Luxury materials

Since I was young, I've had a sense, not really qualifying as a theory, of what makes something luxury. In a nutshell, it was that luxury goods are things you have to maintain: leather has to be moisturized, silver has to be polished, stained wood has to be waxed. If you spend time on it, it must be good.

I tried to describe this to a friend recently and found the old explanation inadequate. A diamond is certainly luxury, but all you have to do is clean it once in a while. What's closer to the truth is that if you own something that requires maintenance, you'll only do it if it's necessary (like scooping a litterbox) or beautiful (like silver).

Moisturizing leather calms me and improves my surroundings. Polishing silver makes me feel wealthy, and connects me to my grandmother through her tea service. There is a certain welcome ritual to these chores. Music used to mean more to me, too, when I had to use a microfiber brush and an antistatic gun to clean vinyl LPs. I miss that.

Right now the family silver is in an abominable state. I'll polish it and post a pic.