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When is enough too much?

By Staff
Kim West, Franklin County Times
Last weekend I read an article in USA Today about a New York City hotel suite that costs $30,000 per night. I was shocked, but maybe I shouldn't be when you can buy a $10,000 martini (Martini on the rocks), $1.2 million sports car (Bugatti Veyron) or $138 million palace (Updown Court).
Call me cheap, but I really like the idea of booking a room at the Holiday Inn and than sharing it with several friends to knock the nightly price down to less than $25 per person.
And to me, it's a major taboo to even touch the hotel room mini-bar with its over-priced snacks and spirits. (Why not just stock up at the local Wal-Mart or ABC outlet?)
Sharing a bottle of Arbor Mist ($4), driving a gas-friendly Saturn and living with a roommate to share expenses makes a lot more sense to me than plunking down a million bucks for something like a diamond-encrusted watch that probably attracts muggers like my sister's porch light attracts bugs.
But I guess being cheap or extravagant is relative – I remember when I thought it was ridiculous to pay for bottled water, especially since I was fortunate enough to grow up on a farm with clear-tasting well water. But now I drink bottled water all the time, and I actually think it's a good buy when the Nestle 24-pack is on sell for $3.98. I guess for a family living during the Depression, that amount would have been enough to buy a month's worth of grocery staples. And I've probably paid enough college tuition and fees to put a down payment on a nice house.
I remember talking to my older sister's father-in-law one day last year about how much money someone deserves. He said that no one deserves the kind of money that people like J.K. Rowling and Oprah have, but I disagreed with him because I'm not sure you can come up with an objective way to determine who deserves money, or whether something is over-priced. And, it was an ironic argument to me because we were sitting in the living room of his five-bedroom mansion with a backyard pool and pool house.
So I guess something is worth whatever someone is willing to pay, and I think being able to buy anything you want at any price is something I don't have to worry about since sometimes I still pay for gas with loose change in my car.