Take Care of the Luxuries . . .

By Kim Delmar Cory

Envision a lovely young couple dressed-to-the-nines, the young woman wearing a floor-skimming off-the-shoulder white dress, her hair elegantly coiffed, the young man boasting a tailored black Armani suit and a thousand dollar haircut. Their hands, necks and arms glitter with newly purchased baubles that likely cost three years’ worth of my salary.

What if this fetching duo work minimum wage food service jobs, live in a low rent district one bedroom apartment, and used every penny of their recent lottery winnings to purchase the clothes, hair styles and baubles described?

So what if they did?

By today’s social mores, they would likely be considered self-centered, self-serving and self-indulgent. Shouldn’t this young couple have donated a significant portion of their lottery winnings to children’s charities or disease research or to underwrite a new archeological dig to discover the real “truth” of what happened to Amelia Earhart? At the very least started a sensible 401k fund towards their retirement from Wendy’s?

I hate that word “sensible.” It lacks nuance or shimmer or joy.

“Take care of the luxuries and the necessities will take care of themselves,” said Dorothy Parker. Granted, famed 1920s writer Parker, was a blacklisted, suicidal, thrice-married, alcoholic, but who’s to say she didn’t have a grand time of it?

My sister and I adhere to Parker’s adage on a more economical and reasonable level than does this lottery lucky twosome.

We are “everywoman;” unremarkable and commonplace in our daily lives. Yet we consider Dorothy an oracle of what can and should occur with far reaching vision and limited funds. How to transform the mundane into the extraordinary, like wrapping twinkle lights around a trash can.

Allow me.

Let’s say my sister needs a dead tree in her yard cut down. She budgets for the tree removal dude to come out and…squirrel…look at those marvelous one-of-a-kind Christmas-themed pillows with sparkling reindeer sporting a smoking jacket and a pipe. And that hand-dyed wool carpet that perfectly complements her decor. Which she realizes as she happily floats out of Target carrying her non-bargain basement purchases, leaves approximately $6.83 cents in the dead tree removal budget.

Seriously, which would you rather look at day in and day out for pure esthetic enjoyment? Which will make you smile and your heart glow while keeping your feet toasty and your floor clean?

A gray dead tree stump or sassy sparkly pillows and a warm rug?

Take care of the luxuries and the necessities will take care of themselves.

True to Dorothy’s words, within a week a thunderstorm wind blew the dead tree down, a neighbor came by with a mega-sized power saw and cut the now horizontal tree into fireplace logs. Voila! The necessities took care of themselves.

Let’s hear it for the unrepentant choice of opulence over humdrum. Lavish instead of mundane. I applaud the demise of sensible. Let’s rally for daily joy!

We’re not suggesting not to donate to the needy. Share with others. To buy everything that sparkles or smells divine.

We are simply following Dorothy’s sage advice.

Even a luxury as simple as obtaining a pair of strappy sandals you’ve coveted, but don’t think you should purchase, as you don’t have an outfit to go with them.



If you were to buy these sandals, wouldn’t life go on? You would eat, breathe, work and play as usual. You would purchase food and pay utilities. The necessities would take care of themselves. And you would have these awesome sandals that made you smile every time you looked down at your stunningly shod feet.

Likely you have an old pair of sad “sensible” sandals in your closet that you have been wearing year after year “because you had them.” Yes, they go with everything because they are sad and sensible. Get over it. Chuck them.

Doesn’t that feel better?

Luxury requires living in the moment and a tad of risk taking. Whimsy. Decadence. Like a perfume that enchants and captivates with its breathtaking fragrance long after the wearer has left the room – a pair of sassy sandals or sparkly pillows.

Perhaps even that twinkle-light-swathed garbage can.

Luxury is not attaining that which is not needed; it is attaining that which is heartwarming, cherished and memorable.

That which brings us everyday joy.

Rock on.

About this writer

  • Kim Delmar Cory

    Kim Delmar Cory

    Kim Delmar Cory is the author of 5 mid-grade historical novels and a multitude of articles and essays. Her epitaph will read, “You can never have too many twinkle lights.”

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2 Responses to “Take Care of the Luxuries . . .”

  1. Linda O'Connell says:

    An enjoyable read. Serendipity when the storm took down the tree.

  2. Ellen Niemann says:

    Love this. Noel is a big proponent of creating epic memories. Like lunch on a whim at Palm Court in NYC – just across from Central Park. Epic.

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