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Thread: "A Luxury Once Tasted...

  1. #1
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    "A Luxury Once Tasted...

    ,,,becomes a necessity."

    My son told me that when I told him how, unfortunately, after the airline club gave me a free pass for 6 months, I felt I NEEDED to join... it was quieter and had nice working stations so I could work efficiently. I didn't have to fight crowds for a bite to eat--they had the "smorgasbord" of cheese, cracker, soups, salads, etc. They had newspaper and TV, and a counter where I could jump in and get great service in the case of delays or cancellations. It was a no-brainer to spend a couple of hundred dollars a year for this luxury which had become somehow a necessity.

    I typically don't have a huge need for creature comforts. My DIL, a Brazilian who takes GREAT care of herself, always gives me fluffy blankets, and gift cards for manicures, and those thick socks.. I think she thinks I wear a hair shirt while flagellating myself daily.

    What brings me to the topic is my BIL, who takes tremendous pleasure in creature comfort stuff. He used to work in a. high-end store in the bedding department and he talks Egyptian cotton, thread count, horse hair beds, etc. So this past week we decided we would both bring our white comforters to the cleaners--I was going to just throw mine in the big washer at the laundromat--it was $40 fake polyester down comforter from Target. But his is a Siberian down comforter that retails for several hundred dollars (he didn't pay that), so he didn't want to throw it in the wash. He brought both of the comforters to the cleaners. My bill was $30 to clean a $40 comforter. Whatever. His comforter cost more of course.

    SO.. question is, what luxuries have you fallen into the trap of now needing? Define luxury however you wish. And why do you think you now "need" it. ("Need" can be interpreted loosely, too. We all know that all we REALLY need is a shelter from elements, basic food and clothes.)
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
    www.silententry.wordpress.com

  2. #2
    Simpleton Alan's Avatar
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    The world is full if little things that I spent much of my life without but now consider essential. In my car there's air conditioning, power windows, heated seats and now back-up cameras and satellite navigation systems. In my home there's again air conditioning, a whole house heating system rather than a coal stove in the living room, smart TV's, microwave ovens and wireless high speed internet.
    In my personal life, I'll always be amazed that I once routinely travelled extensively throughout this country and others without the means of instant communications on my person. I wonder how I survived it?
    "Things should be made as simple as possible, but not one bit simpler." ~ Albert Einstein

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    Oh yes, there are so many things.
    Years ago there was an episode on the Canadian show "Corner Gas" when the resident snob
    invited a couple to dinner and served a "Good Wine" and they got angry because after that they
    were not satisfied with their cheap wine. So they plotted and invited her back and served her
    something (forget what) that was so good she now could not eat the cheaper blander version
    she had been happier with before. It was funny. Dd and I often refer to the show when we try
    a better quality of anything.
    Alan, I agree with your whole list especially the back-up camera, heated seats and high speed internet. (how would be go back to dial-up?)
    When people talk about the cost of living compared to years ago they need to take in to account all of these things that we didn't have
    way back then. I believe this is why so many people feel poorer then they use to. So many things seem like necessities that weren't before. It is hard not to!

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    Heated seats in the car. My car is 10 years old so i dont have muc else.

    Everything on my phone or tablet, they are so small and do everything. And instant ability to binge watch anything. Watching one episode a week is crazy.

    I will say that although i love really good chai i will drink starbucks from a mix also,

  5. #5
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    Internet access. Still on the fence about a smart phone. Garmin navigation system since it has allowed me to drive without stopping to check a map. Saved me in several cities.

    But we bought a Gamin with lifetime updates which was a great deal instead of using our Honda's navigation system that costs $150 to update any time it is needed. What a waste.

    My husband will never be without the additional safety systems on his CRV. Backup camera, right side camera, auto braking, auto lane beeps, auto speed control, and on and on. Personally, I think he is too tied to the cruise control system. I use it only occasionally during really long trips but want to keep control of the car.

    Latex bed pillow. To me the best thing ever invented. Tried down, poly, foam, and all those miracle pillows. Only the latex one gives me the exact feeling I want.

  6. #6
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alan View Post
    The world is full if little things that I spent much of my life without but now consider essential. In my car there's air conditioning, power windows, heated seats and now back-up cameras and satellite navigation systems. In my home there's again air conditioning, a whole house heating system rather than a coal stove in the living room, smart TV's, microwave ovens and wireless high speed internet.
    In my personal life, I'll always be amazed that I once routinely travelled extensively throughout this country and others without the means of instant communications on my person. I wonder how I survived it?
    Cars are always upping the ante. Back in 1984 we got a brand new car. We thought we were really doing so well because it was right off the showroom--but it had no air conditioning. Also we had to hand-crank the windows. And we were REALLY happy to be driving a reliable car at all! Now, my "needs" have escalated to the navigation system on the dash--when I take my husband's car, I really miss that map!! And I have the kind of ignition where you don't have to put the key in at all, so no more digging through my purse to find it. And it unlocks when I'm close enough for the sensor to sense it. Honestly, it's such a little thing, but I really like it.

