How Much is To Much?

Harrods department store, Brompton Road, Knigh...

Harrods department store, Brompton Road, Knightsbridge, London. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Last summer, while I was in London, I visited Harrods’s Department Store. Harrods is one of the largest and most luxurious department stores in the world. It’s a place you really need to “see to believe”. The opulence and extravagance are unlike anything I have ever seen. The ceilings are decked out with intricate colorful hand paintings, gilded sculptures, and brilliant fixtures.

The opulent clothing department at Harrods, London

Harrods only sells the very top designer brands or “couture” brands, like Yves Saint Laurent, Burberry, and Marc Jacobs. They have an amazing shellfish bar, and they sell any kind of food in the world that you could possibly dream of.

At one point, we were browsing in the “discount” room looking at woman’s clothes, where the least expensive clothing item I found was a DKNY sequenced shirt going for 50 pounds ($80 or so). Just down the rack from that shirt there was a intricately embroidered suede leather jacket “on sale” for $3500, reduced from the price of $15,000. I joke you not. The first thought I had was “Um, shouldn’t they have this locked up or something?” And then I thought, “How much do they actually mark this stuff up, if they decreased the price by that much?” It probably cost a couple hundred to make it. It was total madness to me.

There were people from all over the world shopping. I noticed a lot of Middle 

Eastern women with beautiful brightly colored luxurious silk scarves wrapped

around  them, which probably cost more than my Grand Caravan minivan. Many

had their “maids” trailing behind them carrying their plethora of stuffed, heavy

packages. The women’s husbands or boyfriends wore expensive looking Italian

 leather shoes, silk shoes, and linen slacks. I got to thinking about what these

these people do for a living that they can come here for a shopping spree. Are

they wives of dignitaries or diplomats or important oil sheiks from

Due Bai or Empire Eu?

 

I thought, “Do these people wake up in the morning and think, “You know, I

need to go pick up that Burberry scarf (regular price 550 pounds) to go with

my $15,ooo jacket. I really haven’t spent enough of my millions lately….”

No, I am guessing that prices do not even enter their brains. Perhaps money to

them, is plentiful and endless, so it is of no concern.

 

We ate lunch there, which was fun, as it is such a ridiculously “surreal” place. I

had an $8  latte and a $20 sandwich, which was the best sandwich I have ever

tasted. For me, it was a fun place to visit for a couple hours. I loved the food

departments. I could’ve stayed all day dreaming up exotic food recipes.

We didn’t even make it upstairs to the furniture and housewares department,

but I hear they have pieces worth millions of dollars. All around there were big

burly security guards carfully watching the large crowd for potential

“problems”. It was a little unnerving.

 

After walking around all of the exorbitantly priced blouses and dresses, I

began to feel claustrophobic an annoyed. It reminded me of those days when

my mom would come home from trips wearing her St. John Knit dresses, which is  a brand that Harrods carry. I always had mixed feelings of awe and confusion.

Like, “Wow, mom looks amazingly fantastic in that St. John Knit dress, and then

“Why does she spend that much money on one dress?” “Does it really make her

feel that much better about herself wearing a $5,ooo dress, verses a $50

dress?” I think it did make her feel better about herself for a while anyway.

But was it worth it?

 

I am most certainly not immune to the sinful forces of greed, just like everyone 

else. I love to shop for beautiful things, and I have been known to get “sucked

in” all of that tempting materialism, which can leave you feeling like “you just

have to have it”, in order to be a happier, more fulfilled person.But, luckily for

my husband, the frugal teacher in me still loves to mostly bargain shop. I

rarely,if ever, pay full price for anything.

 

Over time, I have come to realize that those fulfilled feelings fade. Money can

make you more comfortable and make your life run more efficiently. But alone,

it can never buy lasting happiness. And the thing about my mom was that she

could have had almost any material thing that her heart could’ve dreamed of,

but the illusion of happiness that it brought her would have never been enough.

