If you’ve followed along for awhile you realize that most of the important things I know I learned from my family. Grandma was in the forefront in that educational process.
I remember that one Saturday, having done the laundry earlier in the week, grandma decided that dad needed to get some new shirts. Several of the ones she had just washed were beginning to look a little frayed.
They would soon be included in her rag bag after she had dutifully removed all the buttons to add to the button box. She asked me to go with her to Bloomingdale’s where she would buy dad some new oxford cotton button downs.
I had been doing the “Jumble” and the crossword in the morning paper and thought that I had seen an ad for button down shirts. I went back to the paper and started leafing through it. Sure enough – there they were on sale at a store on 14th Street called Alexander’s.
I brought the paper into the kitchen and said, “Grandma, Alexander’s is having a sale on shirts for dad. They’re two for $5.99. How much do they cost at Bloomingdale’s?”
Grandma, responded, “They’re $5.00 each.”
So, being the math wiz that I was, I said, “Well, then we should go to Alexander’s to buy them. We’ll save almost half the cost.”
Grandma just smiled at me and said, “No, we’re going to go to Bloomingdale’s and I’ll explain why.”
“I want to get your father six shirts. If we were to go to Alexander’s, you and I would have to take the subway – which would cost us $.60. We can walk to Bloomingdale’s and save the carfare. But here’s the main reason we are going to get these at Bloomingdale’s.”
“The shirts from Bloomingdale’s are made of a better material and they will last your father for at least two, maybe even three years. The shirts from Alexander’s won’t last for six months. So in the long run, it is less expensive to buy a better quality shirt than the cheap ones you saw advertised in the paper.”
Rack up another life lesson for grandma. And they just kept coming and coming and coming.