Saturday, September 16, 2006

Fendi Spy Bags, Lamborghinis & Kuwaiti Pissants

Last Christmas, I was in Maki downing a plate of sushi rolls when my friend’s sister and her posse took the table nearest to us. The handful of mostly 18 and 19 year olds were dressed to the nines; fabulous heels, designer jeans, beautiful tops, exquisite makeup, the whole nine, glitzkrieg yards. One of the girls who was with us squealed enviously, “Oh look! She has the new Fendi Spy Bag!” Now, I did not know whether this was a normal Fendi bag or a special one equipped with Investor Gadget tools that come to a girl’s aid when in trouble. Frankly, I did not give a hoot but I looked over and caught a glimpse at the embroidered satchel. “That’s almost 2,000 KD!” When I heard that, I almost spit out my delicious spicy tuna. A little bit over six thousand dollars for a bag? If a freaking eighteen year old is carrying that overpriced shizz – which will be in style for a mere six months – what the hell is my own mother going to carry!

Now, I understand that some people are very well off and can afford to splurge on such items. But whatever happened to decency and donning things according to one’s age? We do not see Bill Gates buying his kids yachts and sports cars every week although he can afford to buy the whole company instead of a bunch of measly Enzos & Saleens as well as a Roman Abramovich look-alike plaything.

When abroad, I usually see white-haired seniors in exclusive and expensive vehicles driving by my side. My friend was riding with me once; she frowned and said, “Aren’t they too old to be all about the flashy cars?” And I said that no, many Kuwaitis are the ones who are too young to speed around our tiny country in an under-appreciated car.

One of my peers in high school was a renowned slacker. His grades were as superb as his verboseness, and he spoke to everyone in a disgustingly demeaning manner. I asked him once, “Are you planning to go to college in Kuwait or overseas?” He rolled his eyes and replied, “Why the hell should I tire myself? I’ll just go to one of the private universities here and live off my inheritance. My life is set.” Now it is a good thing that I did not barf in his face right then and there. In my eyes, a man without ambition is as worthy as an earthworm, maybe even less because earthworms actually do some heavy lifting in the underground. In any case, I came back home the next semester and spotted him looking spectacularly smug in his brand new Ferrari. Oh his parents must be so proud.

Now there are many young people who do own such luxuries. I myself have a few treasured pieces, but the key word here is “treasured.” I was with my friend a while ago and we were chatting about this particular issue. While I chugged my coffee and mulled over our chat, she placed her Louis Vuitton monogram speedy on her lap, “This was my mother’s when she was my age.” The bag looked brand new; it was obviously taken care of and not thrown around like any other purse. When I was in Europe with my family on our summer vacations, I remember the complete contrast of this friend of mine; a frenzied crowd of “Gulfians” grabbing and buying extravagances in a nearly manic manner. What is the joy in that?

The thing that I do not understand is how these people live solely for the moment and nothing else. What about tomorrow? Do these people think about potential investments, their children’s education, or their future homes? I doubt that it crosses their mind when they snag that Fendi Spy Bag.

Bell Biv Devoe - (That Girl is) Poison
Nate Dogg - Music & Me love this song
Pharoah Monch - Simon Says Shut the F Up
Keith Sweat - Twisted
Public Enemy - He Got Game

at 8:03 AM


  1. Blogger Jewaira posted at 9:16 AM  
    Very good points.

    Materialistic possessions take on a whole new meaning when bought with the sweat of one's own brow. You appreciate a valuable possession like it should be appreciated when you have to work for it.
  2. Blogger iDip posted at 11:59 AM  
    OMG! we think on the same wave length

    "a man without ambition is as worthy as an earthworm" well said :)
  3. Blogger K.thekuwaiti posted at 12:42 PM  
    She had the new fendi spy bag!?

    All jokes aside; there have been some studies regarding this:

    People who are constantly searching for meaning/use in their lives (and don't find it) will have doubt about themselves (low self esteem/ego). In their inability to find such meaning in said life; they turn towards materialism. Material objects and the accumulation of them boost ones self-worth. They believe that those objects are a expression of success.

    The circle of materialistic purchasing will only leave the person wanting more and receiving less. This in turn will lead to a more severe case of low self esteem/ego.

    When the younger generations of kids have realistic goals and begin to achieve them... They will ditch the bags.

    That said; I would probably kill for a Ferrari 288 GTO. I am probably as materialistic as the next person.
  4. Blogger error posted at 2:37 PM  
    do you pay zakat of your treasures?

