On Sunday afternoon, I ordered an $8 Cheerwine float.
I know that you can get the same thing at Cookout along with what should be three separate, full meals in one tray for less than half the price.
But that ignores the context.
A few weeks ago, I got to take my mom to see Charlotte Squawks. I’d never been or heard of it before this year – sorry Mike Collins – but found myself laughing until I was crying throughout the first half (I had the time of my life. Wink). When the lights came up for intermission, I scrambled for my phone so I could buy another pair of tickets to give to my dad for Father’s Day.
I got two of the last tickets to the very last show – a matinee at 3 p.m. on Sunday afternoon.
So, with my mom and sister out town, my dad and I made an entire day out of it. We sat for almost two hours at lunch talking about everything from lawyers to marriage to work to pets.
It was a really good day. My dad and I traveled to Iceland together in 2014, and this day felt a lot like that trip – easy and nice, and I felt like we were bonding.
We found dessert in the form of an $8, deconstructed Cheerwine float at the Omni’s bar. Steep? Yes. Outrageous? Well… no.
Hear me out.
Yes, we could have gotten $1.99 floats at Cookout. Should we have? No. Because sometimes, it’s not really about the price tag – it’s about the experience.
The experience at Cookout wouldn’t have been anything like the experience Uptown – we’d just had a nice lunch, were both dressed up, our bartender was polite and made conversation and the bar felt swanky and far out of my league.
Moreover, we were spending most of the day together, something we don’t normally have the chance to do, and we were spending it eating nice meals and seeing a show. We were feeling #fancy.
Cookout, simply put, doesn’t feel that way.
It’s sort of like ordering a glass of champagne with a popsicle in it for $14 at City Lights.
Or the Avocado Toast for $6 at Not Just Coffee.
Or even Cap’n Crunch Pancakes for $13 at Fahrenheit.
Can you make the same thing at home for half the price? Absolutely.
But will it be something you remember? Will it add to an experience? Will you really feel like you’re doing something unusual that should be cherished? Probably not.
So, yes, I ordered an $8 combination of ice cream and soda when I could have made one for about a dollar at home or ordered one for two.
You should try it. You won’t regret being able to take that memory home.