Monday, September 10, 2012

When Buying Quality Doesn't Make Sense

It rained this morning. In fact, it poured. In doing so, it rinsed away the 90 degree temperatures of the past week, and felt more like the glorious Pacific NW that I love.

Time to buy an umbrella.

Time for my umpteenth argument with my sister as to what sort of umbrella to buy. She is the kind of person who buys expensive, spring-loaded folding umbrellas that open and close smoothly with nary a pinched finger, with sturdy ribs that won't turn inside out in the wind, that fits neatly into her purse.

I get mine at the dollar store. That's right, for a dollar. Usually, I get two or three at once.

Here's the thing--I am notorious for leaving umbrellas wherever I go. On the bus. At the office. At someone else's office. And that's only when I can actually track the umbrella down. Many have disappeared into black holes of the universe, never to be seen again.

I lose expensive umbrellas just as easily as my el cheapo ones.

So in my financially astute opinion, it makes no sense for me to shop around for a "great" umbrella when the cheap one keeps me dry, is easily replaced, and only turns inside out in the worst windstorms.

My sister has taken to putting a good umbrella into my Christmas stocking (Yes, we exchange stockings each year. We'll stop when we grow up. In the meantime, I love it--both the giving and the getting.) In 2012, I hung onto mine almost to Valentine's day.

Somewhere out there in the city, a bus driver has a really nice, expensive umbrella.

In the meantime, Grace has had four or five of the dollar variety.


Paige said...

I spent months looking everywhere for THE perfect umbrella. Finally found it and had my heart broken when a bad rain storm snapped a piece of metal on it within a week.

Now my limit is $10, but the next time I'm there, I'll check the dollar store.

Barb said...

sounds like me and jewelry. I tend to take of my rings and earrings when doing "stuff" sewing, cooking, canning, apinting....and lose them regularly. I even lost my moms good sappire ring that she gave me. I know buy my earings at kohls-although I do have a decent umbrella because of the texas wind and my complete lack of dexterity.

Anonymous said...

Me too.

LC said...

You and I developed the same umbrella strategy. The only one I successfully kept up with for any length of time was bright purple, before brightly colored rain gear became fashionable.

I guess no one could mistake that screaming purple for their umbrella. I think it eventually fell victim to one of my other umbrella faults, my tendency to mangle umbrellas in car doors as I attempted to get in the vehicle and get the umbrella and every thing else in.

At my last position pre-retirement, I often needed to button-hole researchers in person on our 52-acre campus, rain or shine. Even when I hadn't misplaced my current cheapo umbrella, it was always where I wasn't when I needed it. I finally gave up on umbrellas and used garbage bags, cardboard boxes or anything else I could find. I was teased, but the Lab staff included so many eccentric personalities that my peculiar choices for rain protection were not really a big deal.

Janette said...

I have taken to this umbrella with kittens on it. People chase me down to give it back when I leave it. They don't want to care for my kittens. I don't like cats--but the umbrella has been with me for over 7 years!

Petunia 100 said...

I didn't know you could get umbrellas at the dollar store. Thanks for the tip!

I buy my reading glasses and sunglasses at the dollar store. I am always misplacing one or the other. Having paid a dollar makes it easier to bear.

Revanche said...

I'm 100% with you there. Fool that I am, I still long for neat, cute, spiffy umbrellas but I know better. The tricksy things will break or disappear on me, sure as shooting. If I get one that costs more than $5, it'll go missing. Less, it'll break. Something like that. Never lasts, either way.

Maura said...

Grace: I buy mine at the $ store also. I, like you, leave them EVERYWHERE. I also buy reading and sunglasses at the $ store.

$ Stores used to get a bad rap. No more. The bargains are to good, although I won't buy food there.

Funny story: a woman I work with was proudly showing off her new $140 Ray=Bans. They WERE nice, but $140?? I proudly whipped mine off my head and said $1 at the Dollar store. Ha!

Anonymous said...

BEST umbrellas I have owned have come from the semi crazy man that sells them outside the train station when it's pouring. $5 and they're huge and they last.

Grace. said...

MSM--my friend and I had the exact same experience in Rome a few years back. It was summer. It was hot. It was pouring. And this Somali guy was hanging outside the hotel doors with umbrellas at $5 each. Naturally, I bought one. Naturally, I lost it on the flight home.

Jane said...

I'm with you on this one. I've lost more than i can count over the years, my daughter too. So I'd rather lose a dollar at a time than $20 or $30.
Somewhere the rain gods are laughing at us!