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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Who Cares If It Gets Ruined?

Poor Miss Em! We last heard from her when I posted her happy response to the Super Bowl. She called yesterday, with a litany of woes.

1. She got a pull in the fairly expensive Anthropologie sweater I bought via Ebay (not the one I wrote about: the one she REALLY wanted).

2. She got a snag and small hole in the tights I got her from Garnet Hill.

3. An opal fell out of my old ring that I bequeathed to her.

She apologized for calling, saying that she knew her concerns were "shallow and trivial." She was so happy when I said, "No big deal. It's just stuff. The first two can be repaired. And the opal was tiny, so it probably won't show." No, I'm not mad.

This brought me back to the younger days of my children, when holes and stains and snags were an everyday occurrence. Whenever something got ruined, I would think "Thank heavens it's from a thrift store!"

So, in addition to saving money, thrift shopping saves on stress. Your kids can splash through those puddles and skid through the dirt. It's OK.


sallymandy said...

I agree completely! I still feel this way about my own clothes, and lots of things around my house. In fact, also about my house itself. The carpet really needs replacing, but until I learn how to keep dogs from bringing in mud, I'm kind of happy we have it.

Frugal, in response to your question on my blog--what I learned about cashmere says that wool or cashmere products made with long fibers will not pill. I've had such a sweater, years ago. I think we'd need to spend upwards of $200.

In the short run, my little battery operated shaver thing takes care of issues.

sallymandy said...

Back again...don't need to publish this if you don't want because it's off your topic. But re: wool and pilling. I have a couple sweaters in merino wool in a certain kind of knit that does not pill, ever. Years and years later--no pills. I'm not sure why, but again, fiber length seems to be a factor.

Deja Pseu said...

I remember reading in one of Geneen Roth's books a bit about a meditation teacher who taught her to remember that "it's already broken." The universe tends toward chaos; some things can be repaired and some can't. It's good to remember this when that new bag gets scratched or a splash of salad dressing hits a favorite scarf. I'm not always so philosophical about it in the moment, however. ;-)

EEE said...

It seems inevitable that the expensive things get ripped or torn or broken, doesn't it? Sad day.

FB @ said...

Well said. This is why I cannot buy very expensive things or wear very expensive clothing

I am too hard on them!

Anonymous said...


Duchesse said...

Lots of wise comments! Please- replace the opal! It's not expensive. With a stone missing, your heirloom is like a smile with a tooth missing. There is living with wear and tear, but there is also a place for repair and restoration.

As far as cashmere goes, you will spend FAR more than $200 on that long-fibred piece. Do not use a shaver, pick pills off by hand/ Think about it, when you shave you are breaking the fibers to even shorter.

Frugal Scholar said...

@sallymandy--Thanks so much for getting back to me on this! I'm sure many people benefited from your post on wool quality.

@Deja--Thanks for the great quote. I've read that, and always wondered where it was from.

@EEEEE--So true. We so often think alike.

@FB--Same here. Also light colored things...

@Duchesse--So true about the wisdom profferred. I'm nervous about replacing the opal, because I've heard that many pieces with only sentimental value go missing when they are sent out for repair. A high end jeweler I met told me that very thing when I inquired about getting a tiny diamond replaced on one of my grandmother's rings. So it's not the cost, but the fear of something going missing.

Duchesse said...

My word, I can't imagine a jeweler saying that and wonder about his agenda. To encourage you to buy something new?

An essential part of a reputable fine jeweler's trade is repair. Some simply are not up to the task, or are not interested in a small job. Some will say things like "it cannot be done" to get rid of you, they'd rather sell a mass produced piece of junk than do real work.

But a good jeweler with pride in his work would not say that (unless he has some personal issues?)

Things don't "go missing"- don't you love that passive voice, as if a ring grew legs and walked away! They are lost or stolen.

I'd look him in the eye and say, let's talk about YOU.
Do you do your own work? If he says yes: Are you telling me you are not careful, or worse, not honest?

If he says no, he sends the pieces out: How do you hope to earn your customer's trust when your setters are so lax?

When I take my pieces for repair, the jeweler takes a photo of the item and writes a description, and we both have a copy of this. Some jewelers use a xerox machine (works fine). He will also for example, write the number of pearls in a strand on the work order and give me a copy. This is for the protection of all parties.

I still benevolently bug you to get the ring repaired. Make it a fun mission to find a good jeweler- ask around. How enjoyable is it to wear either ring with stones missing?

Sorry to rant but I hate it that someone scared you and because of that Miss Em's ring will be deficient.

Think about it and do not let this fearmonger hold you hostage. And if Miss Em is reading, perhaps she can scout out a good jeweler.

Funny about Money said...

awww, it's too bad about the "heirloom" ring from Mom, though.

Opals can be replaced pretty cheaply. Try googling "jewelry supplies" or even "beading supplies." Just the other day I came across a big (-looking) outfit that sells all sorts of semiprecious gems and glass beads very reasonably. Measure the size of the mount; you should be able to find something that will fit. I think all you need to do is glue it in. Matter of fact, these shops also sell jewelry-maker's glue for the purpose.

In the professional jeweler's corner, I second Duchesse's comments: what on earth was that guy trying to say to you???

I've had several pieces repaired and a) have never heard any such tale and b) have always had excellent results. In a couple of cases, the jeweler did the work while I waited. In others, things were sent away or kept in-house for their artisan to work on in due time, and they came back safely.

It shouldn't cost much to have a jeweler replace the opal, and it definitely will be worth it.

Anonymous said...

I love my thrift clothes! I did get a really nice pair of gray slacks at the thrift store and I have to admit I was a bit upset when they got a grease stain on them (from working in a restaurant, but I shouldn't have worn them to work!).
A good find at the thrift store can cause a bit of stress, but you're right-- it's definitely not as bad as a pricey sweater getting pulled.

(By the way, I pop in here occasionally- I was directed to your blog by a student of yours and I really enjoy reading it.)

Frugal Scholar said...

@Duchesse and Funny--You know, I met the man at a beneft (where you pay $50--and eat and wander around talking for a good cause). Maybe he was trying to tell me he wasn't interested in my business. I like the idea of getting a tiny opal and gluing it in myself.

@wildhomestead--Thanks for commenting. I checked out your blog and was amazed! Love it.

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