Yesterday, Jeremy wrote about the song of the week, “Santa Baby.” In the song, the Christmas list Eartha Kitt (and later singers) presents includes rings, a platinum mine, a yacht, a fur coat, a duplex and signed checks.
What does that stuff really cost?
The exercise of calculating the costs reminded me of one of Jeremy’s first posts where he found a website that calculated the total cost of the items related to the 12 days of Christmas. (See Jeremy’s post on December 27, 2011–a million years ago!)
I started with the song lyric “with some decorations bought at Tiffany’s.” Tiffany & Co. boasts sterling silver decorations from mini mittens ($35) and a mini crystal teddy bear ($30) to a hand-painted porcelain ball ($225). Unless I conducted my search poorly, there’s nothing collectible for 2012–but I guess the simplicity and elegance is all I would need. I like the sterling silver Paloma dove ($175). Of all the material demands the singer makes, decorations bought at Tiffany’s (at least at Tiffany’s online) won’t thrill me.
How about a fur? I think the exact line is “slip a sable under the tree, for me.” I went to local furrier Mano Swartz in Baltimore. Not a single mink had a price tag–just “request more information.” Darn. I know that female mink pelts are generally softer and, therefore, more valuable than male pelts. General sources (responses to curious women like me, I guess) report that a coat might retail for anywhere from $7,000 to $27,000.
I could price a yacht. I chose to look in Newport, R.I. for dealers because I figure that’s where our rich and famous go to play (at least they did 100 years ago). A 60-foot 2012 yacht from Bluenose Yacht Sales costs. . .wait for it. . .I don’t know. “Contact us about this boat” is the best I can do. I’ve embedded a video in case you want to drool.
I wouldn’t even know how to go about pricing a duplex–suffice to say that it depends on the city, and I figure she might have had London or Paris in mind. Roger would be happy with Santa Fe. I think an “out-of-space convertible, light blue” in 1953 (the year of the song’s publication) in today’s dollars is around $250,000. Actually, I searched “1953 light blue convertible” and the first price I got was $4.00 on eBay–that’s for the plastic replica. I don’t think that’s what the lyricists had in mind.
She ends with a “ring–I don’t mean a phone.” If we go to local jeweler, Smyth (where Maryland gets engaged), and look at their signature collection, the settings alone are around $3,000–forget the diamond. In this case, the website advertises, “Please call or come in for pricing.”
This exercise in excess has taught me if I have to ask, I can’t afford it. Thankfully, I don’t want it, either.