Thursday, May 27, 2010

Legendary Thrift

I appreciate and enjoy receiving emails from readers. They come in all contexts. This particular email landed in my in box after the former post, “A Tale of Two Rings”. It’s a similar story with a different ending, more humorous than mine.

Such serendipity makes me wonder if there is not a higher power orchestrating this giant game of thrift.

Grinny writes:
My husband and I married after dating five months. We just wanted to be married and didn't care much about ceremony. He wore a suit he already owned with a tie that I never cared for.

In fact, I thought the tie was downright ugly.

Fast-forward five years and our oldest son is attending vacation bible school. The school had a little store of donated goods where the children could pick prizes.

With the coming of Father's Day, requests were sent out to donate “manly” items the children could to give to fathers as gifts. I happily donated the mentioned tie – without a peep to hub.

Unbeknownst about the tie or it’s history, of all the choices, my son picked the infamous "wedding tie" to give to his dad on Father’s Day.

I had to come clean. This tie moved back into my husband’s closet, twelve years later. He has never worn again. Good thing hubs has a forgiving sense of humor.
Great story Grinny.

Sometimes I wonder if Mr. Golightly is Yogi Berra incarnate. Of many head-scratcher sayings, he often tells me to, “Go so you can come back”. I used to translate that to, “please run your errands now so you can come home and watch the kids”.

But I have to wonder if “Go to come back” has a more cosmic significance. Perhaps my ring and Grinny’s husband’s tie needed to go so they could come back modified in meaning to build a better story.

We can call such stories, Legendary Thrift. If you have one, do tell. I can be contacted by clicking on the Contact Section in the left column.

Now I must go so I can come back.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

A tale of two rings

Mr. Golightly and I celebrate 15 years this June. It took only two dates to put us together after some talk on the phone. The first date tail-gated a conference I attended in San Diego for my job out of Boston. Yes, I fell in love after a week-long conference earning certification in disaster recovery. Ironic, no?

The second was at his home in Colorado. I figured we would discuss the possibility of me relocating to Denver but, he proposed. Two weeks later on May Day of 1995, I flew in and took up residence with Mr. Golightly in a little house in Boulder. You’d be surprised how fast one can pack up and move a life when motivated. My friends in Boston thought I was nuts. But time has proven I made the right choice. And, my close friend who introduced us is now my sister-in-law.

We’ve been through a lot in those 15 years and we’re fortunate to be frugal and fortunate to thrift. The Goodwill Store on Broadway at Archer in Denver actually settled a tiff. Really, it did.

We have matching wedding rings. The designer in Arizona calls them water rings. Brushed 18kt gold, they are cut to look like water flowing around our fingers; simple and elegant.

For our 10th anniversary Mr. Golightly bought me another ring, a mate to my wedding band. It was sterling with five 24kt gold squares. To be frank, I didn’t like the stark geometric contrast to the flow of the water ring and often didn’t wear it. Over time this grew to be a bit of a tiff between us. It sucked in unrelated annoyances and we digressed in maturity as we, ugh, discussed the wearing of this ring.

Eventually Mr. Golighty tartly asked for the ring back and I tartly obliged. I never knew what he did with it. I wasn’t about to ask. Sour grapes.

The day of our 14th anniversary, I was at Goodwill with Thriftfully Modern Mommie, spending more than I should. It’s hard shopping with Modern Mommie. She has such a great eye, she literally throws clothes at you and they’re a perfect fit and darling. After being whacked by three dresses and two skirts, I had to start dodging, begging her to stop. I’m not exaggerating. We’re terrible in the thrift store. Fortunately we’re also funny so we’ve never been bounced. Odd to run from gorgeous dresses priced at $7 but I try to avoid a total purchase that rivals the cost of department store jeans.

I always search the jewelry counter upon checking out. One finds incredible pieces at the thrift. (Some day Mr. Golightly will photograph some of our finds.)

My Snake Eyes honed right in on it, the ring I’d given up months before. Funny how it looked different in the jewelry cabinet. All the mess we’d put into that ring was no longer there. Goodwill transformed the ring into something else. I tried it on to confirm it so and purchased that ring, $10 above my Flinch Point.

I wore that ring, along with one of the smart dresses Modern Mommie chucked at me, on our anniversary dinner date. I gesticulated all through dinner and felt I was bordering on developing a new sign language until he finally noticed around dessert. He was shocked and - for a moment - speechless.

Goodwill has a fast turn around. Apparently, he’d given up the ring months before. Odd that it took so long for it to hit the floor. Odd that it should show up on our anniversary. Call it serendipitous. But, it happened and now the ring makes for a great story and brings only laughs all because it came from Goodwill.

As I put my hand in his I told him, “You dropped where I shop.”