Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Putting Your Best Foot into Debt

          We all enjoy high quality, right?  And every one of us has felt the exasperation of buying a poorly made product that falls apart within a year of its use, right?  From garden tools to furniture to clothing, quality craftsmanship is getting harder and harder to find. And when you do find it, the price tag makes you rock back on your heels.  Let us just hope they are not John Lobb heels.
          Allow me to explain.  I once went to France with our second son, Brandon, who had served a two-year LDS church mission there.  This was fabulous in many ways, not least of which because he is ultra fluent, and the locals all assumed he was French.  But he has also had extravagant taste from the time he was a little boy and wanted to give rubies to a classmate for her birthday.  In first grade.
          So it was no surprise that he stopped dead in his tracks as we were walking along in a pricey district of Paris, the minute he spotted a John Lobb shoe store.  What, you may wonder, is a John Lobb shoe?
          Well, for the rest of us—the ones who actually live on planet Earth, not Planet Rubies for Birthdays or Planet Price is No Object, they are shoes that cost more than your first car.  And your second car.  Put together. 
          Clearly designed for men who have money to burn, they truly are amazing, high-quality, hand-crafted shoes.
          But they cost nearly $2,000.00.  And that’s before tax and shipping. Oh sure, some of them are closer to $1,000, but then a pair of crocodile Lopez Precious Leather ones will ding you $10,690.00.
          I'm happy to wait while the exclamation marks in your brain settle down. Anyway, I knew there was no way I could surprise him with a pair for Christmas, but I thought surely they had a shoe shine kit or something that he might like.  So I waited until I got home and I called one of their stores.
          The fellow on the phone happily reported that they don’t sell the wooden box you and I are picturing, only a leather travel shoe care case.  Even better, I thought—a travel one has to be less expensive than a home one.

          “How much is that?” I asked. 
          “Nine hundred dollars.”
          “Excuse me?”
          “Nine hundred dollars.  But the creams and brushes are sold separately.”
          So not only is it almost a thousand bucks, but it’s empty?  Was he kidding?  
          He was not.  “Nine hundred dollars,” he happily repeated.
          “Listen to yourself,” I said.  “You are telling me a shoe shine kit costs NINE HUNDRED DOLLARS U.S.”
          He was unfazed.  “Yes ma’am.”
          Evidently this is not shocking news to their customers (so… Prince Charles and who else?), but it left me absolutely dumbfounded.  And a Medium Metal Shoe Horn will set you back $160.00.  Seriously.  For a shoe horn.
Needless to say, I bought a little shoe-care kit from the Dollar Store, and plan to stuff it into Brandon’s Christmas stocking.  Maybe include some ruby cuff links.

Check out the prices of my books HERE.  You will be flabbergasted at what a bargain they are, especially when you consider how many dozens you can buy, all for the price of a shoe shine kit! And Mother's Day is coming up... just saying.

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