Sunday, February 22, 2009

cheaper by the dozen


My mother loves a sale. Her most recent purchase was a new furnace and I know that if she was given the option of buying one and getting one free, ours is now the only house on the block with surround heating.

Her inability to resist a good deal meant that one year, when she had to replace some broken figurines in our Christmas nativity scene (broken, most likely, by my little sister who used them like barbies in a way that would probably have gotten us excommunicated had anyone notified the papal authorities) we ended up with five kings, no Joseph and two Baby Jesuses (Babies-Jesus?). I've milked this particular story in print before, but my mother has to forgive me - my siblings and I provided much of the fodder for a newspaper column she wrote during our formative years. She's known payback was a possibility since we learned to read. (Which is probably, come to think of it, why she delayed that so long, telling us reading was "un-Canadian.")

Besides, my point today (and I do have one, don't be fooled by the cleverness with which I've so far hidden it) is that I have inherited my mother's love of a deal. I can no longer pay full price for anything without cringing - often visibly. But my mania also makes it hard for me NOT to buy things that have been marked down.

Today, for instance, it caused me to buy an exacto knife (with extra blades), a set of precision screwdrivers, and two bungee cords although I have no immediate plans to hijack a commercial airliner, customize my home electronics, or leap off the Sydney Harbor Bridge. (To be strictly truthful, the bungee cords are the mini variety, and would not support my leaping off anything, although they might support one of the cats. I'll let you know how that turns out.)

I bought them because each item, although of little to no use to me at present, cost only 30kc.

THIRTY CROWNS PEOPLE! How could I afford NOT to buy them? And why didn't I also buy the mini flashlight (complete with AAA battery) and the duct tape and the sanding block? Won't I feel the fool if tomorrow some tragedy, easily avoided with a little timely sanding, befalls me? What CAN'T be improved by duct tape? And I could be using that flashlight right now to see what's under my fridge!

I swear, I'm almost ready to pull on my boots and go back to the store right now. It's not like I'll be able to sleep tonight, knowing all those BARGAINS are happening just meters away from my front door.

And as my cousin T.C. once said (I've decided to start referring to members of my family by their initials, like they're characters in an 18th century roman a clef - or United Nations programs):

"There's a fine line between being cheap and being wise with your money.

And I'm cheap."

3 comments:

Tycho said...

Using characters' initials is very Mitteleuropean, so you get a digg from me on that.

In the annals of modern terrorism, duct tape has played a key role providing it is found with a box of nails (and i don't mean the kind that are pink with clitter). Buying these items on sale, on consecutive but wisely intervaled shopping days, is a good way to keep people guessing.

Tycho said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
maire said...

the second was deleted only because it was the same comment posted twice, not because tycho was talkin' some mitteleuro trash about me.