Have you ever had the occasion to meet someone who seemed really nice, but clearly had a very different worldview than you did?
I had this happen on a recent weekend on which I went out to eat. We went to a family-oriented place, a chain but it has decent food and an atmosphere that’s comfortable for kids and families too. There you go, life in the suburbs!
We got the menus – both for grown ups and for kids – and spent a few minutes trying to figure out what we were going to eat. You know, just like any other trip to a restaurant. Soon enough the waitress came by to take our order.
She seemed quite nice, and spoke sweetly to kids. I always appreciate when someone has the patience and understanding to be extra nice to kids, whether mine or anyone else’s. Anyway, she looked at one of my kids and extended a compliment about eyelashes. As in (paraphrased): “Wow, what beautiful lashes! Lots of grown women would love to have lashes like that!”
This isn’t the first time I’ve heard that, more like the 30th. Women, usually total strangers, will make nice comments like this. Even though I have never paid attention to another person’s eyelashes, I appreciate the nice words to a kid. As a side note, this must be some inherent difference between men and women – I couldn’t care less about another person’s eyelashes, but the ladies seem to notice these things very easily.
Anyway, after I said thanks, she proceeded to say something to the effect of: “Women will pay like $400 a month to have eyelashes like that! How lucky to have them naturally!”
I’m sure my own eyes opened wide when hearing that, along with my jaw dropping to the ground. That sounded insane! Almost instantaneously, I stated: “$400 for eyelashes! WHY? Don’t these people want to retire?”
Then, you could see by her facial reaction that my words might have hit a nerve. She blurted out that she had “worked somewhere that did those, and I’m one of those people, but I got a discount”. Then, after I asked “Why would anyone pay that much?” She said “oh, well they TOTALLY make your eyes stand out!”.
I then decided that since we will be consuming food that would be served by her, it might be a good idea to stop that conversation and just get back to getting our order in. And, be nice to her 🙂
This got me thinking, really, why on earth could anybody find it worthwhile to spend $400 in a month on eyelash enhancements? No matter what income, especially somebody making what I imagine is a modest income as a waitress. Good, honest work of course, but if a person ever thinks about how many hours of work it takes to buy something, it’s clear that it would take a lot of hours to earn those lashes. Aren’t there better uses for money?
How about planning for retirement instead of spending $400 on eyelashes in a month? Why even spend $50 on eyelashes? It won’t have any impact on a person’s life at all. I can assure you that this wouldn’t have impacted her career or job efforts.
On the personal front, I can assure you that no man (that I know of, anyway) cares one bit or would even think to notice a woman’s eyelashes. There are a few other obvious things men notice, but eyelashes are nowhere on the radar screen. Is she just doing it to feel good about herself, or compete with other women? Total waste, unless there is some medical condition.
Let’s do the math here, and let’s cut the cost by 50%, to $200 per month. That’s $2,400 based on doing this each month. Over 5 years, that’s $12,000. What if someone took that $12,000 and invested it over 30 years. Compounded annually at an optimistic 10% rate of return, the person would have over $200,000.
So, are expensive eyelashes worth it? You could substitute whatever other inane expense your heart desires, but you get the point 🙂
Retirement or nice eyelashes?
Anyway, when it came time for the tip, I had wave of sympathy for the lady. With that worldview, I wish her all the best. She was nice, and I gave her a 25% tip for the meal.
My Questions for You
Have you ever come across some expenses people regularly take on, and been really surprised?
Is this just a matter of me not understanding how important this fashion/style attribute is, or is it as much of a waste of money as I think it is?