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Dreams really do come true
Little Miss Band Shoes
| Category: || Biographical Non-Fiction |
Posted:|| August 16, 2011 Views: 1083|
If you look up the meaning of "frugal" in the dictionary, you will find, among other definitions , thrifty, prudent, economical, sparing, penny-wise and of course tight. You may also discover the synonym, "Little Miss Band Shoes."
I didn't totally comprehend the meaning of frugal until I met my wife. Nor did I realize her penchant for thrift while we were dating. However, it wasn't long before I realized just how savings-talented my wife, Lynie was. I witnessed practicality that took many shapes.
Shopping at the local Wal-Mart, for instance, was an education unto itself when Lynie brought along a 5 X 8 file box chocked full of alphabetized, money-saving, manufacturer's coupons. Save 20 cents on this-- 50 cents on that. Then, there was the term BOGO, which I soon came to recognize as "Buy-One-Get-One-Free." Of course, nothing ever compared to the words "sale", or "on sale." Such advertisements can simply cause Lynie to spiral into a shopping frenzy. But she is not a spend-thrift-- no--far from it.
Being an "in and out" type of guy when it comes to shopping, I--like many men-- find it amazing that anyone can spend two hours shopping for groceries in order to save money. However, I soon discovered that taking one's time and seeking out deals can pay off in substantial savings.
One of Lynie's favorite places to shop is any Goodwill or Salvation Army store in the area. She doesn't really know what she's looking for during these visits, much like her garage sales, but she always seems to locate "a deal" on something or other. Any savings whatsoever puts a smile on her face, and what's more she has a tendency to brag about her shopping prowess at the most inappropriate moments. A typical exchange goes like this when best friend Brennie and her husband Dick come over for dinner.
"Oh, Lynie, I love that blouse," says Brennie.
"Do you, Bren? Gee, I really do too, and what's really great is, I only paid two bucks for it at Goodwill."
Such conversation makes me look for a temporary hiding place. I don't mind Lynie's shopping at Goodwill, in fact I admire her eye for a deal, and tenacity to save a dollar, however, I never feel comfortable with "advertising" the source as The Salvation Army. I picture Brennie and Dick on their journey home, and Dick saying something like:
"Gee, you'd think Bob would let Lyn spend a few bucks at the mall for her clothes. Sort of cheap sending her to Goodwill--don't you think, Honey?"
A huge, expensive wardrobe was never a big deal with Lynie. She looked absolutely gorgeous when we went on the first date. A year or so after we married, she confessed that the clothes she wore that night, her blazer, skirt, blouse and shoes were all purchased at Goodwill.
As I would discover, Lynie is genuinely disappointed when it comes to spending more than twenty dollars on any one item. Her theory being: "If it costs more than twenty bucks, it better last a lifetime."
She further has a problem with buying anything for herself, even though she thinks nothing of spending a hundred dollars or more on new shirts for her husband at J-Paul's or Crossbow's any day of the week.
Recently, Lynie purchased a new bra and panties. (She was so thrilled.)
"I got a new bra while I was out today, honey. Panties too. And they were on Sale!" Therein lies the key . . . they were "on sale." So I have to wonder if: One-- she would not invest in under things if they were over twenty dollars, and two, only purchase said items if they had a lifetime warranty against wear.
Mind you, even though she is frugal, Lynie thinks nothing of giving away anything she has--old or new. She is selfless to a fault, and has extreme difficulty turning salesmen and fund-raising -kids away.
She saves everything--I mean everything. Not a hoarder, really, like we see on TV. No, rather she just likes to get every ounce of use out of something before she tosses it in the garbage. She rarely throws anything away--it always causes separation anxiety.
"I'll find something to use that for--put it in my sewing room, will you honey?" Or, "Don't throw that away, I can use it someday." Or, "If you don't want that, I'll take it."
Among items I have seen rescued from the trash barrel have been: Plastic three-pound coffee cans, cardboard rolls from toilet tissue, coffee grounds, Cool-Whip containers, margarine tubs, yogurt cups, newspapers, and small empty boxes of any type. (If a box is made of wood, Lynie is on cloud nine with anticipation for their use someday--someway.
"I love boxes . . . you know that."
What does the average person do with their shoelaces from a pair of shoes they have replaced? Lynie saves them.
"You'll never know when you'll need a string for something," she says proudly.
When using Scotch Tape to wrap a present, Lynie never uses over an inch at a time. She says too many people just pull about six inches off for every spot on the package. "It's such a waste."
Nearly thirty years ago-- before we met, she was a single mom raising two boys. The oldest one, Jamie, was ten when he took up band. The parent's cost of the uniform, and so on was expensive and proved very difficult to afford, but Lynie did it. She found out she was required to buy maroon shoes for Jamie also in order to match the uniform and fellow band members attire.
Later on when her younger boy, Tony, took up band, everything of Jamie's was passed on to Tony--including the shoes. I found out about the band shoes one day when I saw my wife wearing them.
