My dad was for a long time a management consultant, because that’s what non-specifically “clever” people do when they suddenly discover there is an unexpected child on the way and they need to make some money.
Management consultancy is where all business-speak started. All, like, “let’s touch base” and “run it up the flag pole” – that started with them. Because they needed to invent a language that only they understood between them, so that clients thought they were smarter than they actually were.
They talk in this gobbledegook and their clients would think they were very modern and advanced… but in fact it was for another reason. It was to befuddle them.
“It was so,” my Dad has said guilelessly “they didn’t think they could manage without us. When they could! But we didn’t want them to know that.”
Then my Dad probably picked up his dinner plate and licked it all around, declaring: “Your mother hates it when I do this.”
(Dad’s book about Karl Marx is available here, by the way. Very reasonably priced. I could even get you a signed copy if you want.)
Anyway a genuinely useful business phrase I picked up from my Dad’s time was “opportunity cost”, which means all the alternatives you sacrifice when you pick one option.
So I want you to think about that for a bit and I also want you to think about the banking term of “optioning”. I’m actually not totally sure what this means but I think it means you like buy the option to buy something. Or some shit like that.
It’s like when you have a baby privately you have to pay a (whopping) fee for the anaesthetist even if you don’t intend to have an epidural because you might want one and how can you possibly know now? And anaesthetists are damned expensive so you have to pay for the option to have one.
And this idea of “opportunity cost” and “optioning” can be applied to what the fuck you are going to wear to any weddings you have to go to. Or frankly any event in the summer.
Dressing for events in the English summertime is a nightmare and it is a nightmare because we don’t know what the weather is going to be like. It might truly be 32C and sweltering. It also might be 17C and VERY WINDY. It might just rain and rain and rain. Who knows!?! Truly, truly – there is no telling.
So before we even vaguely discuss specifics of what kind of dress or general outfit, attitude or ambience you are going to adopt for your events this summer, I present to you A THING to get your head round.
What you are going to do – if you even need to buy a new outfit, that is – is to buy yourself OPTIONS. I know, it is a radical idea.
In approximately the fortnight before the event, you will assemble three different outfits to suit three different weathers and on the day choose whichever is appropriate.
You will then assiduously send back any item of clothing you don’t wear, (this is your opportunity cost), and any non-refundable delivery charges incurred will be the cost of your “option”.
Me? I don’t get invited to summer parties, and if I did, I would stubbornly wear the Christy Dawn Paloma dress – above – which I have just bought and think might be the answer to all my problems. (I often think this).
In order to avoid taxes and freight charge I am having this shipped to Becky B who is STILL in fucking LA, and sending her a box stuffed full of Curly Wurlys, Chomps and Fudges in return for her posting it on to me. Sort of like a bartering system. Not sure what Marx would make of it… but, like, who cares.