It started as a normal health conversation. I was talking to someone I knew who just got her license (like a prescription) for medical marijuana. She was talking about how great her doctor was, and how I should see him.
I had just started the process to get a license myself. I pointed out that I had already seen a doctor and I wasn’t about to see another. She said I should see hers when I have to renew my license (in 6 months, per state law.) I pointed out that my doctor is cheaper. And that’s when she said it.
You get what you pay for.
I was stunned. First, that’s obviously not always true. My smartphone, for example, was one of the cheaper ones out there, but it’s been running perfectly for 2.5 years. I have plenty of friends with phones that cost twice as much that haven’t lasted as long, or with shorter battery lives. More expensive is not always better.
But more than that, she knows about my financial situation. So even if she’s right, why would she suggest that I spend an extra $100-200 per year unnecessarily? How insensitive!
To be fair, I don’t think she fully understood what she was saying. She became unable to work before she ever reached the age to work. But at a young age she also moved in with the man she later married. He has a good job that easily supports them both. Funds aren’t unlimited, but they take the occasional trip overseas, have 2 dogs, live in a nice apartment, and can afford extras that help her health-wise like massage appointments and laundry service. That’s the only adult life she’d ever known.
So she doesn’t know what it’s like to know that every penny you spend is being pulled out of limited savings. She doesn’t know the fear that if you spend too much, you will run out of money, and then what?
I shook off that comment. I was too surprised to coherently answer, and I knew it wouldn’t matter anyway. Still….
You get what you pay for.
Maybe she’s right? I’ve thought about it a lot in the last two days. Maybe I should have seen that other doctor. In theory, I got what I needed: the license. But her doctor did sound helpful. He gave her personalized advice: which strains of cannabis to buy, how much to take, etc. Then again, it’s too soon to know if his advice was accurate. Maybe it was, and maybe it wasn’t. Maybe my doctor’s more generalized advice will turn out to have been more useful.
In 6 months I will need to decide if I should see the same doctor I already saw, or try hers. I’m not sure what I’ll do. What I do know is that line rubbed me the wrong way.
People are constantly offering suggestions of things that will help my health: acupuncture, massage, Alexander Technique, etc. Many of these will and have helped – but who’s offering to pay for them? No one!
So from now on, I think that will be my response. When someone says, “You get what you pay for” or “You should try X” (and of course X isn’t covered by insurance) I’m just going to say:
Are you offering to pay? Thanks! I’d love to try that!
What about you? Have you encountered comments like these? What do you say? Please comment below! I’d love to know!