Author Topic: Should I Splurge on $40 Hand Wash to Impress Guests?  (Read 6632 times)

ginjaninja

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Should I Splurge on $40 Hand Wash to Impress Guests?
« on: February 28, 2018, 09:11:31 AM »
This is the literal title of an article in the wall street journal. 

The defense went like this "If you’re the kind of host who greets guests with marcona almonds and fresh-cut flowers, why skimp on soap?"

And has anyone heard of  HENRYs (High Earners, Not Rich Yet)?  I don't fully understand the logic behind this. The financial advisers that cater to this crowd refer to this type of spending as "responsibly reckless".  The logic goes like this: "Go ahead and splurge on soap as long as you’re making healthy 401(k) contributions."

SMH

MgoSam

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Re: Should I Splurge on $40 Hand Wash to Impress Guests?
« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2018, 10:21:39 AM »
There is an attitude out there where if you are a high earner you should spend your money lavishly. The idea goes that by spending you create a desire to earn more and that the desire will lead to improvement motivation.

I don't really buy it, if I'm earning $100k and spending $50k that means I have $50k saved. I don't want to bust my ass off to make $200k only to find my costs balloon to $150k and so at the end of the day I still have $50k saved up for retirement. I don't care that I spent the year eating filet instead of sirloin, my gut can't really tell the difference and after a few weeks of fine dining the novelty fades anyways. Much better for me to splurge on occasion so as to truly savor the experience.

bridget

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Re: Should I Splurge on $40 Hand Wash to Impress Guests?
« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2018, 12:00:44 PM »
Quote
The logic goes like this: "Go ahead and splurge on soap as long as you’re making healthy 401(k) contributions."
''

I guess that's fine if you're only splurging on soap.  Seems like there are more value-added things to splurge on, though, and I assume people who fall for this logic also want to impress their guests with a expensive towels, sheets, artwork, wine, whatever. 

These articles never seem to find a middle ground.  The options aren't $40 handwash or caustic lye you made yourself in a bucket for two cents.  Get a pretty soap dispenser from some craftsperson at an overpriced farmer's market for $10-15, then fill with $3-5 soap from Trader Joe's.  Boom, fancy for your guests who are apparently weirdly judgmental about soap. [ETA: Now that I look up the article, the "other side" also points out that Mrs. Meyer's soap is $4 and also reads 'fancy'."]
« Last Edit: February 28, 2018, 12:04:41 PM by bridget »

ginjaninja

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Re: Should I Splurge on $40 Hand Wash to Impress Guests?
« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2018, 12:19:19 PM »
MgoSam - I like the attitude of occasional splurges, the novelty does wear off really quickly.

Bridget - They did present an "other side" for people who didn't think you needed fancy soap to impress guests, it was a nice touch to make me feel like not all of the world is crazy.  I just thought the $39 was crazy because I thought I was splurging with the $4 bottle instead of the $0.89 bottle lol.  I have no issue with how anyone spends their money, as long as they know what it is actually costing them.  If you can afford it, go for it.  But you also don't need to impress people with your things.


Sibley

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Re: Should I Splurge on $40 Hand Wash to Impress Guests?
« Reply #4 on: February 28, 2018, 12:23:11 PM »
Considering that I'm probably going to be allergic to that fancy soap.... nope. Just buy the off brand softsoap. Works perfectly well. If you want to be fancy, put it in a fancy dispenser.

NoraLenderbee

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Re: Should I Splurge on $40 Hand Wash to Impress Guests?
« Reply #5 on: February 28, 2018, 01:41:14 PM »
Personally, I don't want to be friends with the kind of people who are impressed by $40 hand soap.

ducky19

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Re: Should I Splurge on $40 Hand Wash to Impress Guests?
« Reply #6 on: February 28, 2018, 01:47:11 PM »
Honestly, that was my take on it too - one, who the eff is impressed by your hand soap? and two, why would I want to be friends with them again?

nereo

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Re: Should I Splurge on $40 Hand Wash to Impress Guests?
« Reply #7 on: February 28, 2018, 03:07:33 PM »
To me, this is all about people who wish to appear rich. These people will leverage themselves to the hilt just to maintain that public persona. Fresh-cut flowers, expensive hand wash... it's all about impressing on others how much wealth and class you have.

