Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Cheap Thrills


You know that feeling when you find an incredible deal on something you're looking for, maybe it's new, maybe used, but it's a screamin' deal, and you can't believe you found it, and you get this adrenaline rush and quickly snatch it up for yourself before anyone else can see what a good deal you are getting because they might want it too and that can't be because you saw it first, so tough crunchies? Then you haul it up to the cash register and smugly pay your little bit of money for your great deal, and crow all the way home. Yep, I've had that feeling. Like when I found a brand-new maternity top for 27 cents.

I had that feeling, however unholy it may have been, 2 years ago at a church yard sale. It was a misty Saturday morning, and I had Owen in a stroller. He was getting a lot of "Aw whatta cute baby," and "Momma teaching you young, huh?" I struck it big time there. I found a huge picture frame and mat for 50 cents, a nightstand for $1, two incredibly cool turquoise painted chairs for $5, a pie rack for an insignificant amount and an exersaucer for $3. I was driving the Jetta back then, and even with my 3-body trunk, it was quite a riot getting everything inside the car. My sister in law, my cousin in law and a man from the sale were all helping. I don't remember if we got it all in or if Jan had to follow me home with some of the loot. Fortunately the church was only about 2 miles from our house. I called it quits on garage saling that day, wanting to end in triumph, seeing as how I was heady with a bargain high. (Wouldn't I be a good gambler?) I then proceeded to explain the fine merits of each and every one of my purchases to my fine, understanding, proud husband who merely scrunched up his face and said something sniffy like, "What a load of junk--what are you going to do with THAT?" I'm sure my adrenaline rush instantly turned into righteous indignation, but I chose to pour my irritation into the scouring all the dirt off my fabulous treasures. I had to wash the mud daubers off the chairs; paint the night stand (the object that received the most scorn); paint the picture frame, ditch the picture and insert a scrap of cool fabric; spray paint the pie rack; and thoroughly scrub every inch of the exersaucer. This poor contraption had been left outside, and some of the toys had nasty teeth marks on them. Those got pitched. In my undying enthusiasm, I discovered online that you could order replacement parts for exersaucers, but Jay said NO, NO. The seat cover was mildewed, but at the time I just washed it. And Jay did finally admit that my purchases were great, save for the nightstand, which still fields small insults and contemptuous looks from him.

Not long ago I was fabric shopping with my mother in law without the kids and without my husband. Oh joy! (Bless their hearts.) You can't fully appreciate fabric shopping without Jason until you have tried to look for that perfect piece of fabric with him along. In fact, he hates shopping in general, unless it is for manly things like lawnmowers, tools, cars and ice cream. Ruth found the cutest striped material for recovering her exersaucer--she keeps lots of toys around for her grands. When I saw her finished product, I had to tell her she was wrong for that, because then I saw how shabby mine was. The generous woman then found some fabric at her house that she had forgotten about and gave it to me to redo mine.

So anyway, Helen got her exersaucer recovered, and she was so glad to get back into it after several days' hiatus. I am pleased with it and so is she. Onward toward more bargains! But let me not forget generosity and become stingy for the sake of saving a buck.

4 comments:

Carrie said...

That is perfect fabric for recovering that. You got a stylin' babe there. :)

Cottonista said...

Thanks! My babe is stylin' because of all her stylin' cousin and friend hand-me-downs. (and a few great deals found on E-bay)

Heather said...

I love that cheap thrill of finding the thing that you didn't know that you were missing....but must have. You say it well sister! Loved the article.

Lynette said...

Hey, Joyce -- stalking your old posts just to see if I could find any pictures of Henry dressed like a girl. :) Ava loves the pics of her . . .