I said I didn’t need anything new before I went in. I meant it. Really.
Finishing a cup of coffee one morning, on a café along F.C Road, my friend Tammy and I were getting ready to leave when I informed her that since I was so near to Venus Stationery Store I was going to pay it a visit (a purely spiritual visit- only fellow stationery lovers will know what I mean) before going home.
“Okay”, she said as she turned and left before suddenly looking back for one last parting comment called out, “Do leave a few items for the rest of the customers. Don’t buy the whole store” and I (now three feet away) shouted back, “Oh no! I do not need anything. I am going just for a little window shopping”.
And that’s the story of how incredibly naïve I can be.
The one hour I spent drifting from aisle to aisle in the store was oh-so-blissful. The one minute I spent at the cash counter was anything but!
It never occurred to me to ADD the cost of all the “little inexpensive items” I was constantly picking up and placing in my shopping basket and when the bill was thrust in my hand, I received a shock!
A while later, as I was sitting on my bed still recovering from my jolt, I heard my laptop IM beep. It was Tammy. This, my friends, is the conversation:
Tammy: Hey! How was your trip to Venus? (I wanted to remark on her interesting choice of words. Like countries and governments make ‘trips’ to Mars, I make ‘trips’ to Venus)
me: Hii. It was good. I bought some stuff!
Tammy: Oh? You did? 😀 . What stuff?
me: Actually i didn’t buy anything much. Yet I received a big bill
Tammy: ? how much?
me: 900. :'(
Tammy: hahahahaaahahahhahahaahhhaa (Note: and no, I haven’t edited the number of h’s and a’s. Also, I would like to point out to Tammy and to the rest of the world that 900 is a pretty normal amount to spend during a craft store outing- It’s just that I was a student at that time with a budget which is why I was so upset)
Tammy: Are you joking????
Tammy: 😀 :D. LOL.
me: not “ :D” at all!!!!
Tammy: Seriously…what did u buy?
That’s my point! I bought nothing and yet I got a huge bill!
I’ll tell you what I bought ( Side Note: Because the definition of “nothing” lies in the eyes of the shopper)
First, i bought a fevistik
Tammy: Uh-huh, and… that was imported?
The conversation went on to explain how while passing through a rack of scissors, I remembered that the one at home had become blunt and I had to buy one out of necessity; I also bought a huge 1 KG bottle of Fevicol which was very economical and how I actually saved money by this act. (I didn’t mention how it is impossible to use a huge bottle for craft where tiny applicators are crucial. Also, the 1 kg bottle is still lying in my cupboard- 5 years on).
I also bought the above-mentioned Fevistik gum. When I came home I opened my very organized craft supply drawer to place it in the designated “gum” section and what do you think I found? There were five unused glue-sticks lying in it.
Anyway, returning to my Venus trip- after placing the gum in my basket, I spotted two very cute pencil holders. They were very pretty and I just HAD to buy them. It wouldn’t have done to leave them behind.
Then I made my way upstairs to the artists section where I spotted a Prismacolor pack of colour pencils. I had been waiting and waiting for years to see a Prismacolor pack in India and finally, here was one. It was the last and only box in the store. Right in front of my eyes. It seemed like it was waiting for me- like a destiny thing where the last colour pencil box that is truly meant for you reaches you and only you.
Then I saw the price tag.
Rs 2700. This was three times more than what would become my entire bill (the entire bill that I was crying to Tammy about)
So, I couldn’t buy the Prismacolor. But that didn’t mean I couldn’t enjoy it. The salesmen watched as I delightfully tested it out- pencil after pencil in my trembling fingers( After years of reading about how it is the best colour pencil product to buy , this was a very very overwhelming experience) .
Eventually ( a long ‘eventually’), I closed the box and sadly placed it back on the counter.
Since I was very sad due to the fact that I couldn’t afford it, I decided to treat myself and I ended up buying a cheap Camlin colour pencil set. Ha Ha. That was Rs. 140.
I already had a set in my house but new ones were always welcome J
I do not even remember what I bought with the rest of the money.
But I’m SURE it was useful stuff.
Stationery and craft items always are.
Now that I’m older and wise, I know better than to get tricked so easily.
All I do now is keep in mind before entering the store that window shopping costs 900 bucks-