Thursday, July 26, 2007

Bag of Loot.

A card shop in my neighborhood is closing (nothing to be too sad about, they're simply merging with another shop, owned by the same guy, and less than half a mile away). Three weeks ago, I went into the store and found several bargains, items priced 50% off: doggie-themed party invitations for my bubby's second birthday (right around the corner in January), a small shiny change purse with "Pisces" written in gems and beads, notecards, a book on wedding showers for my mom (who enjoys planning showers). All in all, a good trip.

Yesterday, I stopped by again and, what do you know, they were offering a special opportunity. They were giving out good-sized gift bags, and customers could get as much as they could fit inside for $20. I looked around the store. No one else was filling a gift bag. I asked the cashier if the deal was for real, "because I could fit a lot of stuff in one of these bags." She assured me I could, and I mobilized. I gave my bubby a bag of graham crackers and started filling: notecards, holiday cards, invitations, gift tags, a baby shower book for my mom, an Elvis address book, and individual cards of all kinds--birthday, bon voyage, congratulations, engagement, new baby, anniversary . . . I could go on. Now, don't imagine it looked like Supermarket Sweep. I was trying to play it cool, trying to make it seem as if I weren't going to end up with $200 worth of cards and other merchandise in my bag. I was also following some strange honor code I formulated as I went. For example, say there were four of the same adorable new baby card, I would only put two of them in my bag. Perhaps I was acting out of guilt or out of some strange sense of fairness or respect for fellow/future looters. In one heady moment, I secured a copy (the last one) of a book entitled Prom Night. It features prom pictures from years past, and I've admired it from a distance for months but had never been able to justify its purchase before (careless spender though I am). I guiltily took my full bag (to be honest, it could have been stuffed with more, but I already felt so ashamed) and paid my $21.86.

Later, when my husband arrived home, I took out all the loot and tried to show it off. He is not a great audience for this kind of thing, with his penchant for asking questions like, "Are you really going to use all of those cards?" As if the use or disuse of the cards is the point. I looked over each of the individual cards, trying to get him to share in my exuberance that some of these cards had original retail prices as high as $6.00. I had almost won him over when I got to a stack of four anniversary cards. I had taken four, against my code, because there were many of this particular card still available. I think at the time, I was thinking, "Yes, I really should be better about remembering people's anniversaries. Now, I'll be ready." I put them in my bag with good intentions but, apparently, without reading them. I looked at the card that I had four copies of, and this it what is said: "Happy Anniversary. Instead of having sex tonight, let's make love." It happens to be my anniversary today. Guess I'm all set. NTB.

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