wbranch

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Re: Should I Splurge on $40 Hand Wash to Impress Guests?
« Reply #8 on: February 28, 2018, 03:30:01 PM »
It looks like 256 oz of bulk dish soap is around $40 on amazon. My guests will be impressed.

bridget

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Re: Should I Splurge on $40 Hand Wash to Impress Guests?
« Reply #9 on: February 28, 2018, 06:24:42 PM »
The first half of the article was all about creating this particular atmosphere of luxury and welcoming.  Which I actually do kind of get, there is a big difference when you visit someone's home where you can tell your hosts want you to be comfortable, and have gone out of the way to make it a nice space.  The problem is associating those things with expensive things, really for no reason at all. 

Things like plenty of clean towels, well-lit spaces, having the house clean and dusted, houseplants, having lots of snacks and beverages on hand (bonus if you ask ahead of time what foods your guests like to keep in the house), plentiful and easy-to-find toiletries, a super clean bathroom .... etc. etc.  All pretty cheap things you can do to "impress" your guests.  Once you've done all of those things for your guests and made handmade macarons, if you still have time on your hands you can go buy some expensive soap. 

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Re: Should I Splurge on $40 Hand Wash to Impress Guests?
« Reply #10 on: February 28, 2018, 06:52:40 PM »
Personally, I don't want to be friends with the kind of people who are impressed by $40 hand soap.

More accurately, I don't want to be friends with people who would be unimpressed with my hospitality because I didn't have $40 hand soap.

Mezzie

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Re: Should I Splurge on $40 Hand Wash to Impress Guests?
« Reply #11 on: February 28, 2018, 07:38:51 PM »
My aunt has really nice handsoap for our Christmas gathering. I sincerely hope it doesn't cost $40. I also hope she doesn't feel like she needs to have it. I know for a fact she doesn't judge anyone else's soap, though, and that's what's imporrant.

She's an excellent hostess, and those little details are appreciated, even if they wouldn't be missed.
« Last Edit: March 03, 2018, 06:49:37 AM by Mezzie »

mustachepungoeshere

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Re: Should I Splurge on $40 Hand Wash to Impress Guests?
« Reply #12 on: February 28, 2018, 11:06:05 PM »
I just thought the $39 was crazy because I thought I was splurging with the $4 bottle instead of the $0.89 bottle lol. 

I'm still using gifted bar soap on my hands when it's just me. I thought I was being fancy getting the bottle of hand soap out of the cupboard when people are over.

coynemoney

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Re: Should I Splurge on $40 Hand Wash to Impress Guests?
« Reply #13 on: March 01, 2018, 07:23:20 AM »
To me, this is all about people who wish to appear rich. These people will leverage themselves to the hilt just to maintain that public persona. Fresh-cut flowers, expensive hand wash... it's all about impressing on others how much wealth and class you have.

I have this bizarro-world thing where I'm always trying to appear poor (or at least, not rich). Sometimes I feel a little guilty about it, in fact. I'm guessing this is common in the mustachian culture though.

Warlord1986

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Re: Should I Splurge on $40 Hand Wash to Impress Guests?
« Reply #14 on: March 01, 2018, 07:33:12 AM »
Pfft. Find a person who hand-makes their soap. Buy a few bars for $6 each. Set them out. If anyone even notices your soap, you can claim have supported the local economy and found good quality products.

Seriously though, who even notices what kind of soap other people use? Is that really a thing?

ketchup

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Re: Should I Splurge on $40 Hand Wash to Impress Guests?
« Reply #15 on: March 01, 2018, 08:09:45 AM »
I spent about $40 on hand soap the last time I bought it.

...that was at least 18 months ago and there's still plenty left.

These people are crazy.  Tiny Details Exaggeration Syndrome cranked up to 11.

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Re: Should I Splurge on $40 Hand Wash to Impress Guests?
« Reply #16 on: March 01, 2018, 08:29:23 AM »
[ETA: Now that I look up the article, the "other side" also points out that Mrs. Meyer's soap is $4 and also reads 'fancy'."]

I just started buying Mrs. Meyers, and I've had a really hard justifying it because it is so expensive (and we have plenty of money to spend). But I just felt like I really needed a little luxury...

