1. Careful skepticism with diligent observation
2. Intellectual consideration
3. Proud and stubborn egotism with denial
Well, I've come around recently on a few issues of ludicrous superficiality, so of course, I'll share them. I can also assure you that method #3 was the vehicle in which my change of heart appeared (because with my brick-like intellect and dull gaze, I am incapable of methods #1 and #2).
When I see "PREMIUM" or (God forbid) "LUXURY" on anything, I dismiss it out of hand. Undershirts that cost $100 or "hand-crafted fruit jam" for $15 is a sucker's bet. Even $4 for a charred cup of Starbucks is beyond senseless. There is nothing shaving cream, shampoo, sea salt, or soy sauce can do that would justify a premium designation.
Then I tried this:
Occasionally (VERY rarely), the premium tag indicates proportionately increased value.
80 cents per cup? Are you insane? I railed against it in my own house, refusing to try it because I thought that Mrs. had wasted money on a premium brand. I made a careful cup of it when nobody was home, and tried it. Utterly fantastic. My plan was simple (see #3 above): I had to deny that I had ever railed against it instead of admitting that I had been a very vocal jerk about it.
For walking around the city in winter, they do work. Now all I have to do is convince everyone that I had never, NEVER spent nearly 45 minutes mocking and articulately ridiculing them element-by-element over martinis at a local gin-joint in the financial district in early December. I'm NOT saying that I now think they look okay. I'm saying that I am NOW willing to look silly wearing them. Big difference.
I also came around on this brand as well:
|At the Fly-fishing Show - Marlboro, Mass.|
Baron out of Sweden makes interesting bag/luggage lines (some are attractive, some are a bit freaky), and I had dismissed it out of hand as well. I got their briefcase/shoulderbag and a piece of luggage, and I have to give them high marks.
I wanted something low-key for a briefcase, and this fit the bill. I had long ago given up on the Orvis Battenkill line for traveling. And though it's not sexy, LL Bean will take back any piece of luggage when it wears out. Buy once, and you'll have something (not the original) for decades. For a large suitcase into which we can all pack for a week, get an LL Bean one, because they will make good on their guaranty even though the baggage checking process will brutalize it. Again, I'm not endorsing anything, and have not received anything from anybody.
***Note: If you travel by plane on a very regular basis, checking bags accelerates the wear and tear seemingly exponentially. If you mostly travel by car, or by carry-on, the dynamic may be drastically different. If your luggage is dusty, dry-rot may be your enemy.
To review: the way I tend to approach things is to obnoxiously dismiss them out of smug self-righteousness, later accept and adopt them fully, deny that I had ever spoken ill of them, and ultimately recommend them for the reasons that had made them popular in the first place. This hilariously duplicitous approach allows me to hear harmonies when the rest of the world hears (cognitive) dissonance. In other words, I swear that I sing on key, it just that the rest of the choir is off.
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Handmade cane rods (Germany) at the show in Marlboro.
A briarwood pipe (not unusual) with a split-cane inlay (unusual).
The streams in Virginia where I love fishing. Though I don't get there as often as I'd like to.
Small native brook trout in vivid colors hide in these whirls, pools, and pockets.