Thursday, June 26, 2008
You try to save a buck, and then you end up with merely something barely droll to disseminate via blog. Those who know me in "real life" know I rarely shop at stores.
When I had money, I surfed such lovely sites as Patagonia, Athleta, Title Nine, J.Crew, J.Jill, et. al., giving UPS and the USPS plently of business back and forth. There is something about seeing a model in action hanging off a cliff that motivates shy people to purchase clothes — shy people who hate driving, and communicating with sales people or being in a room with shopping strangers and seeing the gross quantity of all the sizes of a single thing hanging on a rack, one of many racks all across the country. It's one of those obvious self-deceptions, yes!
My co-worker is charmed by people like that, me and a friend of hers, who are "wasteful" about sending a truck to a single destination with but a few goods, who inevitably end up paying $20 or so to return items whose fabric in person is just not right or that happen to hang poorly on the particular body type in question.
Well, yes, it was silly, but apparently it used to spur the ecnomony, which is practically patriotism these days (remember September 15th or so, 2001, when the president told us all to go shopping?), and when I read once that most of those clothing companies were targetting people called "educated, middle- to upper-class women," whose income was, well, let's say, not really mine, I decided that my education should filter into my common sense and stop the madness. It helped that we had a goal, a house for which to save, that made it "important" to zero-out the credit card and sit back and say, "yes, two pairs of running-type walking shoes is enough."
The former I was quite the thrift store queen; however, those places require driving, too — and it's even less of a guarantee that anything will come of the trip. This was a concern before gas in the U.S. was $4/gal., since travel time is and always has been money, too. Also, my bureau-drawers and closet still bear witness to the fact that a number of those cheaper buys didn't work out either. As with a store of new things, one ends up buying stuff simply because it's presented, not because it was anything on the mental list. Most second-hand items are mere approximations of what I really (think that I) want.
Where we stay in Salina is next-door to a Goodwill, though, it's always a fun part of the psuedo-vacation to drop in and see what they have. This year, I paid $9 for a rolling table to enhance my in-house bird-cage management, and imagine my delight when I found something to make my work-day go by nicely — and for only $1.49.
Once again, I am thwarted. I should have read the back more carefully, as, of course, you knew it, I knew it, these little dealies, while distributed by the Rite Aid Corp. of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, are made in China:
Handling the coated electrical wires of this product exposes you to lead, a chemical known to the state of California to cause cancer, birth defects and other reproductive harm. Wash hands after use.
I like how they don't mention ear-washing — or that other states have any thoughts on the matter of self-poisoning.
Needless to say, they are still in the package.
at 8:42 AM