Tuesday, January 8, 2013

It Pays For Itself

This is a phrase that I've heard many people use and that I've used myself, but for some reason, the other day, I started thinking about what it actually means.

Example: When I thought this, I was just leaving yoga class.  I do Bikram yoga, which is hot yoga, so when I leave the studio, I am a sweaty mess.  I need shoes to wear to and from class that can get bathed in my particular sweaty musk.  In the summer, it's flip-flops, but once it started getting cold, I was a bit concerned about what to do.

Thankfully, a couple years ago, I bought the faux Uggs that Old Navy sells i.e. Adoraboots:
Mine are sparkly silver
They are certainly ugly, and I would never normally wear them out of the house, but it turns out, they are super handy for the yoga.


I have been on the quest for a decent pair of house slippers for years.  Perhaps it's because I'm picky that I haven't been able to find any, but my criterea are:
  1. Non-skid sole--we have hardwood floors and I would prefer not to slip and slide around on them.
  2. Some kind of back-- I do not care for any backless footwear, even my flip flops are slingback.
  3. Both of these goals are just a way of saying that I want slippers I feel comfortable in rather than shoes that make me feel like I'm going to fall either out of them or because of them.
Apparently ALL slippers are fuzzy on the bottom and have no back.  I've been looking for literally years.  So I was quite excited when I found these adoraboots, but quite dismayed when I realized that instead of just keeping my feet warm, they made my feet HOT.  Like sweaty hot--gross hot.

So they went into the back of my closet until I realized that they worked for going to yoga.

Why is this story so long, you may wonder.  Well, I was leaving yoga the other night,  looked down at my ugly footwear and thought, these slippers have really paid for themselves.  Then I wondered what I meant by that, and what that expression actually means at all.

It's good that I found a use for something I bought that would have otherwise cluttered up my closet until landing at the thrift store, but does that really mean they've paid for themselves?  Is this just a little phrase that we tell ourselves to justify purchases that otherwise seem out of bounds or extravagant?

For instance, how many times do you have to wear a sweater before it pays for itself?  If the sweater is $30, would you have to wear it 15 times before you would say it was worth it?  Are we saying that renting the sweater for $2 a wear would be a reasonable investment?

I can see this phrase working in certain situations, for instance if you're currently driving a regular car and switch to a hybrid, you could look at the gas savings as the car paying for itself because it is literally saving you money that you can put toward buying the car.

Are there other situations where this works, or is it usually just an excuse to buy something?  Was it moronic for me to think this about my faux Uggs, or was I actually onto something?


  1. If you're still looking for a good pair of house shoes, I hightly recommend these from LL Bean: http://www.llbean.com/llb/shop/52326?feat=511916-GN3&page=women-s-hearthside-slippers

    They're pricey for slippers, but the last a long time (3+ years for my current ones). They have a rubber sole which meets your requirement and they don't make my feet sweat. The soles are durable enough that I wear them out to the mailbox or put the trash out. I would never wear slippers to the grocery store, but if I did, I would totally wear these. They're great; trust me. :)

  2. I second elizabeth's comment above. I asked for the LL Bean moccasins for Christmas and LOVE them. super soft, have a hard bottom, and a back. Its perfect because on weekend mornings, I hate having to put on regular shoes just to walk the dog for a bit, so i can wear my moccasins around the neighborhood!

  3. I just bought a pair of Minnetonka Moccasins… $35 and they're so comfortable!


    And, yay for hot yoga!