I know many readers will understand the thrill of the garage sale hunt. Fewer will understand that particular excitement I experience over paper products. My daughters and I hit several of the city-wide garage sales on Friday but it wasn’t until late in the day that I hit the mother lode. Katie, age 12, eyed me warily at first as I grabbed stickers and notebooks, and then she looked downright distraught as I piled arm load after arm load next to the checkout table. “Mom, what are you doing? You’re going to spend way too much money at this sale.” I just smiled. Packages of construction paper~10-cents, new packages of stickers~ 10-cents, new greeting cards with envelopes~ 5-cents each, cute notebooks~ 10-cents, a box of Current stationery~ 25 cents, plastic organizers with little drawers for Katie and Abby’s sticker collection~ $1. I left with four bags of treasure and spent…Drumroll please…$13.
I laughed our loud when I got home and opened up the back of the van.
I could imagine David shaking his head, but smiling. He didn’t understand my penchant for all things paper, but he tolerated it. After all, there are worse habits a wife could indulge in, ones that involved much more money; $300 purses come to mind. (my daughters and I had also wondered at the long waiting line at one sale as the garage doors opened. The women rushing to the table of Coach purses answered that question)
“Mary, do you think some couponers are actually hoarders?” a male friend asked me recently, and my mind’s eye flashed to my modest stockpiles of cereal, peanut butter and shampoo.
“It can get that way, like the extreme couponers I see on television,” I replied, then added truthfully, “But if I hoard anything it is stationery and paper.”
“Stationery?” his wife’s eyes immediately lit up. “I would love stationery! I can never find any nice stationery.”
I sent her a “care package” of stationery that week.
The only thing that dampened my enthusiasm for this sale was the absence of my oldest daughter, Elizabeth, also a paper addict. After a morning of garage sales, she ‘d returned to the hospital to be with Jacob during the last 24 hours of his latest chemotherapy treatment.
I think it is time to put together another paper “care package.”