We did an Alaska cruise. Not our first, but it’s a way for my 95-year-old Californian mother to get the whole family together.
She enjoys the shipboard slot machines. I pointed out there’s a device right in her stateroom where she could similarly put in money, press a button, and flush it away. But she prefers the ones in the casino.
One of our wildlife experiences was to witness that phenomenon called feeding frenzy. In the middle of the ship, they’d set up a special jewelry sale, a big table piled with boxed sets of necklaces, bracelets, etc, priced from $19.95 to $39.95. There was not much variety. But the deal of the century: buy four, get one free! Holy cow!
Now, I am no connoisseur of women’s jewelry; but this garish stuff looked to me like what a six-year-old would enjoy for dress-up. Yet the table was thronged with women, grabbing stacks of boxes up to their chins.
I felt glad my wife wasn’t one of them. Then one friendly looking gal, holding a box, smiled wryly at me. I said to her, “You don’t really need this.”
“I suppose,” she replied.
Emboldened, I added, “Looks like overpriced junk.”
“I suppose,” she said.
But I doubt this broke the spell or dissuaded her from buying.
The scene evoked that sneer word “consumerism,” which refers to your disapproval of someone else’s purchase choices. But I reminded myself of Pope Francis’s line: “Who am I to judge?”