Friday, February 15, 2013

My Lamp - A Lesson Learned

The recession has had an effect on me.  In more ways than one.  The recession was tough love.  Sometimes very tough.  But good.  Good for me.

I admit - I think I was a shopaholic.  The mall was my favorite place.  I'd spend hours wandering through my favorite stores and end up walking out with at least one or two bags on my arm.  In retrospect, I think my shopaholic tendencies stemmed from a four year stint at Miller's Outpost.  My favorite job.  (If you were in the San Gabriel Valley in the 70's you might remember the Miller's - not to be confused with Lou Miller's - in Five Points in El Monte and the one on Azusa and Workman where a strip mall now sits.)  I worked at both and pretty much loved every minute.

I was a cashier back in the days when you'd actually had to make change and put the credit card in the slider-thingy with carbon copies and everything.  When you'd have to call the credit card company for charges over $100 and sometimes the person on the other end of the line would tell you to cut the card up right in front of the customer.  When handling Levi's 501s over the course of a shift, your hands would be blue.  Where every month you got coupons for 50% off an outfit and 40% off a pair of shoes.  20% off all the time.  Heaven.

Date night?  New outfit!!  Party?  New pair of shoes!!  So easy.  So addicting.  And a habit so hard to break 35 years later.

So, the recession was good for me.  I had to stop spending.  I had to stop using charge cards.  I learned (again) the value of a dollar and that it's much harder to spend one when you don't have many and you pay in cash.  A very very good lesson.

So, the lamp I found today was worth every one of the twenty-five dollars I spent on it.  It was a beautiful Broyhill lamp that retailed for $100 but was on clearance at Home Goods.  I think there was some part on the base that maybe isn't there anymore, but I can't tell.  It wasn't an easy decision.  I saw it and decided to wait and walked out of the store.  Went back the next day and checked to see if it was still there. It was.  Went back today with money in my pocket and told myself, if it was still on the shelf, it's a sign.  Good shopping karma sign.  And it was.  And I bought it.  And paying the $25 plus tax wasn't that painful because things are a little easier now.  And I love it.  And it's perfect for my living room.  And did I say I love it?

 I guess I'm never to old to learn a lesson.  This lamp will remind me.


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