Monday, May 18, 2009


(In which my internal problem was finally realized and I learned “new words.")

Shopping means time, energy and money, of course. But last Saturday, it meant new meanings to me.

I told my sister that I’ll be shopping for art materials and she asked me to come with her to Anitpolo, saying that the bookstore I’m looking for has a branch there. So off we went and she was unbelievably concerned about me getting there that she rode off the jeep and walked me to the bookstore.

“It’s far from your workplace, right?”

“Yeah. But you aren’t familiar with this place so I’m showing you where it is. I’ll just take a tricycle later.”

How sweet!

When we finally get to the scarlet bookstore, I thanked her and waved goodbye.

Ate! Don’t forget the letter I told you to edit and print, okay? It should be ready tonight.”

How sweet.

I entered and left my bag at the baggage counter then started looking for the materials I needed.

Masking tape: check!

H and B Faber-Castell pencils: check!

Faber-Castell eraser: check!

Faber-Castell Classic Colored Pencils: check!

Ooops. Then I saw it. It’s a set of 36 Faber-Castell Classic Colored Pencils and it cost more than a hundred pesos cheaper than what I have. But it's also 12 pieces less. I held it up and compared. It will be wise to check which colors were included in the 48-piece set that were not in the 36-piece set. But the free DVD was put in the place that would not allow me to see the colors in the set. Great.

I spent more than one minute thinking and arguing with myself over which one is better.

Sure. The other one is way cheaper but it’s not the best I can have. I mean, I don’t mind spending a lot for something really good. I might be able to save myself from spending almost two hundred bucks but it won’t save me from the disappointment that I will get later on from not being able to make the right color combinations or settling with my limited palette. 12 colors – THEY MATTER!

Then a realization hit me.

Why do I settle for the temporary happiness something gives me when I can have something better? If it makes me feel good for now, will it last?

That’s it. I believe I know where my problem is now.

Long term effects plus good quality: CHECK!

It’s time now to get the papers. I went upstairs to pick some really good Strathmore or Canson paper. Wow! Just the thought of it really makes me feel good! I remember my sorrow during my high school days when I can’t purchase these art materials because they are very expensive. I remember the hard times I have to endure thinking about combining different colors to get a more complicated one because I only have the 12 basic, limited colors… (Screeching sound.) But that’s over.

I pulled a sheet of plastic-covered beige Canson paper just to get disappointed. Damn, they look like they have been touched by someone who hates them! It took me ages before I can get the neatest of them all. I was planning to get two sheets of Canson but because of their misfortune, I just chose to get a Berkeley instead. Poor Canson papers.

I went to the counter to pay for the items. The cashier carefully placed them, except the papers, in a plastic bag. She sweetly asked me if I want to take advantage of the bag the bookstore’s offering for Php99.

“No thanks.”

“Okay.” Then she smiled. She held the two sheets of watercolor paper up and placed them on the counter.

“Is it okay if I fold them?”

“Ugh… Please don’t. I had a hard time getting the smooth ones. You can just rol-“

“Okay. I understand. I’ll just fold them,” she said with an I’m-not-stupid-I-know-what-you-mean kind of smile.

I opened my mouth to stop her from folding it but before I could utter a sound of protest, she has already rolled it, wrapped it with a plastic strip and secured it with a tape.

“Anything else, ma’am?”

“No. That would be it. Thank you.”