Column: $32.99 Plus Shipping

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Kenneth B. Lourie

For one box of 54 petite Belgian waffle cookies in three delicious flavors: milk chocolate, dark chocolate and vanilla; an extravagance to be sure, available during the holidays; this recipient (actually, my wife, Dina, was the recipient) very happy to oblige and indulge. However, as lucky as I was to receive/be offered some of these desserts: $36 approximately, for 54 average-sized cookies is a bit out of my price range. The problem/complication is, my wife Dina is often a quality-not-quantity type of person, much different than I. And even though her sweet tooth pales in comparison to my sweet teeth, she is now, as a result of this very kind and generous gift, predisposed more than ever to scoff (I’m being polite) at my regular cookie purchases; typically bought by yours truly at the local supermarket and more often than not, involving some kind of Nabisco-brand product. As much as I’d like to think I’m semi open to change, it’s the change back from a five-dollar bill with which I’m likely more inclined to consider.

Not that I didn’t/don’t appreciate the upgrade in my snacking choices, it’s more the arithmetic that boggles. For the same $36 spent on these delightful alternatives, when on sale at $3 per bag, take 12 bags of Oreo DoubleStuf cookies – each of three sleeves holding 10 cookies – 30 cookies filling each bag. If one multiplies 12 bags times 30 cookies, 360 cookies becomes the total; meaning for the same $36, I can enjoy 54 cookies, or with my Oreos, I can enjoy 360 cookies (not at one sitting; I’m bad, but not that bad) instead. Not exactly the heels of a dilemma, but neither is it dollars to donuts. And like my mother before me, when the price is upside down on something, as I would characterize this comparison, digesting the more expensive item (cookies in this example) becomes challenging and not nearly as enjoyable as the upgrade might lend itself to be.

To be fair though, as delicious as these cookies were, they are NEVER going to be a regular item in our pantry, nor do I suspect, a regular gift. I mean, who can afford such an expense? And though I certainly enjoyed eating them (especially considering that I didn’t pay for them), buying them myself offers much less satisfaction. Dina however, might (might?) think differently. She might (might?) prefer the upgrade. As she has said many times, she doesn’t mind less if it is better than more. And on a related subject, a lot of something is just a lot, not necessarily better. She doesn’t see the same value in quantity as I do. Speaking to her cookie interest, it might only be 54 cookies whereas mine would be substantially greater. Thus, my being cut off after only 54 cookies, (time frame not specified) would be a significant consideration; for Dina, not so much.

Quality rules her roost. More often than not, quantity rules mine. And though one might consider this difference as substance over style, I characterize it more as fact over fiction. Yes. The cookies were delicious, but money doesn’t grow on trees (it’s made out of linen, actually); still, I’d rather have a lot of a little than a little of a lot. Sometimes, too much of a good thing is simply too much. With respect to these Christmas cookies, even though their time here was short, their memory will be long. For now, that will have to suffice.

Kenny Lourie is an Advertising Representative for The Potomac Almanac & The Connection Newspapers.