Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Luxury goods

I own a $1,000+ handbag but I would never date a guy who bought a $100,000 car. (Sometimes you cannot transcend your upbringing. That could buy a house where I grew up.)

I think of the handbag as a leather sculpture that I carry things in. I paid a lot of money for aesthetics, durability, and craftsmanship. It is the smaller version of this, in black. I like to think that Virginia Postrel would understand and that men who find this substantively different from watches or bespoke suits are in denial.

But then there is this:
You know what you look like to me, with your good bag and your cheap shoes? You look like a rube. A well scrubbed, hustling rube with a little taste. Good nutrition has given you some length of bone, but you're not more than one generation from poor white trash, are you, Agent Starling? And that accent you've tried so desperately to shed? Pure West Virginia. What's your father, dear? Is he a coal miner? Does he stink of the lamp? You know how quickly the boys found you... all those tedious sticky fumblings in the back seats of cars... while you could only dream of getting out... getting anywhere... getting all the way to the FBI.
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