I've been thinking a lot lately about buying the expensive version. Of what? Well, of everything. On Food Inc. there's a man who compares buying food to buying a car asking: who goes into buying a car saying something like "I want the cheapest car that I can get." Most people obviously don't because you realize that in paying a little more for a car you are buying reliability, or safety, or even comfort. The same goes for food--just with different characteristics like taste and -in truth- safety again.
Jeremy and I have held this position about food for a long time now. That's something that I've really appreciated about Jeremy as a husband--I never have to worry that I'll be repremanded over the grocery bill. We recognize that good food costs money. But over time our definition of good food has narrowed, and the potential cost has continued creeping up.
Recently a woman who's blog I read talked about making something herself particularly because she could get it cheaper in the store, recognizing that the cheapness of the product most-likely indicated. . . something negative. She didn't state her exact oppinion. Perhapse she feels it was a lack of ethical business practices on the part of the manufacturer, or dislikes the idea of so much of what we buy in this country coming from China. It's an interesting thought though.
Then there was an add for a nice leather bag Jeremy saw that says, "Your children will fight over it when you're dead." Goods made of such high-quality materials and of such high workmanship will obviously cost a lot more than a Jansport bag. But we want that. We want quality goods that wil last for a long time. We get annoyed by magazine articles that talk about how cell phones are designed to break irrepairably the week after your six-month warranty runs out. We're tired of all the cheap bookshelves we got when we first got married which are now in shambles.
So we are definitely getting to this point where we are becoming more comitted to paying more for things instead of looking for the cheapest version. But there is a flipside as well.
I completely, one hundred percent, absolutely hate paying for a label.
I see no reason to pay $100+ for a pair of jeans. They are made of cotton. Cotton is cheap. Cotton grows in America (Arizona to be precise) so the materials don't need to be shipped all over the globe. And jeans wear out quickly. These are reasons why I don't think I should spend that much on Jeans.
But consider a nice pair of leather shoes. I can see the value of paying $100 for a nice pair of leather shoes--I never have, but I can see the reasoning--if you pair nice materials with nice workmanship that will last for years. But another reason why I don't appreciate designer labels is because I don't see the point of buying an expensive pair of shoes that are so stylish that they will quickly be out of style. Then you have wasted all the quality materials and workmanship on a product that is now "obselete." Really--is that even ethical?
So I want to spend more, but just on the things that matter, and for the things that don't? Well, I'm not sure, but I still don't want to get them from China. . .