I can't imagine paying 10x that!

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Re: Should I Splurge on $40 Hand Wash to Impress Guests?
« Reply #17 on: March 01, 2018, 01:00:20 PM »
I really don’t like products with lots of scent, so I will notice if your hand soap is stinky. Otherwise.... as long as it doesn’t dry my hands lit like mad, we are good.

My guests tend to be accompanied by people who need footstools to wash their hands at the sink. I am pretty sure they don’t care what kind of soap I have so long as it is there.

rockstache

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Re: Should I Splurge on $40 Hand Wash to Impress Guests?
« Reply #18 on: March 01, 2018, 01:12:00 PM »

I'm still using gifted bar soap on my hands when it's just me. I thought I was being fancy getting the bottle of hand soap out of the cupboard when people are over.

This is my method exactly. I haven't purchased soap in quite a long time. Maybe since finding MMM when I dug all the soap bars out of the bathroom cabinet where I had dumped them.



My guests tend to be accompanied by people who need footstools to wash their hands at the sink.


XD 

yachi

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Re: Should I Splurge on $40 Hand Wash to Impress Guests?
« Reply #19 on: March 01, 2018, 02:48:39 PM »
This $45 hand soap sitting on your counter would really have your guests noticing:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B074BFS81R?m=A1HTX7VLMUFY3W&ref_=v_sp_widget_detail_page

galliver

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Re: Should I Splurge on $40 Hand Wash to Impress Guests?
« Reply #20 on: March 01, 2018, 03:23:11 PM »
I actually used $40 hand soap recently. The exact one the article talks about! Went to a friend's house and her roomie stocks the guest bathroom with (apparently) $40 hand soap...The friend is actually sane and quite frugal/anticonsumerist/environmentalist. The soap was nice. Smelled nice, had some scrubby bits. Would not spend $40 on it! Not even for guests! I still feel super-duper fancy getting Method (in the refill bags) over whatever is cheapest.

nereo

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Re: Should I Splurge on $40 Hand Wash to Impress Guests?
« Reply #21 on: March 01, 2018, 03:40:46 PM »
For what it's worth, the ingredient list on this soap has quite a few components one might want to stay away from (in bold), regardless of price.

Quote
Ingredients

Water (Aqua), Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Coco-Betaine, Cocamide MIPA, Sea Salt (Maris sal), Citrus Nobilis (Mandarin Orange) Peel Oil, Cedrus Atlantica (Cedarwood) Bark Oil, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Phenoxyethanol, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Oil, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Oil, Ethylhexylglycerin, Sodium Citrate, Citric Acid, Magnesium Nitrate, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Magnesium Chloride, Methylisothiazolinone, d-Limonene, Linalool.

  • Sodium Laureth Sulfate - surfactants that can cause skin irritation or trigger allergies. SLES is often contaminated with 1,4-dioxane, a byproduct of a petrochemical process called ethoxylation, which is used to process other chemicals in order to make them less harsh
  • PEG-40 - PEGs may be contaminated with measurable amounts of ethylene oxide and 1,4-dioxane, which are both carcinogens.
  • Methlated compounds -  chemical preservatives that are among the most common irritants, sensitizers, and causes of contact skin allergies

source.

I'm a red panda

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Re: Should I Splurge on $40 Hand Wash to Impress Guests?
« Reply #22 on: March 01, 2018, 03:46:17 PM »
SLS is in nearly every soap and shampoo.

FireHiker

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Re: Should I Splurge on $40 Hand Wash to Impress Guests?
« Reply #23 on: March 01, 2018, 03:49:46 PM »
I still feel super-duper fancy getting Method (in the refill bags) over whatever is cheapest.

Same here, just bought a Method refill bag yesterday. Fancy enough for me!

And I use bar soap for myself at the sink in my bathroom. Slowly working my way through it all...

nereo

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Re: Should I Splurge on $40 Hand Wash to Impress Guests?
« Reply #24 on: March 01, 2018, 03:57:38 PM »
SLS is in nearly every soap and shampoo.
Yeah, its a bit hard to find soaps and shampoos that don't use it.

Tass

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Re: Should I Splurge on $40 Hand Wash to Impress Guests?
« Reply #25 on: March 01, 2018, 04:03:29 PM »
How do I tell $40 soap apart from $4 soap? I need to be better at judging my friends, apparently.

