Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Please Restrain Me, Don't Let Me Go

I was just in the checkout line at the grocery store behind a woman who was buying what can only be described as one big-ass Valentine's wreath.

It was constructed of giant loops of red burlappy-looking netting stuff with a garland of heart-emblazoned ribbon twisted throughout. In a further nod to wanton excess, there was a sign glued in the center that said Kiss Me in pink glittered letters.

The shopper -- a woman of about 65 -- was as excited as I've ever seen anyone at Kroger although it's possible I've never seen anyone excited at Kroger before. Her women's support group is coming over tonight and this half-price decoration will be her centerpiece, she explained to the young, pleasant cashier. (In the meantime, as the wreath conveyed toward him, the sacker, a Morgan Freeman look-alike, was having a difficult time stifling his laughter. But those were some twinkling eyes.) She'd also hit the Whoops! We Baked Too Much cart for a cake and had apparently picked up all the day-old prepared fruit and vegetable trays. (I have a keen eye for those specially colored stickers, too.)

Now, I admire her thrift. I like sales, and I've said "and I had a coupon" so many times that my family now beats me to it, allowing me to get just as far as "It was on sale and..." before they jump in and finish my sentence.

But does one really need a big-ass Valentine's wreath? The day after Valentine's Day? Oh, sure, her guests might think she's had it on display for weeks. And, she did describe to those of us in line her intent to convert it to a Christmas wreath come December.

The question is: just because it's a good deal, should you get it?

Yes, yes, I can hear those of you who know me well laughing. I have fallen prey to the allure of a sale a time or two (thousand).

Looking at all this fabric, though, some of it a gift, much of it purchased on sale and probably more of it acquired at full retail, I feel a little embarrassed. I can only stimulate the economy so much. And if it's true that she who dies with the most of something wins, I could live to be 90 and still be in the running.

If pledging to sew my stash is the Yang, the Yin of course is not buying any new fabric. Or even begging for it, as I sort of did Sunday when a friend who is divorcing and clearing out her home said she might have some fabric and I instinctively asked if I could have it. Not buying anything new -- or getting something left over from someone else -- seems like a dark, cold, forbidding place.

I think there's a glimmer of light, though. In my email is an unopened message from my favorite quilt shop with the subject line February Sale. (Ok, I haven't trashed it. One step at a time, please.) Today's Groupon was an offer for $50 worth of fabric for $25. And to make matters more difficult on that account, a friend messaged me about the deal, too. I resisted both appeals. Of course, last night I did "favorite" a half-yard of Michael Miller cat fabric on etsy. But it isn't in my shopping cart -- or on its way to me -- so that's an improvement.

Given my new willpower, you probably no longer have to worry about me wrestling a giant Valentine's Day wreath from you. Even if it is on sale.

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