Saturday, August 13, 2011

A Fool and Her Money......

I am afraid I have been known to waste money from time to time. I go through spells where I'm very careful with money, obsessively (there's that word again) careful. I won't spend 99 cents to download a song. I'll only download **FREE** books to my Kindle. I wash paper plates. Just kidding on that last one.

I have been known to spend impulsively, though. I don't usually REGRET my purchases, like a few weeks ago when I went shopping with two friends from high school. Susan kept bringing me clothes to try on, and I kept liking them. When it came time to ring them up, Susan said, "Uh.......don't you want her to see how much the total is before you decide to buy it all?"

"Nah," I said.

The total wasn't that scary, and Susan has more money than Amanda and I do put together, so I don't know why she was so nervous. Maybe she thought I didn't have the money, or maybe she felt guilty for urging me to try on so many things. But that is pretty typical of the way I shop. I only go clothes shopping a couple times a year, and I buy a LOT at one time. Then I'm done for six months or so. This time it was doubly necessary - I needed the usual back-to-school clothes, but I had also lost 35 pounds. And I bought a LOT of nice things for the money I spent. Money well spent, I figure, if it means I don't have to stand in front of the closet every morning and agonize over putting an outfit together that I haven't already worn to death.

Back when I was skydiving, one of my jumpmasters said his sister was selling a rig, and he thought it would be perfect for me. I had never had my own rig, so I jumped at the chance. (Pun intended.) This was in a previous wifetime, and my ex won some money playing the lottery, so he gave it to me to buy the parachute rig. Apparently I had misunderstood, though, because when I took him the $500, I learned that the asking price was $800. He said he would hold the money until I had the other $300, and I trusted him because I knew where to find him every weekend. Back then it would take me weeks, months to raise $300. We lived pretty much (my) paycheck to (my) paycheck, and there were more important things to pay for. Then I got a divorce and subsequently stopped jumping (not necessarily connected, but maybe), and I never paid the rest for the parachute. I also never went back to get my (his) $500 back. I don't even remember the guy's name now! The jump school closed (it has since reopened, but I have no idea if it's the same folks), and I just never bothered. I wonder if it ever bothered that guy that he had my money and the parachute too. I don't mean to suggest he was dishonest; I was the one who didn't pursue it. We were pretty casual around the drop zone; there were lots of folks I knew by face but never knew their names.

Tonight I made a pretty foolish purchase, but I can comfort myself with the fact that it was substantially less than $500. My friend Amanda had these cool drink tumblers at her house, plastic, double-walled, and nearly indestructible. She said they came with lids and straws, or you could also get them with the Starbucks-type travel lids for hot beverages. I decided I had to have one for school. The one I use for my water at school sweats and leaves water rings on my desk. And papers. And calendar. And anything else that happens to be on my desk.

Amanda told me the specialty store they were sold in, the one where they sell things for the bedroom, bathroom, and beyond room. Hubby and I stopped in on our way home from dinner tonight, and sure enough, they were right inside the door. That should have been a clue.

Note to self: Going to this type of store - any type of store, really - in a college town on the weekend that students move in for fall semester is NOT a good time.

Not only did they have a vast array of these wonderful tumblers, many of them were adorned with the UGA logo.

They weren't sold as you see in the picture above. Oh no..... I had to buy the straw and the handle separately. Yes, I am an idiot. This particular one came with the lid, but you could also buy THOSE separately, just in case you wanted a different color. At least the straws came in a pack of 6, so when it turns black and nasty, I don't have to soak it in bleach to make it usable again. Or cut off the end and turn it upside down. Not that I've ever done THAT, and you can't prove I have.

By the time I bought the cup (with lid), the handle, and the package of straws, I had spent...... the equivalent of a manicure AND pedicure. Fast food for a family of six. Two cases of beer. A month of internet service. Two bottles of really good wine. A decent pair of sneakers (on sale).

I fully expected Hubby to castigate me, or at least roll his eyes, but he was uncharacteristically generous. Not generous enough to PAY for it, but in a noncritical way. He said, "I can't say anything, I've got golf clubs in the basement I spent $50 or $100 for and hit once. Or never."

Or maybe he was just relieved that when we went to the Harley place this morning, I didn't buy the new bike I was drooling over.


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