    K.the.Kuwaiti ego is not self esteem.

    actually when one thinks he is actually looking for the feeling of joy behind material goods

    material good are a cheap fix for the feeling og joy. so why the hell not if you know nothing else???

    nevertheless thats a good sign for a developing society reminds me of medieval venis, not that i was part of it hehe. good you are gwoing up erzu!! BTW how do you pronounce your name?? erzulie
  5. Blogger K.thekuwaiti posted at 3:51 PM  
    Ego and self-esteem are two different things; however people lacking in either show signs of increased materialism. I am defining ego as described by Freud; The mature ego embodies the reality principle as it works to protect the individual from the oppression of society and to find a means for healthy self-expression in society.
  6. Blogger Tinkerbell posted at 10:05 PM  
    u made some excellent points..i do agree with u we have some spoiled little brats who just spend money without even thinking about it but i also think that if that bag will make her happy and her parents can afford it then why not..having said that i have to stress that she has to deserve that bag..i mean if i'm a "good" girl and i constantly get good grades there's nothing wrong with my parents rewwarding me with a new fendi BUT the problem arises when u have parents splurging on girls who are barely passing school and r being rewarded for their stupidity
  7. Blogger Sedna posted at 1:20 AM  
    Well said Erz.

    And I agree with Jewaira...

    The topic raised is def. an issue I think a lot about. Who is to blame? The parents? But what made them that way??
  8. Blogger Erzulie posted at 3:56 AM  
    Jewaira: Yeah when you work for it you will appreciate whatever you bought more. However, what we have in Kuwait is an elder chucking over some amount to their son/daughter/etc. and well...the value is somewhat lost in the second-hand purchase :/

    iDip: :))) I like you iDip :P

    K: Your points are valid however, I think another thing that is missing in your formula is peer pressure. Remember the Fendi Spy Bag incident I mentioned in the post? Well, like I said, my friend's sister is a friend of this prissy group. Her father actually tells her that she doesn't need that 1,500 KD watch or that Chanel bag just because Deena or Sheikha are hitting those stores. Belonging to something can cost you. I think that's BS but we see it everywhere in Kuwait, from associating oneself to a certain social group or a social caste system.
    Heh and I would kill for a vintage Jaguar. I like them long and old. That sounds bad but I seriously love their look. However, part of me says "Now is not the time."

    error: I do donate actually. But sometimes my donations are not in cash i.e. clothes for women seeking jobs, food, etc. And I am growing up! Physically but not mentally though :P I still like to build sandcastles, swing on a deserted jungle gym, and ride my bike when the weather is good. And I can't pronounce my name because I have to...say it verbally to pronounce it OR I could use those weird letter things the dictionary uses but I don't know how to use them so...but the pronounciation is phonetic so that'll help you for now :P

    K: Well, if someone has low self-esteem that does not mean that they are materialistic.

    tinkerbell: Well, girls AND guys. Personally, I do not get how some parents cannot say "No" to their kids. All right, so that bag will make her happy, but giving it to her just like that will make it lose its value. I know a guy who was in my school. His family is extremely well-off but he was humble and friendly. His parents obviously taught him that money is not everything and that he has to appreciate and value it and not take it for granted. While some kids in my school were into sporting discreet, high-end logos, he wore a simple, unadorned white shirt and brandless pants.

    There is an age where someone truly enjoys such luxuries. When they have matured mentally as well as physically to reward themselves with things that they see as beautiful, whether it be an exquisite painting or diamond earrings.

    (I'd go for the painting...i7mm)

    Sedna: I think it IS somewhat of the parents' fault.
    First of all, this may arise from the lack of presence of the actual parent in the child's life: the parent may have good morals but they are simply not there to pass it onto the child. Nannies are taking over the country.
    Second, some parents inherit the money and they themselves are bad role models for their children because they initiate the mindless splurging on expensive items.
    Third, as I have mentioned above, is social and peer pressure to fit into the "correct" social ladder i.e. "Oh she's carrying a Birkin" or "He's the only guy that has that model car in Kuwait." Oh they must be fit mates!
  9. Blogger 1001 Nights posted at 11:46 AM  
    A man with no ambition is repulsive, whether he’s got some serious cash in the bank or not. Pettiness is a repugnant trait be it on a man or a woman. BUT regarding spending on material pleasures, I am of two minds on this. On the one hand, when parents make a lot of money, why not allow their kids to enjoy it? I mean isn’t that one of the things that drives ambition? The ability to enjoy life’s luxuries? By the same token, an abundance of luxurious goods leads to negligence and the feeling that it’s your God given right to have such goods with or without having worked for it. I guess the middle line would be to give children material things BASED ON ACHIEVEMENT. So, for example, you get a 3.5 GPA you get a classic simple LV, you get a 4.0 GPA you get a Fendi Spy Bag, you graduate from Harvard with flying colors, you get a Ferrari. Shaii chithee depending on financial ability.

    (Just as a sidenote, Fendi Spy Bags aren't all KD2000, those are the really intricate ones. The more classic (and useful) ones are only about $1900 or $1650, I can't remember. And yeah thats DOLLARS not KD. Also, you need to stop thinking in Dollars because when I do that a lot of numbers sound really scary when you shop here. Bass shlon ya3ni ma nishtiri shai? See what I'm saying?)
  10. Blogger Erzulie posted at 12:07 PM  
    1001: If parents are well-off they should let their children have a comfortable life laken lazim i7asisonhom ib qeemat il shay and they have to know its value and not just spend without thinking twice and without appreciating their parents' efforts on trying to provide kids with what they want. And also, I think there should be somewhat of a limit.

