Wednesday, April 22, 2009

All the More Reason to Stop Op-Shopping for a While

Let me tell you what happened today.  Something to underscore my

pledge to stop shopping even at thrift stores for two months.

My friend W. was having a rather serious medical test done, and she needed a ride home from the hospital.  When the time came for me to get her, she called me on my cell phone.  She said they needed her to stay at the hospital for another hour.  She asked if I would pick up a sandwich for her on the way.  

Yes, of course I would come later, and I’d pick up a sandwich.   

Okay.  At this time I was in the car, and I was close to the sandwich place.  I could have gone straight there, and then to the hospital.   But NO.  This is Sallymandy. See, not only was I close to the place with the delicious sandwiches, I was also close to the

bargain_corner (2)

I reasoned:  Sure, I just made that pledge not to thrift-shop, along with my Wardrobe Refashion pledge.  However, I have some extra time, and… I’ll just go in and look.  Just look. 

So, I go in.  I take a spin around, see nothing I like, and buy nothing.  But when it’s time to leave, I realize I don’t have my keys.  They appear to be locked in my Subaru.  Nor is my spare key, usually velcroed on to a secret place on the bumper, there.  I now have half an hour to get W. a sandwich and get to the hospital on time.   

Standing in the parking lot, powerless to get in my car and pick up W., I’m feeling a wave of shame and guilt.    The day after

I should not have stopped at Bargain Corner.  Knowing that I just posted about my Spending Hiatus has made me feel guilty, and I now wonder what’s wrong with me (forgetting for the moment that I didn’t buy anything).  

What to do?  The closest spare key is with my husband.  He’s working out at the gym about three miles away.  I have my phone in  my hand, but his phone is turned off.  And I do have my wallet, with money.  I’ll have to get to the gym myself and get the spare key.   

taxi lake normanI ask the thrift store lady for a phone book and start calling cabs.  As I talk to the cab people I’m looking at shoes.  The first place says they can get me in an hour.  The second guy says five minutes.  I say fine.  Waiting for him to come, I’m looking at linen blouses. 

The driver is a sympathetic, youngish guy named Joe.  In the car, I call W. at the hospital and tell her I’ll be late.  She’s kind of drugged up and not very happy.  She wants to go home.  Her dog is out in the yard yearning for her.  I feel terrible.   

“You will get the sandwich, though, right?” she asks.   

I will.  I know where the deli section is at the store, and the little case of ready-made sandwiches.  When I get there, I can grab it, pay, and go.

The cab has now arrived at the gym.  I ask Joe to wait for me in the parking lot. I want him to drive me back to my car so I don’t have to rely on my hubby, who has gotten my out of many of these lost-key scrapes, and for whom the cuteness of his wife in these situations has worn off.  Plus, it will be faster just to get the key and leave. 

I find my husband on the treadmill.  After I greet him lovingly, explain in a calm and rational tone what’s going on (anyone laughing yet?), I find his keychain and the key. 

Back in the cab with Joe, I fork over a twenty so I’ll be ready to leap out we get back to my Subaru.   

Okay, we’re there.  I’ve leapt out.  Joe’s driving away and I’m dashing up to my car when I kind of offhandedly notice that the key in my hand says Nissan on it.  It’s the wrong key.  I picked out the wrong key from hubby’s key chain.

I turn around in a frenzy yelling Joe! Wait! I have to go back!  He looks out the window, kind of scared, I’m being so shrill.  He gets on his radio and fairly nicely tells the dispatcher, Ahhhhh, she’s got the wrong key.  ‘Nother round trip to the Y. 

So back in I climb.  We’re now at the 3rd Street stop light for the second time.  I tell Joe I’m late picking up a friend who’s just had a biopsy.  We hope it’s not cancer.  He makes a pained face and when the light turns green he slams his foot on the gas and starts clenching the steering wheel. 

Ha ha, I say.  Now don’t you go getting a ticket on my account.  He says, the cops around here are pretty easy on us.  They never give us tickets.  I say, well, in that case, go as fast as you want.     

I don’t have to tell you all the rest of what happened—about getting back to my car twenty minutes later, having forked over another twenty; or how, at the store, W’s sandwich was not ready to go but rather had to be made to order with grilled tempeh and sauerkraut, and when I suggested I just take it cold to save time, the woman said that would be disgusting, so I killed another ten minutes waiting for that; and how I got lost at the hospital for another twenty minutes looking for the “central” waiting area that’s located far, far, from the center.  I don’t have to tell you how W.’s phone by this time had lost its charge so she didn’t get my messages. 

W. forgave me pretty fast, even though I ended up being really late.  She’s hopeful about the outcome of her biopsy.  We had a good conversation on the twenty-mile drive to her house.  

What I do want to tell you is that my obsession with thrift shopping whacked me in the face today.  I knew I was pushing it when I turned down that street instead of going straight on toward the sandwich.  My Spending Hiatus beckons.  Next time I won’t even drive into the parking lot.      

The first painting is Christine Von Diepenbroek, The Day After


Zuzana said...

