The insanity of a $57.44 lunch

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The Curious Capitalist family lunched together today, at Frankie’s Spuntino on the Lower East Side. The bill for the three of us was $57.44, which I thought was reasonable enough (the fact that we weren’t drinking certainly kept the price down). But Curious Capitalist Jr., who is seven, was appalled. We don’t eat out all that often, and he looks at the bill even less frequently, and he just thought it was crazy that we would spend that kind of money on a meal.

Mrs. CC and I explained that the restaurant had to pay its staff, the rent, and the power and gas bills. The kid was not impressed. He makes just $52 in allowance a year, and is regularly told when he drools over some $12.99 Hot Wheels setup at the Target that it’s “too expensive.” And here we had just spent all that money on something entirely transitory.

Interestingly, he didn’t complain at all later when we spent $4.25 on a cup of mint gelato for him at the Laboratorio del Gelato. But still, he had a point about the restaurant bill. Why exactly are we willing to throw that kind of money away on a meal when we pinch pennies on all kinds of other things? I guess because New York has acculturated us to do so. Or maybe we are just crazy.

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