Spouse value

There are three kinds of values. The actual value in cost defined by how much money exited your wallet, and the perceived value of how well your money will be put to use are two. The third is the spouse value.

While traveling recently, Sally and I (along with her cousin Carol) stopped at one of those outlet malls. I headed for the book, outdoor gear and tool stores. Since Sally hadn’t bought clothes or shoes in nearly 48 hours, the girls hit the clothing stores.

I found a great deal on a refurbished mini-drill, which I snapped up. I have other drills, but the new crop of mini-drills is one of the better innovations in woodworking lately – they’re light, powerful, and their lithium-ion batteries give excellent run time. I’d been wanting one for some time and couldn’t pass it up.

We met back at the car – Sally and I got there first – and I proudly showed her my score. When I told her I paid $65 for it, her eyes bugged out and she said, “You paid $65 for that drill? You already have drills; what’d you waste so much on another one?” Or words to that effect.

At almost this exact moment her cousin returned to the car and excitedly pulled her purchase out of its bag. It was a new purse, and she boasted that she paid $130 for it, to which Sally replied, “You paid only $130 for that purse? Wow! Did they have more left?”

Now, wait a minute. Because I have other drills my $65 purchase wasn’t a good one, but even though the girls already have far more purses than I do drills the $130 purse was an exciting, incredible bargain? It was explained to me that this purse was a “Coach” purse (or maybe a Referee purse or a Trainer purse; some sports official), which apparently made the buy a fantastic one.

I just didn’t get it – and I still don’t – but I was able to apply one of the other definitions of value to that purse and found that it had value indeed:

For $130, I could have gotten two drills.

Till next time,



  1. Lee Gordon wrote:

    Allow me to explain it to you. “Coach” is to purses as “Festool” is to drills.

  2. David DeCristoforo wrote:

    Didn’t they tell you? You must not have read the memo…


  3. Chris wrote:

    I don’t think men will ever understand why women need so many purses or shoes. And by the same token, women will never understand why we need so many drills or routers.

  4. Bethann wrote:

    Hey, don’t lump us all together! I have one purse and one of each type of shoe (about 5 pairs total) I have NEVER been able to understand why ANYone needs multiples of things.

    On the other hand, the new lithium cordless drills are FABULOUS and a great value because you don’t need so many extra batteries – and you need one each for the drill bit and the driver so you don’t waste time changing back and forth, right? Can’t wait for the last on the old cordlesses to die so I can get another lithium!

  5. Courtney wrote:

    Wow! A coach purse for that much? Haha, just kidding. Glad you got to keep your drill!


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