Saturday, January 17, 2004

I am a retailer’s dream. Luckily for me and my wallet, I don’t get out very much. But when I do, and I get the urge to splurge, things go a little crazy.

What I needed at Michael’s Craft store: Nothing.
What I got: Tissue paper, pom-poms, stickers (paper and foam) for decorating school Valentine's Day mailboxes, two beginning needlepoint kits, one package of tapestry needles, three velvet posters and several new gray hairs obtained during an intense negotiating session about who-gets-what poster to color.

What I needed at World Market: One gift certificate, one box of chocolates.
What I got: One gift certificate, two boxes of chocolate (one with chocolate frogs-- Ribbit!), two jars of sun-dried tomatoes, one large bottle of sea salt, one bottle each: Herbs de Provence, Szechwan Seasoning and Garam Marsala, Rice Vinegar, Sesame oil, Hummus dip, water crackers, spiced rubs for lamb and poultry and last but not least: an enormous Pez-dispenser.

All of the crafting supplies were, of course, for TinyTuna and her cousins. I groaned loudly when I read the note from her teacher explaining that the class was going to make their own Valentine’s Day mailboxes – at home. To make matters worse, there is also a mailbox contest -- most unusual, most beautiful, most this, most that, yada yada yada. I’ve already won “most annoyed” and it’s still a month away. As TinyTuna walked every aisle trying to pick the best decorating supplies, I followed, repeating my Michael's mantra: "You cannot have have to choose.....Owmmmmmmm...."

The cooking supplies were, of course, for me, me, and me. It started so simply with the required purchase of birthday chocolate. But wandering through an international food store is as dangerous as wandering through a book store or a music store. My eyes glaze-over, my pulse quickens, and rationalizations reign supreme. Heck, I’d never even heard of Garam Marsala, but once I find a good recipe, I’ll give you a culinary update.

Despite the giant Pez, I am here to report that I didn’t win the wackiest purchase award during this mornings expedition. That would go to the proud owner of a brand-spanking new Chinese abacus.
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