I mean, at least fresh flowers are pleasurable to see/smell. The only thing I've ever noticed about soap is if it catches the attention of my inner toddler by being foamy.

11ducks

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Re: Should I Splurge on $40 Hand Wash to Impress Guests?
« Reply #26 on: March 02, 2018, 05:00:13 AM »
Foamy soap is the best.

Raenia

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Re: Should I Splurge on $40 Hand Wash to Impress Guests?
« Reply #27 on: March 02, 2018, 08:29:53 AM »
SLS is in nearly every soap and shampoo.
Yeah, its a bit hard to find soaps and shampoos that don't use it.

It's in a lot of toothpastes as well, for no reason other than to make it foam when you brush.  This is one of the things I spend more for, to have a toothpaste with no SLS.  I used to get canker sores a lot, and after I switched, the sores mysteriously stopped, so that's one thing worth paying for, for me.

I've also collected the materials to make my own castille bar soap, but haven't found the time to actually try it yet.  Shampoo/conditioner I've pretty much given up on finding a SLS-free brand.

nereo

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Re: Should I Splurge on $40 Hand Wash to Impress Guests?
« Reply #28 on: March 02, 2018, 08:42:10 AM »
SLS is in nearly every soap and shampoo.
Yeah, its a bit hard to find soaps and shampoos that don't use it.

It's in a lot of toothpastes as well, for no reason other than to make it foam when you brush.  This is one of the things I spend more for, to have a toothpaste with no SLS.  I used to get canker sores a lot, and after I switched, the sores mysteriously stopped, so that's one thing worth paying for, for me.

I've also collected the materials to make my own castille bar soap, but haven't found the time to actually try it yet.  Shampoo/conditioner I've pretty much given up on finding a SLS-free brand.

Beauty-counter is one of the few 'major' brands i've found that is SLS-free, but at $31 it's definitely not cheap.  I just keep my hair short and rarely use shampoo at all anymore.

I mostly made that post about ingredients because there's this perception that these luxury-brands somehow use 'healthier' ingredients compared to what you buy at CVS for $6 - but its rarely the case. The essential oils/perfumes are more expensive and smell nicer, but by and large its composed of the same stuff.

havregryn

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Re: Should I Splurge on $40 Hand Wash to Impress Guests?
« Reply #29 on: March 02, 2018, 09:53:43 AM »
The other day I saw a listing for a 2 million € house (we live in a HCOL where this is a common price for a large, modern house) and on the picture of the bathroom I noticed they had the cheapest possible handsoap. Like, literally the cheapest, a store brand from Germany where people go get cheap toiletries (so not only do they have cheap soap, they traveled 50 kilometers to get it). It made me giggle a bit.

Roe

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Re: Should I Splurge on $40 Hand Wash to Impress Guests?
« Reply #30 on: March 02, 2018, 01:24:35 PM »
The other day I saw a listing for a 2 million € house (we live in a HCOL where this is a common price for a large, modern house) and on the picture of the bathroom I noticed they had the cheapest possible handsoap. Like, literally the cheapest, a store brand from Germany where people go get cheap toiletries (so not only do they have cheap soap, they traveled 50 kilometers to get it). It made me giggle a bit.

Haha!

Maybe the choice of soap and reason for selling was the same ;) Or they saved enough on soap to upgrade to a 3 million € house.

Roe

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Re: Should I Splurge on $40 Hand Wash to Impress Guests?
« Reply #31 on: March 02, 2018, 01:26:38 PM »
Foamy soap is the best.

Love me some foamy soap.

Specially since i can put in 1/10 of my cheap refill liquid soap and 9/10 water. Best soap for best price!

(I should write ads. Consumerism would plummet!)

nereo

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Re: Should I Splurge on $40 Hand Wash to Impress Guests?
« Reply #32 on: March 02, 2018, 01:41:41 PM »
why do people equate foamy-ness with clean?  (serious question)

Tass

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Re: Should I Splurge on $40 Hand Wash to Impress Guests?
« Reply #33 on: March 02, 2018, 02:03:36 PM »
why do people equate foamy-ness with clean?  (serious question)

I don't... Like I said, foam just pleases my inner toddler.

