Recently I noticed that a hair salon across the street sells this super-cool Berlin-based nail polish brand. Not available in the States! At least not easily. This seemed the best possible sort of gratuitous treat-from-abroad - small, cheap, fun.
But it turns out I have my limits, and all the packaging in the world does not make a gorgeous sheer Pepto Bismol pink worth 19 euros. Non-toxic, they claim, but the same is supposedly true of that which is $8 back home. (Plus, with the money saved, I could get a professional manicure in the States. Or not, as the case may be.)
This was really the most straightforward case I can think of where I wanted something, could technically afford it (assuming I don't start doing things like this all the time), and simply deemed it too much for what it was. It is inconceivable to me that a nail polish could be worth more than, say, $15.50, and that's pushing it. Nail polish need not be more than a few dollars, and need not be purchased at all.
Happily, the part of Heidelberg I'm staying in is quite a bit like Princeton's Palmer Square, so most of what's on sale is for a woman blonder and more classic-looking than myself. Whatever dreams I might have had of not-quite-Nordic minimalist avant-garde whosawhatsis were satisfied at the COS (higher-end H&M, not yet in the States) in Strasbourg. Unhappily, my acculturation is such that I'm now noticing not just the sensible dress shoes (shoes are shoes, and I'm not big on heels to start with) but also the discounted hiking boots.