I don't consider myself a complete stranger to high-priced, gourmet fare. After all, I did enjoy a lovely $100-per-person meal once.
But even that experience in my semi-impressive culinary repertoire did not prepare me to gracefully handle the idea of a 10-course dinner with a price tag of $25,000 per person. And it wasn't a political fundraiser; it was just a fancy meal in an exotic location: Bangkok, Thailand.
Sure, this gastronomic extravaganza included the very best in Cristal champagne, foie gras, truffles, Kobe beef, beluga caviar and belon oysters, but come on! Twenty-five grand per person -- a price that does not include tax or gratuity or airfare?
I don't think I could do that even if I were so rich $25,000 would be mere pennies when compared with my vast net worth. There are some things I simply would not be able to get out of my mind, like the following:
--Twenty-five thousand dollars could feed a four-person family in the U.S. for 2.3 years.
-- Twenty-five thousand dollars could feed 500 children in a third-world country.
--Twenty-five thousand dollars could pay for a new 2017 Ford Fusion and leave a couple thousand for gasoline.
--Twenty-five thousand dollars would cover almost a full semester's tuition at the most expensive college in the U.S. for the 2017-2018 year, Columbia University, or the entire cost of 3.7 students' associate degrees at any number of U.S. community colleges.
I could keep going with this and point out that $25,000 would cover the full cost of finishing the basement in our house or painting the entire interior at least five times, but I'll refrain.
And I'll try not to get all worked up that the tax and tip alone for a party of two at the extravagant event in Bangkok would boost the tab by at least another $5,000.
Instead, I'm going to be grateful that I live in a country where we are free to do with our money as we please, even if that means dropping a load on something as fleeting as a 10-course meal.
If you had $25,000 spare, what would you do with it?
Mary invites questions, comments and tips at email@example.com, or c/o Everyday Cheapskate, 12340 Seal Beach Blvd., Suite B-416, Seal Beach, CA 90740. This column will answer questions of general interest, but letters cannot be answered individually. Mary Hunt is the founder of www.DebtProofLiving.com, a personal finance member website and the author of "Debt-Proof Living," released in 2014. To find out more about Mary and read her past columns, please visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.Copyright 2017 Creators Syndicate Inc.