Who needs Starbucks? And other status symbols | Off Kilter


Last updated 11/26/2019 at 10:26am

OK, I’m prepared to get hammered by Starbucks devotees. It’s the price of being counter-cyclical.

Why do I say, “Who needs them?” Here’s why:

I get the Seattle grunge movement. You only have to live in Seattle during the winter to understand why younger folk might wish to “dress down.” If your clothing and shoes are going to become a soppy, sloppy mess no matter how carefully you dress up against the wet weather, then why not dress down?

I’m not positive, but it would not surprise me if the style trend of “torn jeans” (you know, the jeans with the holes in the knees – and the more ragged looking the better) were invented here in Seattle. Hey, why not pay an additional $50 a pair for jeans that look like Goodwill would reject them if you tried to donate them?

Here’s an idea: Buy a cheap pair of jeans and drag them behind your car for a few days. Leave them out in the elements for another day.

They’ll be even more obnoxious than the new $80 “pre-washed” pair of ones sold in the high-end boutiques at Alderwood Mall.

So, why Starbucks? Why is it necessary to spend $5 or more on a cup of coffee simply to “hang out” at a café? You can go into any 7-Eleven or equivalent convenience store and get a cup of regular coffee for about a buck.

And this makes further negative sense if you’re getting a take-out drink. With takeout, you don’t get the pleasure of hanging out in the very nice surroundings of their retail outlets. And no one will know you overspent at the Starbucks unless you carry the now-empty container into your office.

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If you want to carry your “snob appeal” throughout the day, simply refill the Starbucks container with the coffee from your office coffee machine.

Other “status symbols” we don’t need:

_ Any clothing which has its brand name conspicuously displayed on its breast. Why do you willingly pay an additional 25% to buy a clothing item simply so your friends (whom you don’t like anyway) will know you spent 25% more?

Instead, simply donate the 25% to a homeless charity.

_ Cars that cost more new than some lower-end houses. OK, I get it. Some of us, myself included, actually enjoy the driving experience of a high-performance car. Although, truth be told, there are fewer and fewer places in the United States where you can truly enjoy that performance.

_ Members Only jackets. I only have to refer to the great Groucho Marx, who said throughout his career: “I’d never want to belong to any club that would have me as a member!”


Reader Comments(1)

Nathaniel Brown writes:

What an extraordinary list of things to be negative about! Perhaps less judging and worrying about what other people like or enjoy...?

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