To be honest, I probably feel slightly less clean using foamy soap because it doesn't require friction to work it into a lather in the first place. But that doesn't mean it doesn't tickle me anyway.

bridget

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Re: Should I Splurge on $40 Hand Wash to Impress Guests?
« Reply #34 on: March 02, 2018, 07:59:39 PM »
why do people equate foamy-ness with clean?  (serious question)

I associate it with the opposite - I psychologically feel like the way I know I have “cleaned” my hands is changing liquid soap to bubbles. That might be equally incorrect, but using foaming soap feels like I did just as much as rinsing with water.

galliver

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Re: Should I Splurge on $40 Hand Wash to Impress Guests?
« Reply #35 on: March 02, 2018, 08:13:08 PM »
why do people equate foamy-ness with clean?  (serious question)

I associate it with the opposite - I psychologically feel like the way I know I have “cleaned” my hands is changing liquid soap to bubbles. That might be equally incorrect, but using foaming soap feels like I did just as much as rinsing with water.

I read someplace that scrubbing your hands against each other does at least as much (if not more) for cleaning them than soap does...
Oh what the heck here's a "super reputable" source ;) : https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2012/06/soap-how-much-cleaner-does-it-actually-make-your-hands/258839/

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Re: Should I Splurge on $40 Hand Wash to Impress Guests?
« Reply #36 on: March 03, 2018, 11:04:24 AM »
I didn't think I'd ever see it, but here the foam in the thread is totally on-topic.

Cressida

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Re: Should I Splurge on $40 Hand Wash to Impress Guests?
« Reply #37 on: March 03, 2018, 01:34:35 PM »
why do people equate foamy-ness with clean?  (serious question)

I feel like the lather makes it easier to disperse? I had this problem with homemade shampoo - it didn't foam, so I couldn't tell if it was dispersed evenly. I don't know if that's what anyone else's reason is, though.

Just Joe

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Re: Should I Splurge on $40 Hand Wash to Impress Guests?
« Reply #38 on: March 04, 2018, 10:11:01 AM »
The other day I saw a listing for a 2 million € house (we live in a HCOL where this is a common price for a large, modern house) and on the picture of the bathroom I noticed they had the cheapest possible handsoap. Like, literally the cheapest, a store brand from Germany where people go get cheap toiletries (so not only do they have cheap soap, they traveled 50 kilometers to get it). It made me giggle a bit.

Haha!

Maybe the choice of soap and reason for selling was the same ;) Or they saved enough on soap to upgrade to a 3 million € house.

Its German - its got to be good right? ;)

havregryn

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Re: Should I Splurge on $40 Hand Wash to Impress Guests?
« Reply #39 on: March 06, 2018, 11:24:41 AM »
It's the best ever, I go there in the summer to buy our toiletries (in the winter it's a bit too much of an effort to take the train there), even though I don't usually buy handsoap because I am limited to what I can carry, so I prefer to buy more expensive items (saving 50% on something that costs between 1-2€ means less than saving the same on things that cost 10-20€).
But it was such an incongruent image...the ultimate budget soap in a fancy pants house. Maybe that explains the article that started the thread lol. People do notice :D

It's from here, I miss this store so much https://www.dm.de/ 
Assholes refuse to let you register for online shopping without a German address as they want to do a credit check. When I asked why can't I shop if I pay in advance they said sorry, policy. We could save hundreds on our baby/kids and cleaning stuff if we had access to this.

asosharp

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Re: Should I Splurge on $40 Hand Wash to Impress Guests?
« Reply #40 on: March 10, 2018, 06:17:16 AM »
I recently found hand wash that cost over $70.

