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Medium Dawn Felagund of the Fountain

Well, Our Christmas Shopping Is Half-Finished....

The (Cyber) Bag of Weasels

bread and puppet




"About as much fun as a bag of weasels"...when I first saw this Irish adage, it made me think of the life of a writer: sometimes perilous, sometimes painful, certainly interesting. My paper journal has always been called "The Bag of Weasels." This is the Bag of Weasels' online home.

Well, Our Christmas Shopping Is Half-Finished....

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tiki hut
Yes, you read that correctly. Last night, Bobby and I officially began--and finished--half of our Christmas shopping.

Picture it: Dawn sitting at the desk, painting Meryth's cloak in a color called Goblin Green; Bobby sitting on the couch with his laptop surfing SCUBA sites. Now Bobby and I had made an agreement that Christmas this year is not going to be the exorbitant affair of years past. It has always been my philosophy that holiday monies are best spent doing things that will be memorable in years to come rather than buying junk that will be under the bed and forgotten by the New Year. Anyway, at last, I got Bobby to agree. Since we decided to pursue this whole underwater-as-a-hobby-and-career thing, we have been eyeing up a camera called the SeaLife camera, which is a top-of-the-line digital camera that functions both above- and underwater. We decided that rather than driving ourselves--and each other--nuts with piles of unneeded gifts this year, we would split the cost of the SeaLife camera, which we will both use and enjoy.

The SeaLife camera with all things included--including the strobe--costs (hold on to your seats, misers) $999. Yes, one of those "if I end it with a nine then no one will notice how dear it is." Harumph. You can buy the camera by itself for just over $500.

Returning to our happy picture of Dawn with green-painted lips (from licking my brushes all of the time; that detail in AMC does not come from nowhere) and Bobby surfing using the latest in Internet technology, Bobby suddenly blurts out, "Oh my god, I just found our SeaLife on sale on scuba.com--the whole package, strobe and all--for $500."

Silence falls.

"That's pretty cool," Dawn says, after verifying that the usual price is in fact about a grand, and goes back to painting Meryth's cloak--and her lips--a nice even Goblin Green.

More silence but one with a vivid imagination can hear the wheels turning in the House of Felagund.

"Soooo..." says Dawn.

(Now, just as background, Dawn is the Official Skinflint, Cheapo, Miser, and Tightwad of the House of Felagund. Bobby has to put her back in line all the time. Just the other night, at the movies, Dawn wanted a soda and realized that she had forgotten her coupon for a free one. "Oh, well," she said. "There's always next time." "Dawn!" Bobby shouted. "You can still get a soda!" "But it's four dollars for a medium....")

"Soooo..." says Dawn the Penurious again. Bobby gives her a careful look. "Are you going to get it?"

"I don't know," says Bobby, who has had enough ill-fated run-ins with his miserly wife to have learned to ask, "What do you think?"

"Well," says Dawn, "if we think of it logically, it seems foolish to wait three months and pay $400 more for something that we want to get anyway."

"True," Bobby agrees.

"We can put it on the credit card and pay it off when we set aside money for Christmas. And we can even keep it at one of the parents' houses so that we're not tempted to use it until Christmas. Then it will feel like we got it then anyway."

"True," Bobby agrees, and silence falls again. A few minutes later: "Soooo...should I order it?"

Now what do you think the outcome was?

(Though perhaps in honor of her penny-pinching forefathers, Dawn did advice to wait to add the $60 wide-angle lens until a later time.)
  • I have to agree with frenchpony, find a co-op or ethnic grocery that sells what you want. One time I ventured to an Indian store to find the right masala to make a recipe from a friend; I stood there completely befuddled by the $1 cumin when I knew it was $5 or more at my regular store. Now I just buy my spices when I go to AZ and we go to the bulk spice store: I'm just in heaven at spending $5-10 and coming away with a good size bag of stuff.

    My grandmother could pinch a penny until Abe screamed: she was 'famed' for making rag rugs and hats out of bread wrappers; yes crocheted plastic rugs and hats. And she bought her shoes at garage sales even though they didn't fit and twisted her feet something terrible. Granted, this was pre-Alzheimer's diagnosis. But the glittery slippers were pretty rad.

    I've since lost some of my miserly ways, but not all. Free cash flow lets me have some indulgences but for the most I don't need much.

    That being said, enjoy the camera! You're right, why wait and pay $400 more when you know it is something you will be getting anyway?
    • A bulk spice store sounds heavenly. Spices are so ridiculously overpriced at regular grocery stores, although anyone familiar with Maryland culinary tendencies would probably argue that all we need is a big tin of Old Bay anyway. :^P

      Your grandmother's hats and rugs sound great, very unique! My grandfather was the family miser; my grandmother always wanted to buy stuff, would be denied by my grandfather, and so would go to great lengths to destroy that which she wanted to replace so that my grandfather had no choice. She peeled wallpaper, unraveled carpets, and many an appliance met its demise at her hands. Of course, my grandfather's tendencies were part of the reason that they ended up quite comfortable in their old age, but it still saddens me that they never really got to enjoy that money before they died. :^/

      I've since lost some of my miserly ways, but not all. Free cash flow lets me have some indulgences but for the most I don't need much.

      Sounds very familiar. :) When I was still a kitchen manager making ten bucks an hour, having spending money seemed like such a luxury. Now that I actually do have some, I find that I want to use it for...education and traveling. Having the fancy car and new clothes just doesn't mean so much anymore.
      • The problem with the bulk spice store is limiting myself to things that I might actually use. Still not sure why I bought cloves and what I thought I might use them for. But for 0.65, who cares?

        Your grandmother sounds like a hoot! But yes, there should be a happy medium between saving and spending.

        My grandmother was a gracious lady, but certain things just run through her life, like not being able to pass up a good garage sale. When it was time to clean out her house, my dad and uncle opened the window in the attic and just shoveled everything out to a dumpster below. Luckily, I managed to save the aluminum Christmas tree (which btw I've seen the last couple years in the Marshall Field's displays, just in better condition).

        I have seen my future and I am my grandmother.
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