When I was a kid, I broke stuff. Like, all the time. My mother’s ceramic dough bowl (inexplicably kept on our living room floor). My American Girl doll’s leg. An entire row of wine glasses at the Brewster Inn in upstate New York, where my grandparents have never taken me since.
But you know what? I’m hereby absolving myself of guilt for breaking stuff. Well, the nice stuff. Because there’s an awful lot of expensive stuff that seems to be designed to be broken!
A bit of philosophical reasoning. If a thing is more expensive, it stands to reason that it should be designed to withstand the normal usage for that type of thing. No one is saying that an expensive wine glass should be unbreakable, because wine glasses aren’t supposed to be dropped. (Although sign me up to buy if an unbreakable wine glass is ever invented!) But an expensive suitcase, a sweater, a car, a pair of boots– these things ought to last years with normal use, with normal use entailing a certain amount of friction and wear.
BUT. There are some things whose flimsiness actually increases with their price, DESPITE the mandates of that thing’s normal usage. And that’s the stuff I’m done feeling bad about breaking.
Granted, I’m not referring to things that are intentionally fragile for cultural reasons. Really nice silk stockings, for instance, tear at the SLIGHTEST provocation. I was obsessed with finding high quality sheer tights a while back and after I bought a few (returnable) pairs, I realized that the better the denier (read: the higher quality the fabric), the more they ran! I finally gave up and just bought a buttload of cheap pairs I could replace without guilt.
There’s no conspiracy, though. Sheer silk tights are meant to be objects of luxury. They’re not intended to withstand bumping into corners or being snagged by the hands of a person with ragged cuticles. They are symbols of elitism and prestige– they’re made for the woman whose life doesn’t include roughness.
I mean the expensive stuff that’s just a racket. Like expensive nail polish. Ciate London, specifically, has a nice range of colors–though nothing to write home about– but tends to go on streaky and chips within a day. Normal usage of one’s digits dictates that nail polish should last longer than that. And jeans! The expensive jeans I bought a year ago in a great cut and color, hoping to save money in the long run by eliminating the need to buy a new pair every few years, has already ripped! And not just a little snag– a full two inches of fabric wore away in the inner leg. Yes, my thighs rub together (#chubrub). But I’ve had $15 jeans last me 4 years without a run, despite both pairs being made of similar fabric blends. A similar thing happened to a friend with a pair of jeans from J. Crew.
I’m done whining now. What gives, man? Have you experienced this?