“Money is a great servant but a bad master” – Francis Bacon
Editors note: Buckle up ladies, this is gonna be a long one!
I enjoy the more basic things in life. Like glitter (or as my husband calls it.. craft AIDS), cheap wine and pumpkin spice lattes. I spend too much money on makeup, clothing, and bakeware.
Growing up anything from Tiffany’s and Co. was considered a status symbol. In high school, most of the girls received something in that iconic blue box from their parents. I was no different and I still have every piece of jewelry my parents ever bought me. To this day, when I travel home’ and my mom and I go to the mall with a Tiffany’s and Co. we venture inside to gaze upon the contents of those glass cases and pretend we can afford anything in the front room. We eventually meander to the rear of the store where to houseware and sterling silver stuff is. It’s still grotesquely overpriced but it’s only $$$ not $$$$ or $$$$$ and thus in the realm of attainable fantasy.
About once or twice a year I go online to the Tiffany’s and Co. website to see what new designers they are promoting and to check out the shiny stuff. This year was no different. I saw an advertisement for one of my weaknesses, Pens… (keep in mind I do not own a Tiffany’s and Co. pen but I do obsessively research them and look on eBay for second-hand pens but can never justify spending that much money on something I am guaranteed to lose and or break inside of 3 months)
For some reason, this time around I wanted to check out their new home and accessories section. Someday someone will need to explain to me why a company that sells exclusively accessories, has a section labeled.. accessories.
Normally, this section is the usual array of pens, lighters, ashtrays and wine carafes. This year… well. This year Tiffany’s and Co. have lost their damn minds. And I have 20 pictures that prove it. The alternative explanation is that someone has the sterling silver version if the Midas Touch and they walked around my grandma’s house picking up random shit and now it’s being sold to us…
Exhibit #1: Prioritizing our importance: The interoffice mail envelope. $375-$550
Imagine being so wealthy and your office so important that you would purchase leather embossed envelopes. Even if you were just using these as your personal folder for your own paperwork. Half of my scribbled notes are stuff like “don’t forget to tell husband about the horrible thing that asshole said in the meeting today” or “note to self: Do not ask __________ about the thing on their face.” And let’s be honest, if it’s raining I would probably take the paperwork that this envelope is supposed to be protecting and use it to cover the leather so it doesn’t get wet because I can definitely reprint whatever is in there and the envelope is worth more.
Exhibit #2: The not so bendy straws $350 -$425
When was the last time you used a straw at home and thought, “hmm you know what would make this organic kale, quinoa, truffle and Estonian river clay smoothie better? a gold plated curly straw.. or maybe one that looks like ants are crawling on it?” Well look no further, Tiff has got your back where Goop let you down. Now you too can search for the next miracle cure for aging while staying classy and sassy with the trendiest straws on the block.
Nothing lets you really understand the mindset of the peasants quite like eating your hand pressed organically grown by Latvian nuns peanut butter and virgin picked and boiled with angelwings jelly sandwich on a gold leaf brioche bun on a NINE HUNDRED AND FIFTY DOLLAR STERLING SILVER PAPER FUCKING PLATE. IYou can also drink your unicorn milk from these fine bone china paper cups.
It’s like someone in their design department was forced to watch a documentary on the poor in America and thought, “you know what would be really quaint? If we could give really rich people the opportunity to stuff their literal buckets of cash into a sterling silver coffee can.”
Exhibit #4 This is what normal people like, right? Sterling silver Pizza cutter ($165) and a tin can ($1000), Golf Tee ($175) and bicycle clip ($350)
You know what’s sad? If you look at this stuff for long enough spending $165 on a pizza cutter starts to seem reasonable, it better slice pizza like a laser at this price and it better be dishwasher safe for your servants or whatever. But I draw the
goddamn line at $1000 for a Sterling silver Tin can! Like what is the point of this? Did the spirit of Marie Antionette make this? Is she still trying to figure out what it’s like to play like a real girl? It would make a stylish addition to her hobby farm at Versailles.
Side note: what the hell is a bicycle clip? Genuine question.
Exhibit #5 The Bad 70’s office decor: The fish-shaped hip flask ($1950), the golf putter($2350), the paper clip ($165) and the ugliest most expensive bookends ($325)you have ever seen.
The only way I will believe these ideas got cleared was because someone made a bet that they could walk through the office and point at random objects to make silver and some idiots would buy it. There is no other excuse for this array. I don’t know about you but I think that flask looks like something that would be used to shape a jello salad in the 1950’s
Exhibit #6: More bougie sterling silver stuff from Grandma’s house: An empty first aid kit ($600), A pillbox ($500), a FAKE BALL OF YARN ($9000) and an hourglass ($650) because apparently in this fantasy world we don’t own cell phones or like.. clocks.
I guess having essentially a band-aid holder that is made of sterling silver and probably lined with suede or some such shit makes sense given that hemophilia was a common affliction of the inbred aristocracy. The pillbox almost enters
the realm of reasonable until you get to the price tag. I’m a firm believer that the pill should be more valuable than the thing protecting them. You lose me at the ball of yarn. Is this an art piece? Is Rumpelstiltskin getting older and understands the market for silver in modern times? What is happening here? They better hope IKEA doesn’t see this shit because they will start lining up people in third world countries with yarn and spray paint to sell this shit for $5.99 to put on your coffee table.
Exhibit #7: The Hippie summer camp line of goods. Yo-yo ($300), Paddles ($650), Harmonica ($385), mesh halter top Jesus fucking christ ($5,800)
Old-timey toys that are too nice to play with and you will be murdered if you break them. When was the last time you played with a yoyo? and who looks at a yo-yo and thinks “this would be so much more fun if I was deathly afraid of it actually touching the ground when I use it.” I can see the ping pong paddles being used for a variety of activities I will not discuss here because my mother occasionally reads these. There is also a Harmonica for rustic nights sitting by the light of your families oil field flares. It’s also important to pack your sterling silver mesh halter top in case you want to start a group RPG or were curious what it was like to have your nipple hairs caught in chainmail.
Exhibit #8: How to fuck your kids up for the rest of their lives. Forget silver spoons in their mouths people, let’s give them this sterling silver
BUBBLE BLOWER STICK ($150), or this “tin can” money bank ($1000) so they can learn young that wealth is about opulence and hoarding. I would like to point out that they even went so far as to engrave Bank on it in a childlike scrawl for what I can only assume is authenticity.There is also a cute teddy bear ($375) that no one would likely let a real child touch until they’re too old to play with it. At what point are they fucking with us?
Exhibit #9: Last but certainly not least is the section of uselessly expensive shit I would actually buy if I had any control over my finances. Coincidently, this illustrates why I do not have control over my finances. The Dog collar ($225) and Dog Dishes($175) these are excellent for letting people know that you not only think you are better than them but also want them to know you think you are better than them. Real talk: these are cute as hell.
I have been a fan of Tiffany’s for a long time and enjoy (looking at) the stuff they make, but this line of items seems like they are going out of their way to widen the divide between the have’s and the have not’s. It could be my negative attitude or my perception of the economic divide in this country. It’s not like this is some weird high fashion concept art piece designed to satirize the juxtaposition of a sterling silver paper plate. They are selling this for people to seriously purchase and use. I obviously make light of it here, because humor is always a defense mechanism.