I bought a lot of things today, even after reading an article about the cost of owning things (http://almostfearless.com/2008/06/02/the-10-unexpected-costs-of-owning-things/). First I picked up "Pray for Anna" business cards at Kinko's, then magnets to stick them to--we'll pass out fridge magnets tomorrow. The Kinko's/Office Max was close to my favorite thrift store in the Poverty Mall (with a Thrift Town, Family Dollar, Dollar Tree, and Big Lots). Oddly, the only other stores in the mall are a homeschooling supply store and a smokes/hookah shop. At Thrift Town I bought a jacket, a scarf, some dress pants--and here's the sign of a miser: socks. If a person buys socks and towels at a thrift store, you know they rarely buy retail. (I draw the line at underwear.) However, my thrifty ways were about to crack this day.
Next stop, Midas to get my muffler/tail pipe fixed...the tail pipe was almost touching the ground and my car sounded like a Harley. It would be several hours, so I stuck the magnets to the cards and then followed a fatal attraction to Fashion Place Mall across the street. ALL the stores were having big sales. After typically buying only used clothes, it's a surprise how gracious the employees are at an Eddie Bauer outlet. Even buying $9.99 t-shirts, they treat you like a VIP. Continuing through the mall, I suddenly felt a woman rubbing some moisturizer on the back of my hand and as I looked at her, she gazed on me with pity and said "Oh, you have DRY skin." She was right, of course. She was petite, long black hair, Israeli accent, selling "dead sea" cosmetic products from a kiosk. She asked if she could buff one of my nails. She talked to me about my face. I tried to tell her, confess really, that I don't take care of my body--she smiled and was talking a mile a minute. I think she hypnotized me. Suffice it to say I bought some beauty products. After a furtive conversation with her boss she agreed to sell me a facial mask at "her cost"...which was, now I realize, higher than I could have ordered it online. I shouldn't be allowed around such people.
Then back to the Midas where I paid $260 for a muffler, tail pipe, and oil change. I think I've done more than my share helping this economy out today.