Sunday, 21 October 2007

Nice to have

I got excited when I heard that Frances Mayes is in Singapore and even more so when I found out she’s hosting dinner at Singapore’s premier restaurant Au Jardin by Les Amis. What a brilliant opportunity to meet an author I've always admired. I remember reading her book ‘Under the Tuscan Sun’ several years ago which inspired me so much, I made a solo trip to Italy for 2 weeks. Those were the best 2 weeks of my life!

At the dinner tonight, Frances will talk about her life, aspirations and transition of her inspiration novel into a major motion picture. Guests will be treated to champagne and a luxurious meal prepared by Michelin and 5AA Rosette award winning chef Jean-Christophe Novelli, paired with superb wine specially selected by Au Jardin’s sommelier.

It all sounds very nice but at a price of almost S$400 (US$270) per person, I have decided to give it a miss. Some things in life are ‘nice to have’, but not necessarily a ‘must have’.

Maybe it’s my humble upbringing but I have always tried to live as simply as I can. Opulence and grandiosity tend to make me feel uneasy. I don't crave for luxury brands nor do I have an expensive taste. That said, I am willing to pay for good workmanship and quality if it gives a better mileage in the long run. I would buy a reliable car knowing that our lives depend on it to bring us around safely. I like a good pair of sturdy shoes or a well constructed bag that can withstand daily wear and tear. But I’m not a clothes horse and don’t chase after the latest trends, nor do I spend lots of money on things that go out of fashion so quickly. I only buy timeless pieces.

I avoid indulgences like facials, pedicures and hair treatments at the salons, yet I am willing to fork out money for things that enrich my life in other ways. I usually travel on a budget, but wouldn’t mind paying more when the kids are with me because then, comfort and safety become more of a priority.

I’m glad most of my friends are pragmatic like me but I hope that my kids will grow up with a good understanding of what's a ‘nice to have’ or a ‘must have’.


mooiness said...

Definitely good to be able to make that distinction between a necessity and a luxury.

Another good trait to instill is also, if you must have the luxury - save for it, and not spend beyond your means.

But then your kids would ask you, "Why do you use credit cards then?" Hahah, that's a lesson for another day. :)

Blur Ting said...

Oh, when the kids were younger, they thought that things bought on credit cards don't have to be paid. But I have since explained to them the dire consequences of overspending using the credit card.

Anonymous said...

yes... our coffee bean is just learning to count... we have to cross THAT bridge before the money part comes in.

The Real Mother Hen said...

Frances Mayes is such an inspiring writer! I love her a lot too :)
Ohhhh... nowadays I live like a monk, oh no no no, correction, I think monk lives better than me :)

Unknown said...
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Unknown said...

living life fully and simply...and never buying a cheap pair of shoes...i couldn't agree with you more. (^o^)

Amel said...

LOVE this post, Blur!

I especially love these words:

"I only buy timeless pieces. I hope that my kids will grow up with a good understanding of what's a ‘nice to have’ or a ‘must have’."

Yes, that's very true. I've seen some grown-ups unable to control their spending 'coz they were given everything they asked for when they were kids.

Never read the book, though. Must buy it someday. ;-D

Anonymous said...

I will definitely spend a pretty penny on quality shoes. ...or a sturdy jacket. I have found that - in certain cases - the stuff just lasts longer and is cheaper in the long run than having to buy three pairs to one and that sort of thing. That said, I never get pedicures or manicures or facials. My achilles heel is more in eating out.

That's so cool that that event was being held for Frances Mayes. I'm surprised she didn't put the kabosh on the high price for the evening.

Blur Ting said...

Holly - Apparently Frances is one of the organisers (artistic directors) of the Festival del Sole (Tuscan Sun Festival) which is held in Napa Valley, Cartona and Singapore. Amazing isn't it?