I don’t consider myself a complete stranger to high-priced gourmet fare. After all, I did enjoy a lovely $100-per-person meal once. But even that experience in my semi-impressive culinary repertoire did not prepare me to handle gracefully the idea of a 10-course dinner complete with a price tag of $25,000 per person. And it wasn’t a political fundraiser. Just a fancy meal in an exotic location — Bangkok, Thailand.
Sure, this gastronomic extravaganza included the very best in Cristal champagne, foie gras, truffles, Kobe beef, Beluga caviar, Belon oysters and mousseline of pattes rouges’ crayfish with morel mushroom infusion, but come on! Twenty-five grand per person — a price that does not include tax or gratuity or airfare?
I don’t think I could do that even if I were so rich $25,000 would be mere pennies as compared to my vast net worth. There are some things I simply would not be able to get out of my mind, like:
— $25,000 could feed a four-person family in the U.S. for 3.7 years.
— $25,000 could feed 100 children in a Third World country for 2.36 years.
— $25,000 could pay for a new Ford Fusion, with $ 2,700 left for gasoline.
— $25,000 would cover all costs for four months at the most expensive college in the U.S., Sarah Lawrence College, or the entire cost for 4.1 students to get their AA degrees from any number of U.S. community colleges.
— $25,000 would just about cover all of the costs to provide two deep wells fitted with hand pumps to provide up to 5,600 gallons of safe water per day to benefit as many as 600 people in an impoverished community in Africa where children have no choice but to walk long distances to find water that is often dirty and disease-ridden.
I could keep going with this, pointing out that $25,000 would pay for much needed replacement windows and a roof for friends of mine who’ve been out of work for too long, but I’ll refrain. And I’ll try not to get all worked up that the tax and tip alone for a party of two at the extravagant event in Bangkok would boost the tab by at least another $15,000.
Instead, I’m going to be grateful that we live in a country where we are free to do with our money as we please even if that means dropping a load on something as fleeting as a 10-course meal.
Mary Hunt is founder of www.DebtProofLiving.com and author of 23 books, including her 2012 release, “7 Money Rules for Life.” You can email her at email@example.com, or write to Everyday Cheapskate, P.O. Box 2099, Cypress, CA 90630.