Friday, February 03, 2006

Hypocrisy and the Privileged child

A while ago, Dutch over at Sweet Juniper wrote a very funny post about the Bugaboo strollers. Up to that time, I'd seen them around, but I had no idea that they cost $900. You heard me right, people, 900 dollars.

Apparently, however, I am in the minority. At least here on the Westside of Los Angeles, moms with Bugaboo strollers abound. You can't drive your SUV into the Starbucks drive-thru without running one over. The playgrounds are overflowing with them. Everytime I see one, I do a double take. I just can't wrap my head around it. NINE HUNDRED DOLLARS?? For an item that you will only have for a few years? When there are perfectly good--nay, AWESOME ones--available for under $200? Indeed, there are workable strollers for much less than even that.

Our first stroller was one of those Universal snap and go things: you just popped in the infant carseat and away you went. I think it cost $60. Our second stroller was a MacLaren Volo umbrella stroller, and this cost $150. At the time, I practically lost my lunch paying for it--it seemed like way too much money to spend on an umbrella stroller. Truth is, it WAS too much money: I could have purchased a decent one for $60. However, it has proved to be a wonderful item, and now, 2. 5 years later, I don't regret the cost.

Maybe this makes me a hypocrite. After all, $150 to some might seem as ridiculous as $900 seems to me--it's all relative, you know. But wait, it gets worse. Our third and last stroller was a double--the Peg Perego Aria Twin, which cost $240. This one was a gift from my parents, and, again, it's been really good to us. The double stroller is a necessary evil when you have two kids 16 months apart, and at least this one is light-weight and relatively easy to maneuver. Had we purchased it ourselves, I doubt we would have gone for such an expensive one, but . . .well. It was a gift. And perhaps all those moms--oops, I mean nannies--at the park are pushing around gifted Bugaboos, too.

Today over at Thinking about, J. wrote a post about a recent article on Salon. com. She posted the content of the article in the comments. The article references that new parenting--oops, I mean shopping--magazine, Cookie. It caters to the parent who wants to buy their infant
things like a Classic Crystal Chandelier ($1,230). It's a fairly sickening article, and even more sickening magazine. What astounds me is that there is an audience, a market, for this crap. Who are these people??

I wish I had a reader or two who could shed some light on this phenomenon for me. I want to understand why a person would decide to spend $400 on a pair of pants for their toddler, instead of purchasing the $40 pair at Baby Gap, and sending the remaining $360 to their favorite charity. Or even buying a mutual fund with it, or putting it in a 529 for college. Sending it to their ailing mother. Whatever. Something, anything worth while. A $400 pair of pants for a person who will out-grow them in a matter of months if they don't ruin them first, by virtue of being a toddler, is NOT WORTH WHILE.

But I know you all are too sensible to explain this to me. I'm sure you're as appalled as I am. In the meantime, I just park my Lexus 330 next to the Range Rover in the parking lot and roll my eyes as I push my $250 stroller past their $900 one.

1 comment:

isimsiz kahraman said...
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