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8.04.2011

THE VALUE METER

There is a drive through stand alone car wash in the town I live in.  It's kind of a legendary iconic place that has been here since I was a kid (ok, I was born in 1966).  So, it's been here a long time though it has changed owners in recent years.  It still though remains fairly untouched by time (that's a kind way of saying it hasn't been modernized too much or the aesthetics of the building changed one iota).  I went there recently, desiring to have the exterior and interior of the car cleaned.  It was a nostalgic car wash for me.  It is the sort of car wash where you get out of the car, they drive it in, and you follow along a row of windows to a cashier where you watch your car being cleaned.  There were seats to sit in, a vending machine that looks older than I am, a small wall display of car doo dads like air freshners, etc., and oddly enough, a rack of sun glasses on a turnie thing by the cashier.  I was lacking a pair of legitimate sunglasses and had some time to kill.  The pair I have, along with my favorite ball cap, were hand me downs, discards from my daughter.  I really am not too awful picky about certain things.  Waiting on the car to be thoroughly cleansed outwardly and inwardly, I began wasting time by trying on sunglasses.  I tried a few pair on, looked in the mirror and laughed at how I looked in those particular styles.  Spinning the rack around, my eyes feel on a different pair.  I plucked them from the rack sort of smiling inside at how absurd it was; 1) that they sold sunglasses in the car wash, 2) how almost tacky it was that they did sell sunglasses in the car wash, and 3) how long they had been on this rack as there couldn't be that great of demand for sunglass purchases while waiting on your car to be washed.  The pair I had on looked not half bad.  I giggled at my buying ability - picking up a pair of linen Banana Republic capris at Goodwill a couple weeks ago along with a great pair of Banana Republic pants and an Ann Taylor Loft shirt.  The sunglasses in my hand listed at $9.99 was the fourth member of the bargain quartet.  I wore my new sunglasses to a party at one of my husband's co-worker's house.  Someone commented on my glasses.  I think I blurted out, "Oh these, I got them at Rocket Car Wash while waiting on my car!"  They laughed at the tackiness of me buying glasses at a car wash and that they were only $9.99.  It really didn't bother me as sunglasses don't hold value to me.  My husband loves sunglasses and has a very expensive pair of Oakleys.  He, by the way, looks great in them!  But I think he would look great in a $9.99 pair as well:)  There are things I can justify spending money on.  Things that matter to me.  Size sometimes equals value.  Sometimes how important it is correlates to the value it has to someone.  For instance, sunglasses don't hold great value to me.  I need them to keep the deep furrowed valley from increasing between my eyes from years of not wearing sunglasses.  I need to look ok in them.  That's about it.  Low value to me.  My wedding ring is small in comparison even to the sunglasses, but it holds great value to me.  It means more and therefore I would pay more for it.  Having a beautiful dining room table and chairs as part of the rich decoration of my dining room was important to me.  Furniture can be almost like a work of art adorning the room.  I was willing to spend money on it because it mattered to me - was a reflection of me in that room.  I have a gray shirt which I love.  It's cotton, almost a smooth lightweight canvas.  A sort of steely dark gray color that borders on blue.  I look good in that shirt because somehow it brings out the grayness in my eyes.  I bought it at Goodwill for $2.50.  It was the shirt I wore on my first date after my divorce.  It was the shirt that the date, now my husband, says caught his eye.  It didn't cost me much, but it is literally invaluable to me.  I have a short squatty rocking chair in my living room.  It is dark oak and sits lower to the ground than most chairs.  I've had it for probably 12 years.  It was grandmothers and is well over a 100 years old.  There is no amount of money that you could give me to buy it.  Unless, "Antiques Roadshow" said it was worth $25,000, then I might let it loose:)  Value is subjective to the holder isn't it?  What is a treasure to me, is junk to you.  What you would never ever spend money on, I might and vice versa.  What item(s) I think is a reflection of me is different than the item(s) you might view as a reflection of you.   I've often wondered about the people who possess small dwarf statues and place them in their landscaping.  What does that say about their personality and what they value? 

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