Unexpected Treasures

Perhaps little known fact:  Obscura LOVES a deal!   Just for the record:  I am not cheap. (yes SIL…I’m talking to you)  I am frugal, and there is a difference.  I will pay for top quality goods, but I worked in retail for years, and Obscura does not pay retail except as a last resort.  (note to self:  reading Caesar results in referring to oneself in the 3rd person repeatedly – avoid in future.)  My adoration for the fantastically frugal find often leads me to thrift shops.  This weekend, MiniMe was in the in the market for a new Columbia fleece.  Unlike her brother, she notices labels, and in our area, Columbia is a desirable logo for 4th grade outerwear.

Retail price:  $36

Retail price: $36

 

Thus, I considered it a gonga deal when I found one, basically in new condition, at a local thrift shop for the bargain price of $3.50…and it was even the right color and fit perfectly:  SCORE!!  Little did I know that the real treasure was waiting to be found.

When MiniMe stuck her hands in the pockets to perform a smart pivot turn and show me the back, she found something. Returning to front, she held out a many folded piece of white paper.  I unfolded it to find the most extraordinary document.  After a cursory glance, MiniMe wandered off to find my mother and commence negotiations on a few things she had her eye one (we affectionately call her Monty Hall since she always wants to make a deal.)  

I stuck the letter in my pocket to read later.  What at first glance was a note written between besties turned out to be one of the most moving things I’ve read in a long time…full of the effortlessly sage-like wisdom of twelve year olds.  I give you, “Bunnies Laws”:

I don't know Brensley, Anna or Siera personally

I don’t know Brensley, Anna or Sierra personally…to my great regret!

Written at the shocking hour of 3:43 am early in what I presume to be the summer vacation between 7th and 8th grade, I about died laughing at the first line on what appears to be a friendship pact between a group of peri-adolescents – a girl code.  Apart from stipulating the guidelines of relationships with the much coveted Ryan, a couple of things really stood out to me:

4.  If Ryan breaks one of our adorable hearts another person (Anna or Brensley) may go out with him to get payback 😉  (well Sierra, I guess we now know who’ll be asking who about dating Ryan post breakup!)

5.  We all must stay friends, no matter what.

6.  Stay true to yourself

8.  Stick up for each other if the person gets picked on

9.  Consult each other if you hear something from another person

The bits about Ryan are adorable in the extreme, but the sentiment in the middle is powerful.  These are girls who in 2012 were embarking on a really huge transitional phase in their lives and attempting to weather the storm together.  As much as they all seem to desire Ryan, it’s clear that their mutual friendship means more to them than Ryan or any other external source that threatens to undermine it openly or otherwise.  It’s an affirmation of sisterhood…that they are more a like than they are different, and that they should cherish their common bond above all.

Today these girls are sophomores in high school…amid constantly shifting sands.  I wondered a lot of things after I found this document.  Showbiz Son is a sophomore in high school.  I wonder if he knows these girls?  I wonder if he knows the sought after Ryan?  (I know for sure that he is NOT Ryan 😉  )  Most of all I wonder if they were able to maintain the bonds articulated in their pact…especially to “Stay true to yourself” and “stay friends, no matter what.”

As the Armitageworld is once again embroiled in the Mini-Storm of the Moment, I wonder if things would ever go down differently if we could all employ the wisdom of the Bunnies Law a little more often.

Virtutes Romanae: Richard Armitage and FRUGALITAS

Wow, it seems like ages since I’ve blogged! The forces of nature and the academic calendar are conspiring against me. Today’s installment of Virtutes Romanae will serve as an “Armitage Intervention” for me. I’m not going through the list of the Roman virtues in any particular order, but I happened to be thinking about the grey shirt.  You know the one I mean, this one….

Company of dwarves a'song Source:  richardarmitagenet.com

Company of dwarves a’song
Source: richardarmitagenet.com

(the one that may have been closer to black a few years ago…)

A good shirt is a good shirt!! Richard Armitage reads

A good shirt is a good shirt!!
Richard Armitage reads “Flat Stanley” on CBeebies (my cap)

and FRUGALITAS came to mind.   One of the things that I’ve come to admire about Richard Armitage is that he seems to know the value of a dollar (or a pound, or whatever currency he’s currently spending 🙂 )  In an industry where fortunes are made and lost in the blink of an eye, this is a pretty rare commodity.   The Romans defined FRUGALITAS as economy or frugality…novaroma.org defines it further as, “”Frugalness” Economy and simplicity of style, without being miserly.”   The important distinction (one that I’m constantly trying to make to my kids) is that exhibiting FRUGALITAS doesn’t mean he’s a tight fisted cheapskate, but rather that he chooses carefully where he spends his money.

That is not the suit of a skinflint:
Wellington premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
can be viewed at Getty Images by searching Richard Armitage

Maybe the quality stems from lessons learned from his parents, or maybe from years of lean living where well paying acting gigs were few and far between.  It could well be a combination of both these reasons and more, but it seems quite clear that while Richard Armitage is willing to outlay significant amounts of cash when he chooses, he also appears equally able to economize,    Try not to get too distracted by all the other visual yumminess below, but look closely at the circled area…

This shirt is still good…so what if the edge is torn?
Source: http://the-hobbit.tumblr.com/post/49023266622/the-hobbit-in-the-makeup-chair-x
(I believe the original image hails from one of the WETA books from The Hobbit.

**correction: The image above comes from, The Hobbit, The Original Guide by Brian Sibley. (Thank you morrighansmuse!) A man who can stun in a designer suit but  recycles some articles of clothing diligently , seems to me to embody the very essence of FRUGALITAS.  🙂

OT: I survived “Car-mageddon 2013”

What the...?!

What the…?!

Well, here I am back from the big family shindig in mostly one piece despite the best attempts of the road signage in northwestern Wisconsin to force me off the road in fits of hysterical laughter!  Ancient Armitage will be back to the regularly scheduled programming this week, but first a few things I learned on this trip:

  • I really like my family…
    • every quirky, perpetually late, impossible to corral into a schedule, indecisive one of them.
  • Two vehicles are better than one on a 500 mile road trip
    • my husband and I found out we actually like driving around when it’s just the two of us…beef jerky and gas station restrooms are soooo romantic!!
  • There are motels that have rooms for six –
    • a pox on them for indulging my mom’s frugal spirit!!
  • There is nowhere to hide from camera phones…
    • or camera phone photographers who instantly publish to Facebook!
  • Upscale and expensive does not necessarily equate to perfection…
    • as proven by the massive flood in my room on night one in our extremely posh log cabin digs.
      • Who knew you needed to seal a basement window well and clear rain gutters of debris prior to torrential rains – evidently everyone but the maintenance staff at this resort!
      •  I think I should have gotten a free pedicure from the spa for having discovered the flood when my bare feet stepped out of bed into a soaking wet carpet – squish!
      • Also, my head is still humming from the sound of the industrial blowers drying out the carpet – very fancy!
  • Fangirling may be hereditary…
    • I bonded with one of my cousins – she is a self-proclaimed Cumberbitch 🙂

Really only two casualties from the trip…a misplaced iPad charger and cable and my sister and I aren’t speaking…that’s not really reunion related, just a sister thing we do every so often.   The 2015 reunion?  We’ll see everyone in Wyoming.  Or Florida…or North Carolina – go figure, we haven’t decided 🙂

Oh!  I almost forgot – pizza is really good cooked on the barbecue grill!  (all those cameras, and not one picture of 30 pizzas cooking on the grill!)