    When it comes to cars I have yet to desire heated seats, or leather seats. I don't yet crave a sophisticated back-up system. But it's just a matter of time.
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
    www.silententry.wordpress.com

  7. #7
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    I still see the used car we bought from our neighbor as the most luxe car I have ever had. I went from a truck with manual roll down windows and no air comditioning to a Ford Taurus with wonderful plush fabric seats, auto windows and seat adjustment and antanae adjustment. The latter is important because in my ‘hood it is a popular pastime of our ghetto youth to break off antanaes.

    My current Mercury Mariner SUV doesnt meet that standard, it has cheap polyester-feeling fabric seats and manual seat adjustment.

  8. #8
    Senior Member SteveinMN's Avatar
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    My first car (35 years ago) had no power anything -- well, maybe power brakes, but manual steering, crank windows, a manual choke (), and not a single pre-set button on the radio. In fact, when I bought it, it didn't have a radio in it; I strapped a boom box into the back seat for tunes. My current car is 15 years old, so no navigation anything, no electronic safety stuff. It's fine. Nothing I'd spend money to fix at this point. It would be hard to go back to crank windows, though. And since the doors lock automatically at 7 mph, I've gotten out of the habit of locking the doors by hand. Or of using the key to get into the car (though I still have to use the fob).

    My list:
    - broadband Internet access. I'm on the 'net a lot for various reasons. Slower would be hard to get used to again. Interestingly, when I'm on the Internet on my phone, it doesn't seem so bad (though that's still faster that dial-up).
    - garage door opener. Even though we have to traverse open air to get to and from the garage from the house, it's nice not to have to get out into the cold/hot/wet another time to open the door.
    - good coffee. Life's too short to drink that brown dust that comes in a can.
    - smartphone. It's my phone, my messaging device, a remote Internet terminal, my alarm clock, my appointment book/calendar, my notebook, my radio (we stream the few terrestrial stations we care to listen to), my camera (about half the time; still use the SLR), and my GPS. Sure, I could go back to individual items that do those things, but ... it's soooo convenient.
    - snowblower. Because Minnesota. Because it's hard to clear a 60-foot driveway of several inches of snow, particularly because the way it's situated on the lot means throwing most snow in only one direction.
    - real butter. We didn't think butter had a flavor until we tried this stuff. We still buy the anonymous sticks for baking. But for bread or vegetables, we spend the little extra for this stuff.
    If Americans expended even a fraction of the energy on civic engagement that we spend on consumer ideology, our democracy would be much healthier. Can you imagine people camping out to vote? -- Charles Roberts, Amherst, Mass., Nov. 25, 2006

  9. #9
    Senior Member Williamsmith's Avatar
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    I don’t know if you are expressing guilt at the thought of being sold a luxury.....I’ve felt that way. I’ve come to the conclusion that we can describe our lives entirely in selling terms. Because having less or doing without is cultural heresy. I never gave my wants a second thought as long as it fit in my budget......until I retired and started contemplating my life as a consumer and what that meant to my relationship with the earth and others and what kind of extra burdens I was really saddling myself with. Sounds a bit philosophical for a nuts and bolts type person but it boiled down to me havin* slowed down and taken a look around and a look inside.

    I succumb to purchasing luxuries but less often than ever and I suspect in the future that’s going to be the trend. Just yesterday I had lunch with my summer golf partner. He told me I needed to buy a new driver. Mine is ten years old, has been repaired once, has a rattle in it. He said I needed to go to this pro shop where they can let me try out all the new clubs. I think I’ll be teeing off with my old driver this year. Along with the set of irons I bought from a guy for $50 a few years ago.

    Fighting off the urge to indulge requires discipline. Simple living isn’t easy. But there is something to be gained from avoiding the quest for instant gratification or convenience. I’ve really given this some thought and for me it boils down to four levels of usefulness. Something you absolutely need, something that makes things easier, something that you really enjoy and gives you pleasure, and something that is purely wanted because it’s outrageously indulgent.

    I am probably going to purchase another guitar at some point. It will be strictly a luxury. What you see, you covet. I justify it because I play in several different tunings. In fact my one guitar only has five strings because I am playing it in open g. If I get another guitar, I won’t have to waste time returning and messing with strings. Its convenient and its indulgent.

    As long as I give myself the freedom to hold loosely to these things, I’m satisfied. When I start clutching them with an iron grip, I risk exposing myself to disappointment.

  10. #10
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    I bought a favorite luxury wine a couple of weeks ago. $75 per bottle. Drank it right down.

    I dont have an urge to drink other wines so frequently any more. But when a bottle of the good stuff is open, I will be a consumer.

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