Five O'Clock Somewhere

Welcome to Five O'Clock Somewhere, where it doesn't matter what time zone you're in; it's five o'clock somewhere. We'll look at rural life, especially as it happens in Rio Arriba County, New Mexico, cats, sailing (particularly Etchells racing yachts), and bits of grammar and Victorian poetry.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Serendipity shopping

Luck + creativity = success

For the most part, I hate shopping, especially for things like clothes. I don't like malls or department stores; I don't like big crowds of people; I find it excruciating to pull money out of my wallet and hand it over to someone else, even in exchange for something nice.

On the other hand, when I take measures to minimize the amount of money I have to fork over, I get into adventurous country. One such realm is the dollar stores, which get leftovers from other retailers and mark them down to a fraction of the original cost. The trade-off is that what's in the dollar stores is somewhat random. For example, not too long ago, one store had some super-premium brand shampoo and conditioner in the color-preserving formula – but only for red hair. Sorry, blondes and brunettes … but I'm set for a couple of months.

Another great place to save money is thrift stores. I've discussed them before, here, and here, and here, and I've given them passing mention a few other times. Even more so than the dollar stores, what is found at thrift stores can be seriously random. I have discovered that when I have a need, the thrift stores will provide, although not necessarily in the way I had envisioned at the start. Call it fate, or God, or whatever you happen to believe in, but the randomness of thrift stores has often led me to come away with something far better than I would have ended up with by going to a department store or mall boutique with something specific in mind.

Sunday, we had a shopping trip of that sort. First, I was looking for a dress to wear for the formal dinner-dance at my high-school class reunion, which is fast approaching. The Methodist thrift shop in Pagosa Springs is usually best for clothes, but that shop was closed – funny thing, they all seem to go to church on Sundays. The Humane Society's shop has a much smaller clothing section, but that was what was available. But in that small clothing section was the perfect dress – floaty, flowing chiffon in a swirling Victorian rose print, with empire waist, cap sleeves, and a solid enough lining to hide various figure flaws. That was eight dollars.

On the way to the cash register, I paused to look at the rack of CDs. There, I spotted a two-disc set of great artists from the mid-20th century – Doris Day, Petula Clark, Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, and more – Zorro's favorites. I figured he could use a little cheering up, so I nabbed the CD set for two bucks.

Then we went down to the bargain basement, where we stumbled on our greatest find. There were two brand-new, never-been-used, still-in-original-packaging inflatable life preservers for $16 each, a fraction of their original price. We pounced on them. Since May 1, Zorro has been wearing a life jacket every time he goes out on the water, but he's been complaining about how bulky and uncomfortable it is, and he's been saying he wants to get an inflatable. Well, now he'll have one.

Seek and ye shall find. For that matter, ye shall find even if ye don't seek.

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Blogger Doc Häagen-Dazs said...

Yes, yes, yes!

Serendipity shopping: Luck + creativity = success

This account takes me back decades to my Laser days. I don't know why I found myself in an inland sporting good store. Was it a Big-5? Anyway, I saw this inconspicuous digital watch, Casio-like, in a locked case. The salesperson told me he didn't know what it was for. A nano-second's examination informed me that it was a count-downing yacht-timer. I snatched it up for $25! Until the last ten days it has been with me. Once, at a two-day regatta when I was racing Shields in Newport Beach, I was sure I had lost it overboard when its band separated. But on the morning of the second day, I found it on deck: apparently it had fallen out of the sail cover! I attached its remaining band to a lanyard with duct tape and I've had it ever since. It's perfect: no bells n' whistles. It just recycles 5-minute countdowns, endlessly. (Actually, it does beep, but only my crew hears it now!)

But I have misplaced it. Without it last night, uncertain of the seconds before the start, I fouled two boats. I'm thinking/hoping that little green noisy thingy is stuck in some pocket. Although my crew is not above suspicion: any one of them, seeing it on the edge of the deck as I did 15 years ago, could have given it a nudge without looking over their shoulder!

Congratulations to Zorro!

Thu Jun 03, 10:12:00 AM MDT  
Blogger Doc Häagen-Dazs said...

I found it! Only 24 hours late!

Thu Jun 03, 09:56:00 PM MDT  
Blogger Carol Anne said...

Doc, I just tried to go to your blog and got a message that I don't have permission ...

Meanwhile, congrats on finding your watch again.

Thu Jun 03, 11:42:00 PM MDT  
Blogger Doc Häagen-Dazs said...

Sorry! Editing another post...!

Fri Jun 04, 07:38:00 AM MDT  

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