I used to be a shopaholic in the good old days when I was a no-quite-so-minimum wage earner, but when my Mother died and I inherited all her collections of “stuff”, I learned a very sharp lesson in life, for me that is. You can’t take it all with you. Now I have adopted the policy of thinking that as I didn’t own it yesterday, then I won’t need it tomorrow. That reasoning has stood me in good stead most of the time over the past nine years or so. In fact, I have almost gone to the opposite extreme.
My house is falling apart, as houses tend to do after twenty years or so, and I refuse to pay out for repairs, and manage as best I can. For instance, if a tap leaks when hot, I stop using it, and use another hot tap instead. Luckily, I have five to choose from altogether. It’s getting to the point though when I am going to have to think about replacing my sink taps. The hot one leaks on well after I have turned it off, and the cold one and the only tap that has drinking water, only works after I have run a bath, filled the washing machine or flushed the downstairs loo, for some obscure reason! So off to B&Q or Homebase I go. There are dozens of sink taps to choose from, but can I make a decision? No.
The trouble is, if I get a similar set to the one I already have, will it start leaking again very soon after I buy it, like the present tap set did? Had I better get a dearer one? Assuming I have another twenty years left to live, I will have to replace this wretched set of taps another four times if I buy a cheap set.
Then there is the problem of getting it fixed. I am very lucky to have a son who is handy, and he very kindly fitted the last set for me, but he is very busy and lives in France most of the time, so it is not fair to expect him to come and fix a new one for me. So I shall have to find a reliable handyman, I suppose. I did that a while ago when my back door wouldn’t shut. I called in a handyman. He did the job and another few other jobs I had lined up at the same time, but he was a bit of a bodger really, so I wouldn’t want him fixing anything in the plumbing or electrical department! How does one find a reliable Mr Fixit, unless he comes with recommendation? My friend has a Mr Fixit, but she lives miles away, and I doubt he would want to travel this far, and anyway he is booked for weeks ahead, as he has many thankful lady customers I gather.
When I find a suitable Mr Fixit, I will have about three weeks work for him I think!
Anyway, back to the shopping problems in general. I avoid shops like the plague. Lead me not into temptation, and all that. I even only go food shopping when the dogs’ food runs out, which is fortnightly. Meanwhile, I manage to concoct nutritious meals from what I have in stock, having inevitably overstocked the last time I went shopping, of course. Why on earth do they sell two for the price of one? Why not sell just one half price, especially for pensioners who live alone? Moan over!
However, recently I was looking for bunting to decorate my house for our Jubilee Street Party. I must have gone to at least five out of town DIY type shops, expecting them to stock bunting, but no joy. In so doing, I just happened to pop into our local Dunelm. Bad idea! To the left of their doorway they have a display of beds, all nicely decorated with their latest bedding sets. I usually try to walk on through and pass that department with my blinkers on, but being a purple person, my eyes immediately zoomed in on the beautiful purple bedding they had on display, so I just had to go and look at it, didn’t I. Where were my blinkers that day?
There was no bunting to be found in the shop anyway, because I went back in to find out, after having spent a fortune on bedding I didn’t need, as I still have plenty of wear in all the bedding I already own, and that which I inherited from my Mother. Why did I need another matching duvet cover, that doesn’t get seen, as well as the quilted bedspread? The inside of the bedding set is cream. How many cream bedding sets do I already own? Of course I needed new curtains to match, but two sets of new lamps too? But as my daughter pointed out to me while I was suffering massive pangs of guilt, my spend only equates to 7p per day for the next ten years! (Well, actually a little more than that now, because I went back for some extras the next day!) And it looks so nice, so it is a pleasure to go to bed these days, well after I have dismantled the arrangement of pillows and cushions that are piled high on the bed, that is!
Now, how about my spare bedroom? That could do with a makeover, couldn’t it? There was another lovely set in Dunelm. I noticed it on my return visit to get the lamps I ordered…………
There’s no hope for me. I must NOT go into shops unless I absolutely have to. Now you see why I never go shopping with all the girls in my social group. I usually stand with the men outside, resignedly watching the world go by, while my lady friends eagerly trawl around the myriad shopping opportunities in each town, village, craft fair or stately home we go to, looking for more trinkets or paraphernalia they don’t need any more than I do. Someone is going to be lumbered with having to get rid of their redundant “stuff” when they depart this earth too. That is how charity shops exist, I suppose!