Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Cars, books, and shoes

I took my car in to get it inspected today. I knew going in that it needed some repairs and I mentally set a limit on how much I would pay to have the car certified to be on the road beyond April 30. I dropped off the car in the morning and drove my mom (in her car) down to The Crossings outlet mall in Tannersville.

There aren't many stores down there that interest me, and the prices aren't that great. The outlet is mainly designed to attract shoppers from New York and New Jersey who are coming to Pennsylvania because the sales tax is lower and because there is no sales tax on clothing in Pennsylvania. (Oh, technically these shoppers are supposed to report all those out-of-state purchases on their state income tax forms each year, just like everyone is supposed to report all those sales-tax-free online purchases they've made over the internet. Have you?) There used to be a store called We're Entertainment that sold all sorts of movie, TV, and other pop culture-themed stuff - I got a really cool T-shirt of Curious George passed out after taking a whiff from a bottle of Ether. But that store closed a few years ago, and in its place is some clothing or housewares shop.

I did go to a bookstore there that barely discounts its books. Many years ago I was able to pick up a remaindered copy of The Illustrated Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy there (marked down from its original price of $42), and I've gotten a few other odd books over the years, but nothing caught my eye this time. After wandering through the stacks for a while I joined my mom at the shoe store where she was shopping.

Women. Shoes. OK. But my mom has a hard-to-find shoe size (7 Narrow) and most shoes that are technically in her size don't fit her right. The Easy Spirit shop at The Crossings is one of the few places where she can both find shoes that fit her and actually try them on before she buys them. (That's hard to do when you order online.) So I don't begrudge her the time I spent guarding her shoes and her purse as she rummaged through the aisles. I immediately thought of Ashley and her book Behind the Naugahyde while I was there. It's a book about the crazy adventures of two friends working in a shoe store. I kept wanting to run up to sales clerks and interview them, pump them for anecdotes, see what their level of interest level was in purchasing a comic novel about people who work in a shoe store. But I restrained myself.

While we were there the place where I was having my car serviced called with the bad news. The bill would be a big one. I needed new front pads and rotors, a new left front axle (thanks to Car Talk I was expecting that - the thumpthumpthump that came from the left front wheel whenever I would turn to the right was a dead giveaway), and I needed to have the rear bearings repacked, plus some other stuff. The total came to just under my predetermined limit (which I hadn't said out loud, so don't go thinking such wild accusations.) I gave them the go-ahead and resigned myself to holding onto this car for at least another six months.

We walked out of the Easy Spirit store with six pairs of shoes for my mom.

Sheesh, I guess we'd both better get working on our tax returns. Those refund checks sure will come in handy when our credit card bills arrive!


whimsicalnbrainpan said...

I'm so sorry about all the car repairs you need. I am glad that it fits into your budget. Car Talk is great isn't it.

Lauren said...

Tell me about it. Tax returns are a godsend.

pinkgrl3 said...

Only 6 pairs! I am obsessed with at least 15 pairs of Easy Spirit's on their site. I got the Traveltimes and LOVE them, they are my favorite shoes. I am sure your Mom will love her new shoes! Good work!!!