Saturday, July 21, 2007

Shopping and Swapping

I would make a really good rich person.

For some reason, I saw fit this week to spend money like it was going out of style. Or like I actually had some to spend. But in the moment, it all seemed so reasonable. Some may even say necessary. It started Wednesday with the purchase of new shower curtains, which I definitely needed. Then on Thursday, I had to get some new towels. After all, I had new shower curtains; how could I not procure new towels? So I headed to Macy's and managed to spend almost $300 in just under 30 minutes. What, you may ask, could I have possibly found to spend $300 on in Macy's? Well, a lot of crap I decided I had to have. There were the towels, the skin cleanser and moisturizer (which I did need), and the really cute swing coat that was 40% off. How could I walk by that? If it had ended there, that would have been enough. But no. On Thursday night, Ann Marie and I went to a vintage jewelry trunk show, and I got myself a silver necklace-bracelet-earring set.

Between my love of spas and my apparent penchant for spending money, I really would be very good at being wealthy. I also enjoy sleeping late and spending hours at the gym in the middle of the day. Plus, I possess superior lunching skills.

It might be time for me to consider marrying rich.

To counteract the effects of all that consumerism, I did something a little different today: I went to a book swap. I love to read, and unfortunately for my cozy little living space, I have a tendency to collect more books than I can comfortably store. To that end, the idea of unloading a few of them really appealed to me. So with the promise to myself to take away fewer books than I brought in, I headed for the swap.

And what I found tucked into a little industrial space South of Market was more like a disco with books. My bag of books and $5 got me in, got me a complimentary cocktail and got me the right to take home however many books I wanted. There was also a DJ spinning in the corner, and everybody was very chatty and friendly. When new books arrived, the book swap organizers would swiftly sort and deposit them on shelves open for browsing. If a particularly desirable selection was discovered, this one gentleman would shout to the room, "Has anyone not read Portnoy's Complaint?!" Or "Has anyone not read A Confederacy of Dunces?!" Or "Has anyone not read On the Road?!" And the book in question would go the the quickest hand raised.

There were some pretty impressive offerings: Pride and Prejudice, Brave New World, The Fountainhead, The God of Small Things, Heart of Darkness. I admit that every time I saw a book I had read and really enjoyed (like several I just mentioned), I would be a little offended that someone was giving it away, but to each his own, I suppose. There was also, of course, a whole lot of crap. A lot of Dan Brown, Mary Higgins Clark and the like.

With my already-full bookshelves in mind, I was very selective in my choosing, and in the end, I took only two books. But I had an excellent time while I was there. Today's event was organized by Swap SF, and apparently they do this kind of thing regularly. I'm going to keep that in mind, should that marrying rich plan happen not to work out for me.

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