As we discussed in our previous installment, I am a cheapskate. Too long a time pining away for the very finest a civilized life demands, while under the budgetary constraints similar to those of the average serf, have honed in my soul a spirit of near-pathological cheapness.
This is not to say I'm a tightwad, no. A tightwad is someone who doesn't want to spend money on anything, as opposed to a cheapskate who will spend money if:
a) he can afford to do so
b) the item in question is cheap enough, and
c) the item in question is enough of a bargain.Here
is the item in question. Make a note of that price.
When we were getting married, as is the custom, we put down on the bridal gift registry (among other things) a fine china pattern, and a fine sterling flatware pattern. Ideally, one inherits these things, but whatever I would have inherited stayed in Cuber because it had been used to exploit the proletariat and the police power of the State was brought to bear upon my elders to ensure the working classes were freed from the oppressive yoke of my grandmother and her runcible spoons. (Whatever might've come from Spain was ::cough,cough:: donated to the State in the 1930s to help pay Stalin for Soviet armaments.)
Anyway, we chose our patterns and duly proceeded with nuptial plans. Our friends being who they were in 1993 (broke and clueless) and our families also being who they were (deranged and tightfisted) we might've gotten a couple of demitasse spoons and a cake cutting implement as wedding gifts.
But we have always sighed and pined for this pattern. Actually, no. This pattern was the compromise after TFBIM and self haggled over ornate vs. unadorned. Since we both disliked it evenly, that's what we've gone with. Anyway, imagine my shock when, proceeding through a store with exactly zero interest in effecting a purchase thereat, my eye is arrested by these. They were sitting demurely in a table discreetly labeled "clearance."
The boxes told a tale of lonely waiting, like the bridesmaids of Scripture. Prices had been slowly eroded by the passage of time and disinterested patrons.