Note to Self:
There have been times you have reduced something to being "icing on the cake," as if the aesthetic and enjoyable are merely superfluous, ornamental elements of life. The truth is that icing is the best part of the cake. You would never consider eating cake alone. It would be a bland, high-calorie muffin. But my God, add some frosting and it becomes one of the best things in life. Try busting out an frosting-free cake at your next birthday party and see if it's "just icing on the cake." It could be the best baked cake and everyone will still remember you as that douche bag that tried passing off a giant muffin as a cake.
I'm thinking maybe your use of the phrase goes deeper. On some level, you buy into the American Gothic, stoic, orderly waspy value system. You see something as necessary only if it's functional (you own one item of jewelry and you don't own a watch). You don't understand why people care so much about cars or clothes and on some level, that's all noble. But you should know better. Enjoy the icing on the cake. Enjoy a slow pint of hefeweizen or a cup of coffee or the sheer enjoyment of dipping a spoon into a fresh jar of peanut butter or popping bubble wrap, because life would suck without the icing.