Sunday, October 8, 2017

Ch 12 Tuesday Sly and Doris want to give us a wedding present and suggest a nice lamp, but then decide it’s too expensive for the likes of us, even though they didn’t even buy their own plane tickets to come here and those would have been more expensive than a lamp

Doris: We noticed you don’t have a good reading lamp. That’s what we want to give you as a wedding present.

They are correct. We do not have a good reading lamp.

Primo: That would be great, mom.

Sly: It’s hard to read in there.

Me: I know, Sly. I’m sorry. We are still unpacking, so what you see here is not everything, but we do not have a good reading lamp. That would be a lovely gift.

I open the fridge.

Doris: Let’s go find one now. There is a lamp store not far from here. I noticed it on Sunday when we were out.

I stand in front of the open refrigerator door, which, if you know me at all, you know is something I Do Not Do. The fridge door is closed unless a person is actively retrieving or putting away food. I am standing in front of an open refrigerator door and doing nothing at all productive. The cold is coming out and the food is going to spoil and all I am doing is trying to think of a way to get out of shopping with Doris.

Me: I was about to start supper.

Doris: That can wait. We’re not hungry.

I look at the clock. Aha. It is 3:30. Thirty minutes to Snack and Bourbon.[1] Urgency explained.

Primo stands behind his parents and mouths “Sorry!” to me.

Primo: I actually have to check my work email. I am in the middle of a big problem.

Thanks, dude. When Doris said they wanted to buy us a nice lamp, I heard, “We will find something nice and we will send it to you.”

I did not hear, “We will require you to drive us to the store and to be an active participant in the process.”


Me: Let me put on my shoes and get my purse.

I have never noticed the lamp store near our house. If I were to seek a lamp, I would go first to Goodwill or an antique store to salvage a treasure. It would not occur to me to go to a store dedicated to lighting fixtures, mostly because I hate paying retail. My People Are Thrifters.[2]

But Sly and Doris want to go to the lighting fixtures store so go we do.

Have you guys ever bought a lamp at a dedicated lighting store?

I have not. Let me tell you a story about lamps.

I have a friend who is a brilliant interior decorator. Lindley has amazing taste and a fabulous eye and she creates the lovely spaces. I have, on occasion, helped her with invoicing. I have seen the invoices for nice lamps. I have seen the nice lamps in her shop.

A good lamp is not inexpensive.

A good lamp – well made, not Made in China crap, that will last the rest of your life – is not cheap.

A lamp from Target (and I do love Target but let’s be real here) is cheap. A lamp from Target will not last.[3]

We walk into the lighting store. The lamps are beautiful. The lamps cost $400.

That’s what a good lamp costs.

I find two I really like. I stroke the solid iron base of the one. Admire the seamless construction. Lightly touch the thick fabric and the tiny stitches on the shades.

Me: These are gorgeous! This was a great idea. Thank you! I hadn’t thought of having something this nice in our house.

Sly, bending down to look at the price tag: Four hundred dollars?!

Doris: It is nice.

Point Doris. It is nice and you challenged Sly.

Sly: Maybe we should look around some more.

What? I do the math in my head. Sly and Doris did not pay for the plane tickets to come here. They did not rent a car. They did not pay for the gas from San Antonio. They have not bought a meal. Except for their booze, which is an expense they incur whether they are here or not, they have not paid a cent to be here.

OK. It’s not like they want to be here. They have to win that point.

But buying a nice lamp is their idea, not mine. How much do they think a nice lamp costs? Did they think it was going to be under forty dollars?

This was their idea.

Not that I disagree with them. I, too, think $400 is too much to spend OF MY MONEY on a lamp.

But Sly and Doris’ money? Sly and Doris, who have a cleaning lady and a gardener and eat out frequently and spend (runs quickly to the internet to price bourbon)(can’t find it and don’t want to waste more time) a lot of money on bourbon, brandy, and wine?

It wouldn’t bother me to spend their money.

But – I am trying to get along.

Me: I guess we can look online for something less expensive.

[1] That might actually be a decent name for a restaurant. I should trademark it.
[2] My mom found my deep-fat fryer and a cookie press with dies at a garage sale. She also bought a karaoke machine for Primo at a garage sale. Some hits, some misses.
[3] Although I have some lamps from Target that I have had for 15 years and they are doing fine. I mean, they function as a source of light.

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