I’ve been thinking about this concept recently, because so many things and experiences offered now are recycled hits, or prettified/modified versions of some really good stuff.
Also, I love the idea of experiencing “the real thing.” Here are some thoughts on what the real thing actually is:
1. The real thing must feel genuine. Now that’s great to hear, but one person’s genuine might not ring true for someone else. And wanting something genuine is in itself a choice: I’m not saying anything is wrong with a five dollar shirt made in China and bought at Walmart, btw.
2. The real thing must stand up against time, and not be outmoded by next season. This makes sense, and I immediately think of an amazing purchase I made more than ten years ago that is as desirable (if not more) than the day I bought it.
3. The real thing becomes the perfect marriage of commerce and creativity. This appears to be true, because without the benefits of some money, the real thing might not have been created in the first place. This is a little tricky, and obviously not an ironclad rule, because the real thing can sometimes emerge from nothingness and catch on.
4. The real thing has everlasting style. Similar to (2) above, but focused on the cachet or feeling that the thing or experience gives you. With the real thing, it keeps on giving and giving, and what it gives is pleasure. Think Sinatra.
5. The real thing is ultimately anti-trendy. Trends come and go, but the real thing is with us forever (or at least a fairly long time). Thus, the real thing might start out as a trend, but it quickly develops staying power, and quickly shows that it’s not a fluke- popular today but forgotten tomorrow.
6. The real thing is intelligent. It has an intrinsic savvy that is apparent from exposure/use. It is unmistakably smart.
7. The real thing has real value. We can debate forever whether the best things in life are free, or cost a lot, but this is for sure: the real thing is often not the costliest: quality does not necessarily mean a larger price tag. And today, most people pay for an inflated status that belies real quality. The real thing will have none of that, because its value was never inextricably linked to cost.
8. The real thing is real joy. It is evident in exposure or use- the feeling of real joy is a natural by-product.
9. The real thing has real pride. Whether in obvious craftsmanship, or apparent beauty, there is a real pride in presentation and substance that you can feel.
10.The real thing has real love. In fact, its very creation and development is a labor of love.