Friday, February 15, 2008

What To Buy When You Have More Money Than Brains Day!

It's Tuesday and therefore it's What to Buy When You Have More Money Than Brains Day! Anyone read Cookie? It's a parenting magazine that covers "all the best for your family." We had a bunch of frequent flyer miles on Delta that we will never use and so we ordered a bunch of free magazines. Unfortunately the selection was a little limited.

I have only received two issues of Cookie so far, but I can tell you that this magazine doesn't really speak to me. For example, one of its feature stories was how to visit Paris with children. No, not Paris, Tennessee. Paris, France. Apparently I am short-changing my children and myself by limiting our vacation plans to the Redneck Riviera. Silly me. I'll just add Paris to my list of vacation destinations, right alongside Tokyo and Milan.

One article proposed a Valentine's Day dinner that you could make for you hubby after the kids have gone to bed. First course--caviar and blinis, darhling. Second course--Chateaubriand. Dessert--Champagne Poached Pears. Now all this does sound delicious. However, I might have a little difficulty feeding the rest of the family that week if I went this route. Oh well, I guess we could make do with macaroni and cat food. That's cheap, right?

You get the picture. It's a little, OK a lot, upscale. It should come as no surprise then that I found this week's insane purchase in the gilded pages of Cookie. Here it is:

The Mooney Flat by Marc Jacobs. The shoes in the magazine were black, but I could not find a picture online of the black pair, so here is the silver pair. Have an extra $209 floating around? Yes? Then your deserving daughter can have her feet shod in designer shoes. Never mind the fact that you haven't had a new pair of shoes in months or that your shoe purchases are made in the aisles of Tarjay. Your daughter deserves nothing but the best. Suck it up, Mommy and shell out the cash.

I agree that these are adorable, but seriously, spending $200 on a pair of children's dress shoes seems a little crazy to me, especially when they will outgrow them in a matter of months.

I know many parents like to give their children the best of everything. Many a teenager gets a fancy new car. I have seen quite a few young ladies at the mall sporting $300 handbags. Some kids' bedrooms resemble Circuit City with the number of fancy electronics they have. Overindulgence of our children seems to be pretty commonplace. But is it a good idea? I don't think so.

I have had friends whose wealthy parents gave them their heart's desire. These people didn't turn out so well. They had difficulty adjusting to life on their own. They were so used to buying whatever they wanted, that when they had to try to live within their own budget, they couldn't. Parents had to bail them out when their credit card bills stacked up. Were they thankful? Of course not. They believed they were entitled to enjoy a better lifestyle and it was Daddy's job to provide that. They were spoiled brats. They had no comprehension of how many, many people struggle to make ends meet every day. They didn't care. All they cared about was themselves.

I have also had friends whose wealthy parents forced them to work to buy their first cars and who told them a resounding "No" to many of their requests for the latest fashion or gadget. Upon meeting these people, you would never know that they came from a very wealthy family. They were very down-to-earth, well-adjusted people who displayed none of that sense of gimme- gimme-gimme- I-deserve it nonsense. They were compassionate towards others and did not believe that they were the center of the universe.

Some parents overindulge their children because they can and because it makes them feel good. Many do it because they feel guilty about not being able to spend more time with their children. Others do it because it makes them feel superior to other people who can't afford to do it. Others try to buy their children's love or try to cover their own sins under a blanket of gifts, hoping the child will overlook their transgressions. In the end, it only hurts the child.

So, no I won't be buying Ladybug any mouse shoes. Even if we could afford ten pairs of mouse shoes, I would not buy them. The cost, monetarily and psychologically, is too high.

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