A Substitute for Hunting

I used to feel bad about all the things I’ve bought over the years that were never worn.  A few years ago I was on a suit mania, and bought a navy Liz Claiborne pant suit.  I never wore it, and now that the pants are much too large, I gave them to the thrift shop.  I still have the jacket, but God knows if I’ll ever wear it.

Recently I’ve grown philosophical about the items that are rarely or never worn.  When I think of the expensive hobbies some people have, such as golfing, I think shopping is actually quite cheap.  Also, there’s no replacement for the joy I feel as I skulk the aisles, looking for that elusive item.  Then there’s all the fun of trying stuff on, and finally the kill, which arrives at the cash register.

When viewed as a hobby, I think shopping makes a lot of sense.  We have hobbies because they’re a way for us to get our minds onto something we enjoy.  I practically whooped with delight on Friday as I found a pair of brand new, grey suede Liz Claiborne pumps for $10.00.  These days it’s rare to achieve that type of adrenalin rush for that little money.

I packaged and shipped an order of fruitcakes to an old customer, Stongs Market on Dunbar Street in Vancouver.  I have new labels for both cakes, so I’m hoping that won’t throw people.  However, the little white box is the same, and it still says Nuttier than a Fruitcake on it, so let’s hope for the best with that.

I’m continuing to chip away at the baking day by day.  Some days I have to practically get out a gun and put it to my head to make myself walk down those stairs.  However, once I throw the butter into the big mixer, add the sugar and turn it on, I get into the rhythm of it and seem to manage to make at least 50 fruitcakes each time.

Nicky’s helping me by putting the front and back labels on the boxes, which is great.  Then when orders come in I simply grab those labeled boxes, and can proceed to put the fruitcakes into them.  I’ve learned that bandaging my fingers prior to starting saves a lot of wear and tear on the cuticles.  You have no idea the kinds of things one learns from an artisan food business.

In this month’s Martha Stewart Living they have an article about glass-blown balls made in the last centurey, called witches balls.  They were individually blown by workers who toiled in extreme heat, 12 hours a day, six days a week.  So, if all I have is torn cuticles from the boxes, I should just consider myself very lucky.

Although I have to be careful about the euphoria of feeling lucky because it can immediately lead to an unnatural desire to hunt through the thrift store for that Joseph Ribkoff for under $10.00.  My mind immediately associates happiness with shopping, so if I get too happy, I’m off to Value Village.

Sadly, like any true addict, the converse is true.  Feeling upset?  I can’t think of a better antidote than an hour or two at the Salvation Army Thrift Store.

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