I'm a sucker for good service. At restaurants, I am a great tipper when the service is good and I vote with my feet when it's not. It seems that our economy (is this unique to the US?) is very focused on service, be it good or bad. I exchanged e-mail with a co-worker on the sad state of air travel today (bad service continues), and get really exited over having my groceries delivered to my home (for free...why would you not?).
Anyway, as I've gotten older, I personally have cared more about service. Part of that is simply having more money to spend (I am not a "Microsoft millionaire" by any means but I sure make more than I did when I was on the PB&J diet back in the early nineties), part is that along with more money comes less time and a willingness to pay someone to do the things you don't have time to do yourself. Services become about having it all or at least looking that way. Having it all for me means clean house, stocked kitchen, mowed grass, etc. I think that is reasonable.
I mentioned the grocery delivery thing before. I don't think Safeway.com is 100% there but they are getting there. I get some bruised fruit and a surly delivery guy now and then (is a simple "hello" too much to ask for?), but by and large, I am happy with it.
Today, I am going into the office for a health screening (no charge/on campus). I did this last year. A third party company comes in and tests your cholesterol, BMI, blood pressure, etc and they offer info on controlling any issues you have. For me, it's about monitoring where I am (my cholesterol couldn't be better and my BMI should be down this year...yeah!). I still go to the doctor for my annual check-up, but this is like a mid-season check-in. I'm not sure if many other companies offer this service but I really like it. Part of the reason is that I find it encouraging/affirming. If I weren't in good health, I'd certainly use it as a wake-up call and step away form the monitor a little bit.
Another service I'll be trying out soon is the "Auto Salon" at the Pro Club. They will wash (or detail) your car while you are working out. I've got that appointment next week. I have to admit that I still see getting my car washed as a bit of a luxury. Back in the day, I would have never paid someone to wash my car when I could do it myself. There were so many more things I wanted to do with my money than pay for soap, water and a little elbow grease. back then, I had more time than money. Now, chances are that if I don't pay someone to do it, my car is going to get pretty crusty (with kitty paw prints on the windshield courtesy of Winston, my neighbor cat). The benefit of having it done while I work out is that I don't even have to drive to the car wash place...it's literally at the gym.
I'm far from living a life of luxury (because when you are a single gal and something needs to get done around the house, there's pretty much no doubt about who is going to do it), but I'm starting to mellow out on the aversion to paying for services because I simply don't have the time or energy to do it all myself. Heck, I am actually enjoying it.