Goodbye to My Dermatologist
Are We Weird, or What?

The Cost of Living

“Oh no, not again,” I used to think when my father reminded me that hamburgers used to cost a nickel. Sure, I too, bemoan the rising cost of just about everything.  But I wasn’t prepared for what I found when I happened upon my 1968 to 1971check ledger.

When Peter and I got married in 1968, the rent on our half-house in now-very-expensive Cambridge was $250 a month.  We wrote $15 checks to our cleaning lady, and it looks like $50 in cash was enough to get us through the week.  I ordered something from Lillian Vernon’s catalog (no idea what), and the check I wrote was for $3.23, including postage and handling. And our Harvard Cooperative Society membership was $1.00.

Seth was born in 1970.  His like-new used crib was $25.00 and the DyDee diaper service was $4.00 a week. It cost $3.00 to fill the gas tank of my Volkswagen Beetle.

One consolation--We’re about to renew our Harvard Cooperative Society membership and it’s still $1.00.  



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Marc Leavitt

We all suffer price shock. My theory is that in our heads we reach a certain age, and stay there, no matter what the mirror shows us. At the same time, we become aware of what things cost when we first earn money to pay for them, and that becomes our benchmark.

When I leased my first one-bedroom garden apartment, I paid $105/month; today, the same apartment rents for $1150/month. When I rented that $105 apartment, I was earning $110/week before taxes, and a cup of coffee cost a dime. Have you been to Starbucks lately?

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