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Thursday, January 12, 2012

Frugality /Luxury/ Endorphins

Hmmmm. An interesting comment on one of my making do posts. Yes, my blog was visited by LPC of Privilege, a veritable celebrity in the blogosphere. (Perhaps this is related to my recent encounter with Bryan Batt on Magazine Street.)

LPC speaks of her need of extravagance, and then says Granted, extravagance that is within my means, but I don't get sufficient joy from frugality to compensate for the endorphins gained from the occasional (affordable) luxury. Ah, what would we not do for endorphins?

My question is do the endorphins come from the object or from the extravagance? Or the intersection of the two?

Sticking to luxuries on the material plane, I myself have gotten several luxury items over the past few years: a Dries Van Noten cashmere sweater, a Dries Van Noten jacket, a Hermes cashmere sweater, three Hermes ties--one with tags, a Hermes scarf, and a few other things I can't think of right now. The ones I mentioned are at the pinnacle of my thrifting of late, however.

These were thrilling finds. Are the endorphins greater if you buy these items in luxe settings rather than in a thrift store, where they didn't even make it to the "Special Prices" rack?

Perhaps more endorphins are to be had from the dangerous quest and the danger of spending too much?

Thanks, Lisa, for leaving such an interesting comment.

Any thoughts on the above questions?


Marcela said...

I think that what causes us pleasure varies from person to person.

Duchesse said...

The other day I treated my son to real,unctuous hot chocolate and- endorphins galore; we were both suffused with them! At $10/person (with tax and tip) at Juliette et Chocolat, this was luxurious but affordable, and absolute heaven.

Just because an item is in the luxury category does not mean it will be a wise purchase. Some of the luxury items I've bought turned out to be too grand for my lifestyle or just not that great on me; I ended up selling them. Others have returned pleasure for years.

metscan said...

So, I gather that deep inside, you actually desire the " brands ", the luxuries, as you mention all the fine brands you have bought from thrift shops, only you are not willing pay the price asked for them in a luxury shop?

Sorry, I have some mixed feelings right now..

To answer your question: I do get " highs ", when I come home empty handed, with the money in my purse. This feeling lasts longer, than the " one " I get after making a luxury purchase from a luxury shop.

Frugal Scholar said...

@Marcela--Very wise!
@Duchesse--Wise too. I just bought a nice container for our compost, and it makes some of the things in my kitchen look shabbier. Strange...
@metscan--Well, it's more the quality issue and--perhaps--the "game" aspect..and--perhaps--the rescuing of nice things from thrifted oblivion. But-yes--I have mixed feelings too. Thanks for commenting--much food for thought.

Jane W. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jane W. said...

I enjoy the thrill of the chase, and feel a (perhaps irrational) sense of triumph if I find something well-made either on sale or at a thrift store that I wouldn't otherwise be able to afford.

Orginal removed for glaring typo.

Diane said...

Dear Frugal Scholar,
Your thoughts and comments on "making do" have finally pushed me to comment after a couple of years of silently enjoying your blog. I've long recognized in your thrifting a sister in clothing marginalia -- a seeker not exactly of fashion or style, but of a thrill in finding and wearing beautiful, culturally valuable things someone else has thrown away. Today, I'm returning to Goodwill a $5 Burberry trench, just my size, that someone has hacked off and re-hemmed - very sloppily but I applaud her nerve -- to mid-thigh length. An exciting find, because the coat itself is beautiful, and I thought I could take it to a wonderful tailor I know to clean up the hem job. But the bottom button would still be off, and the coat would go into my closet archive as something that makes me more uncomfortable than thrilled. So, frustrated with my slightly off, slightly ragged thrift wardrobe (despite the two Hermes scarves that I never wear and a Yohji Yamamoto jacket that's slightly too big and thus never worn, among other beautiful things), I finally went online and bought a Maison Martin Margiela wool coat at half-price and am waiting for it to arrive. Maybe it'll work and may it won't. This is the first mega new-clothing purchase I have ever made. I can afford it if I continue to be careful otherwise, but it's a one-time venture. I love the thrill of thrifting and finding exotic things, but it takes so much time to get it right, even to get things up to the "make do" level. We'll see how the new-store purchase goes and whether wearing it will bring a sustained thrill that steers me away from thrifting. Thanks for the provocative posts and for making me think.

Frugal Scholar said...

@Jane--I miss having thrifting friends IRL.
@Diane--Hope the Margiela works for you. I am trying not to be overpowered by the thought of your Hermes scarves--I don't think I will find another.

Frugal Scholar said...

@Duchesse encore--Your comment made me wish I could have hot chocolate with my guy, so far away.