Things I don’t need to buy

The Smiling Widow, 2003

"The Smiling Widow," 2003

This is not a screed against consumption during a recession — it is, in fact, somewhat the opposite.

I get irritated when people second-guess the decision to pick up, say, the Shag lithograph at left. (Click on the picture to go to the full-size version on Shag’s website.) “It must be nice to have money to blow,” they say.

You know what? It is. And you know why I have it? Because I am a 40-year-old man who rents a room in his friends’ house because it’s not important for him to own his own place.

It’s pretty obvious I don’t have kids.  I’ve got no pets to feed or care for. I live 4 miles away from work and my sensible car gets 30 mpg. My friends and neighbors think I’m kind of a recluse, as rarely as they can convince me to participate in weekend activities.  I haven’t seen a movie in a theater for months.  I’ve seen maybe one (“500 Days of Summer,” to be exact) this year.

And I already sock away 18% of my after-tax income for retirement. So I’m not sorry I have money left over.


This one's called the Salsa.

Which is all a lengthy intro to saying: Don’t give me that damn look when I say I want this Rimowa carry-on. I’ve had a full-on crush on the brand since  it was featured on the cover of The Ritz-Carlton magazine a few issues back. A ton of Japanese tourists were rolling them in and out of the resorts in Hawaii, and a Rimowa store was in the shopping center next door to the Moana Surfrider.


The Venezia Grande.

I didn’t dare go in, because I was afraid of sticker shock, and based on prices like these, I can see that was probably a wise idea. (eBay has some listed significantly lower.) Along the same lines, I’ve been coveting the leather duffel bag at right from Floto Imports for about seven years now. But even that goes for $450,  and meanwhile my Reebok gym bag works just fine — well, it did until the clips for the shoulder strap broke while I was hustling through Sky Harbor, anyway. But my travels for the year are done, so those are both on hold.

At an even lower price point, I’ve been considering an external hard drive to store my online music — at this point, my iPod actually has more storage left on it than my desktop computer does. And you can get 1 terabyte — when did consumers start needing terabytes’ worth of storage? — for less than $100. (Also on my sooner-or-later list: both seasons of “Dead Like Me” and Roisin Murphy’s “Overpowered.”)

For now, all of these are on hold until the cards are paid back down to zero. So I have a list at my desk, titled “Things You Don’t Need to Buy Just Yet.” That way I can acknowledge that, yes, they are lovely, but no, they’re not priorities.

Plus, that Shag print is going to need to be framed first.


3 responses to “Things I don’t need to buy

  1. You should never have to apologize or justify something that brings you a glimmer of joy. That’s what life is all about.

  2. You need the leather duffle. I got my husband one after reading your article about it in the trib a while ago and he looks so cool with it!

    • It is still on my list of “possible things,” that’s for sure. … God, the Trib seems like forever ago. I miss being able to take five 60 minutes at my desk to browse for things like that and consider it “work.”

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