking about restaurants. One friend made the comment that she likes going to a certain place because “the food is decent.” Likewise, “decent” was later used in a favorable way to describe the service where we were.
This bothers me. While I didn’t agree that the certain place mentioned earlier was actually a favorable place to go, I would have also used the phrase “decent” to describe the food. My description, however, would have been more literal: adequate. It’s edible, and okay, but that’s about as far as I would go.
And maybe I’m a bit picky, but if I am going to spend the money on dining out, I am not going someplace where the food and service are “decent.” I am going to go somewhere where the food is “excellent” and the service is “great.” This doesn’t necessarily come with inflated dollar signs. This just means that I won’t settle for mediocrity and perhaps go out less often. The bargain-basement breakfast bistro down the road gets my business practically every other weekend, and I’m only spending $3.95 for a killer breakfast with wonderful service!
But I find that this habit sneaks in to other areas of my life, too. Clothing, for example. I generally avoid the trendy stores that may have fashionable, yet cheaply made, articles. Instead, I gravitate to buying clothes less frequently, but from stores in which the quality is noticeably better. Why spend $80 on a trendy spring trench coat from the discount store, having to sew buttons back on only a few weeks later or repair a seam, when you can wait a few more months, buy a $250 trench coat marked down to $140 on sale from a higher-end retailer, and have it long enough to pass on to your own daughter when she gets there? I have a couple of items from my mom that are likely 30+ years old, but still look as fantastic as the day she purchased them.
And purses. Same thing goes. Why spend $20 at a purse party for the knock-off that will begin to get threadbare in a few months and the leather with actually peel? I think I would rather wait (years!) until I could buy a real one that will hold up for the next generation.
Have you ever purchased a “cheap” appliance and had it break after only a few uses? Did you wish you spent a little more money and got the better item? I guess the definition of “value” is for each person to determine. For me, value is in quality. But, I am not every shopper. The discount stores exist for a reason, and the cheap articles of clothing are sold in volume. And, from a marketing perspective it makes sense: the sooner you use something up, the sooner you have to replace it! It’s a profit-making venture!
My theory runs along the lines that if I am going to spend money, it’s going to be worth it. But don’t get me wrong: as I’ve mentioned before, very rarely do I ever pay full price! Part of my value is knowing how to get the best deals… everywhere! And, my routine shopping for regular items is always done at the big-box supermarket with plenty of coupons! Happy shopping!
Retro re-post of the day: Women get better with age