This is a story for anyone who has a hard time waiting for what they want.
I have long been a fan of Gütermann threads.When you sew as much as I do, you go through hundreds of spools of thread every year. Quilters are especially fussy, and when we find a brand that works for us we become very loyal to it. I've tried just about every other brand, and found that everything Gütermann makes, from silk to glace-hand quilting threads, are the best on the market.
Gütermann's threads can also be quite expensive; often costing three times more than the standard stuff, so I only buy what I need for a particular project. I save any leftover thread for repair work and only keep about a dozen spools with common colors in my sewing basket, so I never have much on hand.
I was at my fabric store about six months ago when I saw an end cap with six big numbered racks of Gütermann thread, and thought they were just shipments the clerks had parked there until they had time to put them out on the bigger racks. Closer examination revealed the cabinets were actually for sale -- 100 spools in all the best colors for $160.00.
I almost bought it right there, but my conscience kicked in, and I forced myself to walk away. $160.00 for thread was not in my sewing budget, even though I knew I had the money and I'd use every spool. I have a sewing budget for the same reason I have a writing budget -- if I didn't, my spending would quickly spiral out of control. I could buy cheaper thread and still get the job done, but something told me to wait and see if I could get the Gütermann on sale.
The next time I went to the store, someone had bought one cabinet, leaving five on the end cap. It made me feel a little flutter of panic; there are a lot of home sewers in my area and they aren't dummies. On that trip I had a 20% off one regularly-priced item coupon, which meant I could buy one of the cabinets for $128.00. Much better, but still too pricey for my budget. I stood there trying to make bargains with myself, but the budget would not be budged, and I had to walk away again.
Because they were expensive, the cabinets sold slowly. I know because I checked them every time I went to see if they went on sale. They never did. By the first week of November there were only three left, and when I asked the store clerk said they wouldn't be stocking them after the last three went. That almost convinced me to buy them with my next 20% off coupon, but it was time for my sewing machine to be serviced, and most of the sewing budget had to go toward that. Again I walked away, completely depressed and absolutely sure the next time I came back the last of the cabinets would be gone, and I'd have missed my chance to have 100 spools of that lovely thread.
Fast forward to this past weekend. I never go shopping on Black Friday, but if there are some good Saturday sales I will venture out on the holiday weekend. My fabric store circular came, and on page two listed the Saturday doorbusters. Among them was my much-coveted Gütermann thread cabinet for 50% off if it was purchased before noon.
50% = $80.00.
I hadn't been to the fabric store in over a month, so I didn't rush. I just knew with my luck that if there were still any cabinets left, they'd be snapped up the minute the doors opened. So I had a leisurely morning and went out around 9:30 am to pick up some fabric, notions and gifts I needed.
I love shopping in the fabric store on a sale day. I found some great batiks, a couple of terrific gifts for my guild friends, and three neat new sewing concept books, all at 40%-50% off. Once I'd finished shopping for the stuff I want I gave into the impulse and went back to confirm that all the thread cabinets were gone, and they were . . . except one. There was actually one left.
I had to touch it to be sure I wasn't hallucinating. I was so sure it couldn't be the right cabinet that I looked in my sales circular to make sure its product number matched the sale listing. That was when I noticed that until noon my 20% off coupon was good for both regular- and sale-priced items. I hadn't seen the fine print earlier.
I put the very last cabinet of Gütermann thread in my basket, marched right up to the front cashier, and paid for it. It cost me $64.00, almost $100.00 off the regular price. While I was paying the cashier, I wondered how I'd feel right then if I'd bought it six months ago for full price. Stupid and angry for jumping at something I wanted badly but knew cost too much. Who wouldn't? But I knew I'd also waited almost too long to get the thread, too -- it was only pure dumb luck that someone else hadn't snatched it up before I found it.
I know it's just thread, and by this time next year most of it will be used up in various sewing projects. But for the next twelve months, I will grin every time I go to my sewing table and see that lovely cabinet hanging on my wall. It's still the best there is, but it's even more precious to me now because I waited long enough to get it on my terms, plus I happened to be in the right place at the exact right time to land this deal -- a really wonderful deal at that.
What has this to do with writing professionally? Think about it.