What a wonderful story. It was humorous to read, but I believe you felt anything but laughing while all this was going on. Despair might have been more closer to what you felt.
I too believe in signs, the fact that something happens for a reason. However, I also believe that some days are just not our days and that is all.;)
I truly hope your friend is fine and here is wishing you a better Wednesday than your Tuesday was.;)

Ingrid Mida said...

Sounds like a stressful day!! I admire your ability to stay calm in a crisis.
Another way to look at your shopping hiatus is as a gift to the earth since today is Earth Day!

Frugal Scholar said...

The thrift store gods have spoken. You know what you have to do (at least for a while).

Imogen Lamport, AICI CIP said...

Some sort of karma?

Gal Friday said...

What a terrible(can I say comical, even?)bunch of events for you--and as a thrift shop shopper(one right behind where I work and I am guilty of spending my lunch hour over there many a time), I can completely understand.
But...don't feel so guilty. You didn't actually BUY anything there, afterall, right?
I gave up shopping for Lent, and now that I am itching to get back into shopping, we are in need of a new family have to sort of still rein myself in as far as clothes shopping.
I do hope the news will be good for your friend, after she gets the biopsy results.

The Clever Pup said...

How awful. I have bad dreams like that. I can really sympathise. I hate days like that.

One day a squirrel fell from the roof through our interior wall and into the basement and we were all to chicken to go into the room with it and open a window.

I sent my husband out to get a trap. And he ended up getting a ticket for 180 for turning on a red. and the trap was $70. The squirrel didn't go for the carrots, peanut butter and birdseed. I took my courage and opened the basement window (it WAS extremely cold) and the animal was gone in 5 minutes. And you know what - he didn't jump on my head like I thought he would!

Unknown said...

What a story! Love how you wrote it! Taking a trying day and viewing it with a slight sense of humor.

I too have "key issues" and when I asked my husband for a car that you just push a button (I saw them on TV), I found out you still need the master key in your purse or pocket. Considering how much I change purses, I would probably loose that too.

Hope you have a better day today. And will pray for your friend. Hope everything turns out fine with her.

Penney said...

I just found this blog and fell in love with it! What a great place to spend some time chillin' out...
You must have been in a cold sweat during this whole ordeal. I've in similar situations. Not fun. Funny to look back at though.

La Belette Rouge said...

You have just made me feel better about my penchant for online shopping: no risk of locking oneself out of one car.

Sorry about your "tough love" lesson about shopping. But tradgedy plus some rewriting equals a funny blog post.

Seeker said...

A tough day that you tell in a funny and great way.

But don't be too hard on yourself...



Sparkling Red said...

Oh man, what an ordeal! That's too high a price to have paid for something as harmless as browsing in a thrift store.

I wish your friend all the best. I had a biopsy 7 years ago and I remember how awful and scary it was. But I was fine.

Eleonora Baldwin said...

Oh God, I was afraid you'd left the sandwich in the taxi too...
Funny, bittersweet post. I love how you write, and greatly hope your friend's test comes out negative.

I've tagged you for a meme over at my blog. Play along if you feel inclined... Ciao

Duchesse said...

I thing the gods are telling you you need a cute new purse, the kind with a sewn-in key chain. Sorry for what must have been a frazzling day. You are a good friend!

Sheila said...

Great story! I admire you for setting yourself a challenge - and believe me, I know how hard that can be.

For me, the "one in, one out" has been very enlightening - it's really forced me to look at what's working and what's not. I've become much more ruthless about what I buy, even thrifted or second hand. It forces me to think, "Do I have something I really want to give up so that I can have this item?"

Mind blowing, I tell ya. :)

Woman in a Window said...

I actually gasped at the Nisan key. Out loud. My husband thinks I'm bonkers.

But I wanna say (being a fellow thrift store lover) it's THRIFT store shopping. It's Thrifty.

Woman in a Window said...

Oh, god, and I hope your friend is alright.

Maria Killam said...

Okay, that was such a great story I read it word for word! I'm glad your friends going to be okay!
You are a good writer!

sallymandy said...

Protege: You're right, I wasn't laughing at the time. When it was all over, I took a nap. Thank you; you're kind.

Ingrid: I had forgotten yesterday that it was Earth Day.

Frugal: Yup, I know what I have to do and I'm going to do it.

Imogen: I choose to look at it as karma.

Gal: Yes, you can sure say it was comical because in hindsight it was. No, I didn't buy anything. It's good to know that a lot of us are in the same boat about cutting back on spending.

Clever: Your squirrel story is funny. Yet probably wasn't funny at the time.

Sher: Thanks. I know we key-losers aren't alone!

Penney: thanks for visiting! I guess we all need a humbling day once in a while.

Belette: Good point. You can shop online with none of those dangers.

Seeker: Thanks, kind friend!

Sparkling Red: I'm glad your biopsy turned out negative.

Lola: now, that would have made the story funnier.

Duchesse: I like the way you think, dear.

Sheila: That's an interesting rule to use--the one in, one out. Good luck!

Woman in a Window: Maybe all spouses of bloggers think we're a little off. And maybe we are!

Thanks. I hope she's all right, too.

Thanks for the kind words, Maria.

Patsy said...

This story had me smiling a big wide smile while reading it, and silent little puffs of laughter.

You are a good writer. I would bet money that you go to thrift stores next week. :-) :-) :-)