"Where in the world did you get those loafers," I asked.
"Oh, you mean these 'band shoes?' she said. "I've had these for years." After she explained where they came from she smiled. "I wasn't about to throw these shoes away. I paid good money for them, they'll never go out of style--and best of all--they fit me as you can see." She rolled one foot from side to side so I'd be sure to admire their true worth.
Since that day, I sometimes refer to Lynie as "Little Miss Band Shoes."
Lynie and I have a very solid relationship and have a comfortable life, with me being retired and all. But, after we lost our 21-year-old daughter to respiratory complications two years ago, we were, of course, deeply depressed. After a very lengthy stretch of suffering with grief, Lynie decided to get a part-time job. She certainly didn't need to, but we both agreed it would be a good thing. As she said . . . "something to get me up off the couch . . . out and about again." I was so happy to see her get her initiative back.
She took a part-time clerk's job at a gas station that is located less than two blocks from our home. It's a combination fuel center and convenience store that sells lottery tickets, coffee, sandwiches and so on.
"I can walk to work if I want to," she bragged. It wasn't meant to be a money-maker, but simply something to keep her busy and involved with people. The job has paid dividends in so many ways. She's been there a little over a year and it's good to see my Lynie smiling once more on a daily basis.
As I said before, they do sell lottery tickets at the station, but we seldom play. One night about three months ago, however, Lynie came home with a pile of used scratch-off lottery tickets.
"What in the world did you bring these home for?" I laughed.
She smiled--so proud of herself. "These tickets are all losers and I fished them out of the garbage barrel in the store. I wore plastic gloves of course, and searched for all I could find as a matter of fact."
"Yes. Okay, I get it, Baby, but why in the world did you bring them home?"
She arched a brow. "Oh, I thought you knew . . . they're having what they call a "Second Chance Drawing" for the lottery. They advertise it on TV all the time."
"No,. I didn't know. How does that work anyway? We didn't buy these, so we're really not losers, right?"
"That's right and we didn't have to win or lose. Can you believe so many people just throw them away?" said Lynie. "All they have to do is go to the Michigan State Lottery website on the computer and enter the losing ticket numbers in the Second Chance drawing. They could win a million dollars! Now it could be us. Isn't that great?"
I laughed. "Well no wonder they're tossing the tickets, honey. Fat chance anybody has of winning something like that. You realize how many millions of idiots try?"
"Well, call me an idiot then. Let's try it. If you don't want to enter them in your name, I'll do it in mine, when I get time," she said.
"No--No! I'm the one that's retired. You work and all. I've got the time and I don't mind doing it, I just think it's funny that's all. I'll look into it and see how it's done and so on, okay?"
"Yes, good. I'm glad. You just never know." She kissed me on the lips.
A few days later, I was on my laptop and leered at the pile of tickets sitting on the table next to my chair.
Oh, well, I thought. I promised, didn't I? I went to the Michigan State Lottery website and signed up for the so-called "Second Chance Drawing" and entered all the losing ticket numbers in my name. No problem. One of the games was Monopoly and I entered a bunch of losers for that one. Evidently it was a very popular losing game.
Each night during April, May and June of this year, when Lynie worked, she brought home all the losing tickets she had salvaged.
On June 12th 2011, while Lynie was napping I got a phone call from the Michigan State Lottery. After they verified who I was and my E-mail address, their young lady, Abbey, informed me I had won the grand prize for the Second Chance Monopoly game. Prize---ten -thousand dollars.
I tingled all over and was excited to say the least. My heart was beating so fast, I swear I felt faint. I could hardly wait to get off the phone and tell Lynie. Out of God knows how many millions of people who entered the "Second Chance Drawing" they picked one of my tickets? But Abbey had more news for me:
'There will be a winner of the ten-thousand each month. One for June, (that's you) one for July, and one for August. On Sunday, September 11, 2011, we want you to appear on the "Make Me Rich" television show here in Michigan. You, together with the other two winners will compete for 1,000,000 dollars! One out of three odds. Not bad.'
When I woke my wife and told her, she didn't believe me.
"I'm serious!" I said.
"Come on now, Bob. Stop it. This isn't funny. Please don't do this," she groaned.
I tried to keep a straight face to assure her I wasn't kidding, but I was so tickled I couldn't help but laugh.
So, my Lynie . . . "Little Miss Band Shoes" . . . is directly responsible for the opportunity of a lifetime. Even though my life with her makes me rich beyond measure, thanks to her saving ways we could have been millionaires in less than sixty days.
Of course this all happened about ten years ago....and no....I did not win. (: Bob
Non-Fiction contest entry
Thank you GaliaG for your art work. This story is true of course It happened years ago however and this is a repost :) Almost unbelievable! If you wanted to preview what the television show looks like that I will be on...go to "YouTube" and type in "Make Me Rich-Michigan Lottery" Thanks to Jotting Pen for the picture. Bob
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