Saturday, November 29, 2014

A cheery story

Marc and I have been contemplating the purchase of new outdoor Christmas lights for a while now.
We have some snowflake lights we bought a few years ago that we've never really liked.
They're "cold" lights instead of "warm" and they look kinda chintzy.
Since Marc is the one in the household who puts them up every year it seems he ought to get a say in what we do.
So when he found some icicle lights he liked at Lowe's we started seriously planning to buy them even though they were a bit pricey.
We shopped around and didn't find any others we liked better.
We measured the house and determined how many strands we would need.
We waited for Black Friday to see if they went on sale. (They didn't.)
We stood at the display looking them over until I got a migraine from the strobe effect.
Today we bit the bullet.
We gathered up our three boxes and headed to the checkstand.
The cashier looked over our cache and rang them up.
It came to $160 and change.
"Whoa!" she said. "Those are expensive lights."
"We know," we said. "We're replacing some we bought a few years ago that we've never really liked."
"I wish I could spend that kind of money on Christmas lights," she said sadly. "But I don't even know if my kids are going to have any Christmas this year. My sister died and there's no money for anything."
Marc and I looked at each other, uncertain as to what to do or say so we said nothing.
We handed her our credit card, took our lights and left.
All the way to the car and home we felt badly.
Should we have ditched our plan and given her $160 instead of buying lights we can't eat or share with the starving children in China?
Should we go back and ask her how we can help?
Should we feel ashamed of wasting our hard-earned money?

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