I have used it before, it's at some of the nicer restaurants and bars I've been to. It does smell really nice. However I just can't imagine spending $70 on a soap when a decent brand you can get the supermarket would buy you about 140 bottles worth?

crispy

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Re: Should I Splurge on $40 Hand Wash to Impress Guests?
« Reply #41 on: March 10, 2018, 01:21:32 PM »
I don't think my friends and family would even recognize $40 hand soap so no one would be impressed. I do splurge and get hand soap from Bath and Body Works when there is a sale. I though I was splurging for spending $2.50 a bottle.

bridget

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Re: Should I Splurge on $40 Hand Wash to Impress Guests?
« Reply #42 on: March 11, 2018, 05:08:51 PM »
I'm a big fan of This Old House, and recently caught up the season about the Arts & Crafts house in Arlington, MA.  The whole season was characterized by a budget that seemed insane to me, and a bunch of details that seemed to be disproportionately expensive to their utility (like a copper patio roof, or swooping details to the columns that added thousands of dollars, or a custom paint job that added hundreds to painting a kid's bedroom).  I watched the final episode today where it all comes together, and next to the kitchen sink was .... $40 Aesop hand wash.  :)

Dictionary Time

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Re: Should I Splurge on $40 Hand Wash to Impress Guests?
« Reply #43 on: March 11, 2018, 05:38:43 PM »
I'm a big fan of This Old House, and recently caught up the season about the Arts & Crafts house in Arlington, MA.  The whole season was characterized by a budget that seemed insane to me, and a bunch of details that seemed to be disproportionately expensive to their utility (like a copper patio roof, or swooping details to the columns that added thousands of dollars, or a custom paint job that added hundreds to painting a kid's bedroom).  I watched the final episode today where it all comes together, and next to the kitchen sink was .... $40 Aesop hand wash.  :)

We were watching that season, in one opener, Kevin says "this modest house".  I couldn't stop laughing.  Have they ever seen a modest house?

bridget

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Re: Should I Splurge on $40 Hand Wash to Impress Guests?
« Reply #44 on: March 11, 2018, 05:55:37 PM »
I'm a big fan of This Old House, and recently caught up the season about the Arts & Crafts house in Arlington, MA.  The whole season was characterized by a budget that seemed insane to me, and a bunch of details that seemed to be disproportionately expensive to their utility (like a copper patio roof, or swooping details to the columns that added thousands of dollars, or a custom paint job that added hundreds to painting a kid's bedroom).  I watched the final episode today where it all comes together, and next to the kitchen sink was .... $40 Aesop hand wash.  :)

We were watching that season, in one opener, Kevin says "this modest house".  I couldn't stop laughing.  Have they ever seen a modest house?

Haha!  Oh, Kevin O'Connor.  To be fair, some seasons are relatively more modest than others, but this one seemed unusually spendy to me.  Next time I have some TV time, I'm going to start the season in Detriot (so happy it's on Hulu now!).  Even if the remodel budget is huge, it looks like they bought that house for like a thousand dollars or something.  That's the thing that kills me about these mansions in the Boston suburbs - not only is the remodel probably hundreds of thousands of dollars, but you're starting from a house that's definitely a couple of million even when dated or in disrepair.

BlueHouse

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Re: Should I Splurge on $40 Hand Wash to Impress Guests?
« Reply #45 on: March 12, 2018, 11:57:11 AM »
This past christmas, I asked for some fancy guest soaps, because I want to stock my guest bathroom with nice stuff.  By "nice", I meant maybe $1 per small bar or "rosette" if that's the shape they come in. 

My sister knows my m.o., and gave me her collection of nice hotel soaps that were still in the wrappings.  My favorites are from the Westin because they are shaped like leaves. 

https://www.westinstore.com/productdetail.aspx?leaf-soap&referrer=ga&gclid=CjwKCAjwypjVBRANEiwAJAxlIt2SXjjtmqP0etysV-vVqalxGXIDN6c396YG5koXcDwExJBvtXdthxoCjjcQAvD_BwE

couldn't be happier!

Basenji

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Re: Should I Splurge on $40 Hand Wash to Impress Guests?
« Reply #46 on: March 20, 2018, 06:26:24 PM »
To me, this is all about people who wish to appear rich. These people will leverage themselves to the hilt just to maintain that public persona. Fresh-cut flowers, expensive hand wash... it's all about impressing on others how much wealth and class you have.

I have this bizarro-world thing where I'm always trying to appear poor (or at least, not rich). Sometimes I feel a little guilty about it, in fact. I'm guessing this is common in the mustachian culture though.

Had to tell you this made me laugh so hard.

And it seems I'm not alone in my practice of refilling (over and over) a Method pump dispenser (that makes the foamy soap) with cheap liquid soap AND cutting the liquid soap 50-50 with water. Fancy!