Re-Thinking Clubs

There was a time when the more sophisticated life style revolved around memberships in clubs. The memberships were prized as they gave one the possibility of connecting with those whom you wanted to be accepted by. One’s club was not just a place. It was the centerpiece of a lifestyle.

London, in particular, has a rich club history. These days, clubs are less dominant. They do not sit at the center of one’s social life. And yet, we still think about them and have them.Country clubs, for example, are a modern incarnation of the old men’s club.

And we use the idea of a “club” in ways that suit us. For example, one might join a “buying club”. I am particularly interested in buying clubs. The reason is that they offer an opportunity to take advantage of buying in bulk without having to actually do it. As a member you get samples and can buy more if the sample pleases. If not, wait for the next offer. And if the club is prestigious, you get at least some of the caché that one would have gotten by belonging to a men’s club.

Wine buying clubs are a nice example. From LA Times

Once a month, you get two or more interesting bottles to drink now — or stash in the closet for drinking later. If you opt for delivery, no driving is involved. And no agonized minutes at a wine shop or the grocery trying to pick out something — anything — new and different.

But wine is not the only product where belonging to a club could please.Any product that is

  • relatively expensive
  • used regularly

and that requires some knowledge to make great purchases would be a candidate for a buying club. If you look around your home, you might notice quite a few. Here is my initial list

  • olive oil – and other oils and vinegar
  • cooking utensils
  • certain foods
  • liquors – gins, vodkas, whiskeys etc
  • towels and bed linens
  • art
  • flowers

It will be interesting to see if we find more buying clubs pop up to make home life more unique and fun.

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