“Because I’m worth it” is not just an advertising slogan for the L’Oreal Group, it has become my battle cry and a way of life. Written in the 1970s when women’s rights supporters were blazing new trails, the phrase has stood the test of time and is especially needed today.

Buying in Bulk
Today, we see big box stores taking over everything. We buy paper towels in bulk at Costco, clothes at Target, shampoo at Walmart. Well, I don’t, and maybe you don’t. But a lot of people do, and it makes everyone the same. I’ve seen people be embarrassed and apologize if they buy something different from a different store. How dare you be different!

This goes for big box stores and everything else. Some people think the only place to buy furniture is IKEA. When I drove across the country recently, every rest stop was filled with the same major fast foods eateries (I can’t in good conscience call them restaurants.) and nothing else. There were no healthy food choices, no possibilities of tasting the local cuisine. Everything was the same from the west coast to the east. Everything.

A Tale of a Pretty Cup
In the 1990s I lived in Manhattan. I was a student at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and the city was my oyster. I met people from all over the world. I grew up on the east coast and my classmates were from the midwest, the west coast, Canada, France, Italy, Ireland, Greece, Sweden and more. NYC really is a melting pot. We were all different and it was good.

There was an Italian restaurant in midtown that became my favorite weekly haunt. After my meal I would always order a cappuccino. It was new to me and the waiter always brought it to me in a fancy cup with a saucer. It was so pretty. He told me the owner sought out flea markets and vintage stores and looked for interesting china sets. As time went on the fancy pieces broke and he only had one left. Because I loved it so much, it became my cup. They saved it for when I came in. Other diners would notice and ask why I had a different cup. They told them I preferred the pretty cup and that was that.

It was the staff’s way of making me feel special. I was a regular and I was rewarded in this small way. It was worth it to them. I felt like I was worth something to them.

My Vintage Cocktail Glass Collection
I do the same thing at home. I search eBay and vintage stores for champagne and cocktail glasses from another era. I love pretty glassware and I love the design and craftsmanship that went into making these beautiful things from the past. I respect them. I feel special when I use them. Feeling special is important.

Beautiful things have power. Well-crafted items are worth a little extra effort. They need not cost a lot of money but they may take time to find. You can’t just run into Target on your way home from work and buy a cocktail set from the 1930s. You may be able to buy the same cocktail glasses that everyone in your neighborhood has, but where’s the fun in that?

Bargain Shopping and No-Name Brands
I know there are times when you have to make a dollar stretch until payday. I know what it’s like to live on a budget. You can’t always buy vintage glasses instead of milk. I enjoy shopping at the dollar store occasionally.

But when you can, treat yourself. You don’t have to collect glassware. Do something that makes you happy. Buy a handmade bar of soap instead of Irish Spring. Buy the name brand tissues instead of the generic. Does it really save you money to buy a 36-pack of tp at Costco if it’s not a brand you like?

If you always look for bargains, you’ll never know the feeling of high quality. You’ll never know what it’s like to be worth it.

You are worth it. Use the pretty cup. Let it runneth over.

Repeat after me, “Because I’m worth it.”