With the recent election, I’m forced to confront a new frugality. That’s really a good thing. Over the years, I’ve bought a lot of things I really don’t need.
My extensive scrapbooking collection is a good example. If you’re one of those people who actually make scrapbooks, it’s a dream. There isn’t a jagged or wavy edge I can’t cut thanks to my collection of scrapbooking scissors. If I knew how to write in calligraphy, I own every imaginable pen to do just that. My sticker and page collection is to die for. It includes stickers for every milestone you can imagine. Unfortunately, because I’ve failed to ever make a single scrapbook page, all the babies first birthday, visit with Santa etc., stuff will probably have to wait until I have grandchildren.
Yesterday, as stores began opening for Black Friday sales on Thursday, I asked my oldest son, “What’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever bought?”
Without hesitation, he pointed to an attractive baker’s rack in the kitchen housing a collection of cookbooks Julia Child would have envied.
“You don’t cook,” he replied.
Granted, I don’t cook much (which is being generous). My father noted that if the phone service in our house went out, we’d probably starve. That’s obviously an exaggeration because PB&J sandwiches and cereal are always an option.
My son didn’t just leave it there.
“Every Christmas,” he continued, “I get something you gave me the year before. I never know what to say because I like it, and I don’t want to hurt your feelings. I also have several identical shirts in my closet.”
He could tell I was getting a little upset by all the honesty, so he tried to cheer me up.
“The nice thing,” he added, “I never have to go shopping for anything. It’s usually somewhere around the house. Like yesterday, I needed an Ipad case, and I found two of them lying around.”
It couldn’t be all that bad, I thought, so I decided to ask a friend.
That didn’t help.
“Remember the time your son was going on a camping trip and you went to REI and bought everything for every kind of camping imaginable and then he ended up not going anyway?” she asked, “Also, there was that tepee you bought at the Junior League Christmas Bazaar.”
I didn’t bother asking my youngest son because he’s always dragging the Abraham Lincoln walking stick through the house which is probably one of the biggest reminders of conspicuous consumption I own.
On this Black Friday, not shopping is going to be very tough, particularly for a champion shopper like me.
For those of you brave enough to go out there and risk your lives fighting for parking spaces and walking through an endless queue at Toys R Us to save a couple of bucks on a Barbie doll, know that I’ll be with you in spirit, sitting in my tepee scrapbooking.