Gifts that Last (Plus, why Gustave Caillebotte is now rolling in his grave)

Last month, an article called The Best made its way around the Blogosphere. Not long after, a rebuttal called The Worst offered a different perspective.

I couldn't place my finger on why I didn't really agree with either point. OK, I probably veer toward the "I don't need the ultimate dinnerware" camp.

But one must live at either extreme, given a choice? How about something in the middle, where you don't feel the need to seek out the brand that will impress all your friends and readers of your blog, but something that will actually last for a while so you don't have to keep buying replacements?

For years, I would find that I would need to buy a new pair of slippers each year, with the previous year's purchase having completely fallen apart from wear and tear. (I have a home office — they get a lot of use!) That got really tiresome, so I looked into an alternative. I bought a somewhat more expensive pair of slippers from these guys. That was three winters ago that I bought them, and guess what‽ They are in almost perfect condition today.

Last year, I bought slippers for the rest of the family. Of course, they are still kicking as well.

Next example: You know those cheap umbrellas you buy for $3-$5 when you are caught in the rain? Yeah, I've gone through a lot of those. They don't last long.

But I also have a really cool umbrella I got as a gift, featuring Paris Street; Rainy Day by Gustave Caillebotte. This was three or four years ago, maybe more. I walk in the rain a lot (when it's too wet to be on a bicycle) and this umbrella has seen a lot of use. And it's still in perfect condition.

(I'm guessing that this is the umbrella that I got, which has lasted so long. There are appear to be several variations available for sale over the web, but the one pictured here seems to match the tip and handle of mine.)

Point being, that sometimes it is worth a bit of extra cost if the item you buy is actually going to last for a while.

In related news:

I was recently wondering what would happen if the couple in the Rainy Day painting had that same umbrella? This little hack made in Acorn was the result.  My apologies to the heirs of Caillebotte.

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