Friday, December 01, 2006

Another Pet Peeve

I recently discovered a previously unknown pet peeve lurking in the back corners of my psyche: listening to rich people talk about their hobbies. Or, more correctly, listening to rich people talk about spending obscene amounts of money on their hobbies. I spent a few hours in the company of a guy who's really into model trains. He was telling me about a $5000 engine he recently acquired, and another that he was debating spending $10,000 on. He also spent some time detailing for me the extremely expensive (I think the number was $17,000) custom black paint job he just put on his Jaguar, right after he had a brand-new engine installed. And right before he had the brand-new engine tweaked (for some forgotten five-figure dollar amount) to get a few more horsepower out of it. I should mention that earlier the same day, I had a serious internal debate at Einstein's Bagels about whether I was going to get a coffee or whether I was willing to splurge and spend the extra $1.50 to get a mocha. I ended up going with the coffee, because I couldn't rationalize the money for a mocha.

A friend suggested that my biggest problem isn't rich people talking about their hobbies, but rich people talking about their hobbies I don't share -- that I would've been okay with someone telling me about his expensive home recording studio. It's true that I would've been more interested in hearing someone talk about his audio gear. But the two don't really track. Expensive microphones are just expensive tools. Spending $5k on a model train, on the other hand, is more akin to spending $5k on a Star Trek communicator replica or a movie poster for Gone With The Wind.

Paul Graham just wrote a piece about the purpose of the income gap, and it made interesting reading -- especially since this is a topic that's been on my mind. I'm recommending it.

I tried to sign up for Holidailies this morning, but apparently the deadline was yesterday. The goal was to make a blog post every day for the entire month of December. I'll still try to do that, but I won't have the coolness cachet of doing it on an official website....

1 comment:

Jennifer B., Round Rock, TX said...

you can still sign up for the Holidailies at Home section of the site :) I'll read, I promise! :) :) :)