Is This the Oddest Gift Ever?

_13472170I want you to visualize a person you care about. Someone whose laugh you love, whose company you cherish. This person means the world to you.

Now picture that person giving you a holiday gift…and it’s a rock wrapped in leather.

That’s exactly what Nordstrom is selling for $85 this year. The “Medium Leather Wrapped Stone”–not just any stone, but a Los Angeles-area stone–is hand sewn using traditional saddle-stitching techniques.

So, yes, this is a real thing that real people paid real money for (until it sold out). Nordstrom doesn’t even seem to know the purpose of the rock; the description reads, “A paperweight? A conversation piece? A work of art? It’s up to you.”

On one hand, this is ridiculous. On the other, it’s still ridiculous, but I kind of get it. There’s just something visually appealing about a rock tightly bound in leather. I can imagine it having a good hand-feel to it, something to pass from hand to hand as you think deep thoughts.

Why would anyone spend $85 for it? I have no idea. In retail, my most expensive game with hundreds of custom components costs less than this rock. But I applaud Nordstrom for picking the right price to make a rock seem like a luxury product and for actually selling out of it at that price.

The $65 version is still in stock, but what message does that convey to your loved one?