And that is because she could never truly find that happiness within her.

 

What my mom’s illness has taught me is that all of this “stuff” that we sometimes put to

much value and importance in will all very much pass away, and should not in any way

define our true selves. I think of my mom’s St. John Knit dresses collecting dust in her

closet now, and it makes me sad. All the glitz and glam can become methods and means

for appearing worthy or special. Sometimes material wealth can cause people to hide

behind their clothes and expensive shoes…..getting farther and farther from the truth of

who they are on the inside.

 

So, I guess my Harrods experience left my asking the questions,

“What really matters in life?” “How can I live a more authentic life, focusing more

on giving, than on getting?” “How can I best balance my time and money?”

“How much is TO much?”

“Gone”

She told him she’d rather fix her makeup
Than try to fix what’s going on
But the problem keeps on calling
Even with the cellphone gone
She told him that she believes in living
Bigger than she’s living now
But her world keeps spinning backwards
And upsidedown
Don’t say so long, and throw yourself wrong
Don’t spend today away
Cuz today will soon be Gone, like yesterday is gone,
Like history is
Gone, just trying to prove me wrong
And pretend like you’re immortal She said he said live like no tomorrow
Every day we borrow
Brings us one step closer to the edge (infinity)
Where’s your treasure, where’s your hope
If you get the world and lose your soul
She pretends like she pretends like she’s immortal
Don’t say so long
You’re not that far gone
This could be your big chance to makeup
Today will soon beGone, like yeterday is gone,
Like history is gone,
The world keeps spinning on,
Your going going gone,
Like summer break is gone,
Like saturday is gone
Just try to prove me wrong
You pretend like your immortal your immortal

We are not infinite
We are not permanent
Nothing is immediate
We’re so confident
In our accomplishments
Look at our decadence

Gone, like Frank Sinatra
Like Elvis and his mom
Like AL Pacino’s cash nothing lasts in this life
My highschool dreams are gone
My childhood sweets are gone
Life is a day that doesn’t last for long

Life is more than money
Time was never money
Time was never cash,
Life is still more than girls
Life is more than hundred dollar bills
And roto-tom fills
Life’s more than fame and rock and roll and thrills
All the riches of the kings
End up in wills we got information in the information age
But do we know what life is
Outside of our convenient Lexus cages

She said he said live like no tomorrow
Every moment that we borrow
Brings us closer to the God who’s not short of cash
Hey Bono i’m glad you asked
Life is still worth living, life is still worth living

“Fight” 

How cleaver is my pride, how it deceives my mind

To think I am in control when I have really lost it all
How brilliant is my greed for what it says I need
And then I’ve come to find I’m empty on the inside

Real, my heart is aching to be real
So I am coming to You

All my broken motives, all my selfish dreams
All of my foolishness now I understand where it leads
I wanna be in Your love, I wanna be so much more
I know You’re reaching out so what am I fighting You for
So what am I fighting You for

How quick is my doubt to leave my heart without
The presence of Your peace so that I scarce believe
How pardoned is my guilt to crush the life You built
And to keep me far away from any kind of shame

Real, my heart is aching to be real
So I am coming to You
All my broken motives, all my selfish dreams
All of my foolishness now I understand where it leads
I wanna be in Your love, I wanna be so much more
I know You’re reaching out so what am I fighting You for

‘Cause only You can save me
And only You can change me
And only You can love me
Here I come, here I come
So I come to You

All my broken motives, all my selfish dreams
All of my foolishness ’cause I understand where it leads
I wanna be in Your love, I wanna be so much more
I know You’re reaching out so what am I fighting You

All my broken motives, all my selfish dreams
All of my foolishness now I understand where it leads
I wanna be in Your love, I wanna be so much more
I know You’re reaching out I don’t wanna fight anymore

I don’t wanna fight anymore
I don’t wanna fight anymore
I don’t wanna fight anymore
I don’t wanna fight

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