    I personally don't think that money and material things drive ambition. Actually, during my psychology class that I'm in right now, the professor touched on this subject and she specifically said that studies have shown that when a parent rewards the kid with money, the student will end up doing well not for the sake of enjoying the work and actually learning about it but he/she will do well only for the materialstic factor.

    I didn't say that I disagreed with the achievement bit. No, I do support it all the way if the child has been a great student. Hell, I am expecting something when I graduate from uni!

    Now my side note includes an example. My friend and I were talking about this, and I was like "They're too young what will they be carrying when they're older" and she was like "Ya3ny Erzulie shasawi" she was referring to her 7jab and she said that the only thing she splurges on was handbags and shoes.

    So no. There are exceptions and personal takes. That's just how I see it. And 1001, it's not as if my wardrobe is from the Salvation Army. Bes I just want to say ena il nas malhom ham 7ag qeemat il shay ilee yishtiroona. Bes hab oo dab. And that's tasteless :/
  11. Blogger Equalizer posted at 5:51 PM  
    Ever heard of NIVEAU RICHE ?

    I a country where people used to S#$% in dugged out holes just a generation ago and all of a sudden they get rich. What do you expect? They think its just classy to do that, but drowning kids in money drowns everything else with it.
  12. Blogger 1001 Nights posted at 7:58 PM  
    Hun I know your clothes aren't from the Salvation Army lol Alla yhadach. I just meant that when you shop in Kuwait, if you keep converting the prices to dollars you're just gonna feel too guilty to buy much.

    As for incentives though, I actually meant myself. I'm saying if I ever have kids (and even now, before I even get married) one of the incentives I have to be a more productive person would be to get enough money to spend on my kids should I be needed for that. And to be honest, I don't see anything unethical or even disturbing with learning for the sake of making more money as your Prof described. Not everyone has a well-rounded personality with many diverse interests so that they would enjoy academia, and this is with or without being spoiled. Some people just don't find themselves in academia no matter what the major is so if they need materialism as an incentive to do well then so be it.
  13. Blogger Erzulie posted at 10:07 PM  
    equalizer: Yeah cuz moo shayfeen khair :/

    1001: I know where you're coming from and believe me honey, I do agree on a lot of the stuff you mentioned. But the thing that I noticed back home is the lack of appreciation and gratitude, both for the parents' hard work as well the purchased luxury. You know what I mean?
    Maybe this might sound biased, but when I recieve a present for getting that good GPA or something of that sort, I don't see my gift as ONLY that Gucci wallet I had my eye on. Part of it is also my mother's pride in me, and that this present had come from her.
    Coming from this appreciation thingi, I still believe that there is a certain age when people start their collection of high-end bags and shoes. When I see high school kids strolling around with an Hermes, well, something doesn't quite fit. In this age, I think that having a few pieces is all right if you deserve it and if you're not a lazy bum. Bes both me and you know that fee awadim tafheen oo mayqadroon il hal shaqla, 3alabona bes marka. La wallah...i9ara7a moo o9ool. And I know we're bombarded by it but I think time will nurture that appreciation.
    Yabeelaha ga3da bes it9adgeen, I think - again - we probably would end up stressing the same points so...:)

    I read my comment. Cheni 3idt cham shay katha mara? Anyway...

    I am smiling at you zinny :))
  14. Blogger D.N.A posted at 2:41 AM  
    kuwait is like a rap video
  15. Blogger Erzulie posted at 3:42 AM  
    DNA: Well, we've got a fair share of badadunkadunk ;P
  16. Blogger D.N.A posted at 2:28 PM  
    hehe, seriously i liked the post, underlines ONE of the problems we have here in kuwait. After the first iraqi war in 1990 everyone decided to live for the moment, and that signalled the death of long term thinking in this bubble of a country. People have to realize that its time to plan, but with oil at 70$ a barrel the ghetto fabulous life continues, at least its amusing to see them with their 'SBINNER' rims, retards.
  17. Blogger Erzulie posted at 6:50 PM  
    DNA: :)
  18. Blogger MiYaFuSHi posted at 6:11 PM  
    I am amazed how they don't feel guitly.

    I always feel guitly with such splurges. Even when they are self bought and earned :/

    Sara7a its the parents who are not instilling good values.
  19. Blogger Erzulie posted at 10:39 PM  
    miyafushi: Me too :/ And yeah, a large part of it is due to the parents.

    Maybe I sounded too harsh, but I just think that people should value and deserve these goodies. Maybe age is not a big factor, but sometimes I see Kuwaiti bums hoarding Chanel bags and there is just no sense of value or appreciation.

    Personally, I will give my kids whatever they need but I would also "a7ases'hom ib qeemat il shay." I wouldn't want them to take everything for granted because although it might seem easy when they recieve that good, the road to establishing oneself financially is not as instantaneous as it may look to them. Ya3ny bismillah 3alaihom mara7 aga9er with anything, I will give them what they desire, but I also want them to know the value of it.

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