#283: Disappointed by the Low Price of Beauty

Every gift to Santa should come with a warning. That’s right. I said “to” Santa. (We know how it works. You buy a gift, write a name on a card, and give the gift with the card to Santa. Santa gives the gift according to your instructions.)

And the warning? Make sure that Santa does not let slip how much you paid for the gift. Because people are strange. Witness the following true tale.


I use a fountain pen. A proper one with an ink well, not an ink cartridge. The marketing material describes it as “a deep red barrel with short black marks and subtle gold overlay with a wide 18 karat gold plated nib.”

It is a beautiful pen. It looks old and dignified. And it writes smoothly, effortlessly. Whenever I use it in public, people admire it. Some admire in the way they look at it. By now I can tell. Others are more vocal and touchy-feely, but few dare write with it.

Sadly, when I tell them how much I paid for it, almost all seem disappointed. Once they know the price, the pen somehow loses its luster. Why is that? The pen has not changed!

It seems that beauty really is in the eye of the beholder. Until the mind computes the price. What materialistic nonsense!

Oh, the price of the pen? About thirteen dollars.

Welcome to my side of the nonsense divide.