Raining money

by jexmas on November 19, 2015

It was raining not long ago. Such a welcome change from the drought. Walking down Grant Street towards Market Street on my way to a meeting, I was caught in a shower. It poured for a few minutes and, because I had no umbrella and happened to be right outside Hermés where several umbrellas, all the same size and a range of muted colors, were carefully arranged in the windows, I went in.

Of course, it was Hermés, but I was curious and thinking to myself, “Well, how expensive could an umbrella be?”

I walked up to the counter and asked how much for an umbrella. The woman behind the counter fixed her eyes on mine and said, rather slowly and deliberately, “They start at $500.”

“Start?” I stammered.

“Yes,” she said and then repeated, “$500.”

I nodded. Slowly, I took a step backwards. “Thank you,” I said. And retreated right out the door. As soon as I was outside, I started running away as fast I could through the rain and dashed around the corner to Walgreen’s. There, I bought an umbrella that was $484.01 cheaper than the Hermés umbrella. For $15.99, I had an umbrella at least twice as big as the Hermés umbrella and, therefore, functionally much more efficient.

I felt a bit stunned by the experience. If I had actually paid $500 for an Hermés umbrella, would anyone even know? Sure, it was made of waterproof fabric in a chic color and was kind of jaunty, but I would have forked out $500 when it really was not so different from the one I bought at Walgreen’s. In fact, the Walgreen’s umbrella was more noticeable. It was bigger, bright red and cheerful. So, for less than $20, rather than sobbing under an Hermés umbrella in the rain, I was singing.

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