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by Elizabeth Bussey Sowdal
Elizabeth Bussey Sowdal
In the words of my female children and all their friends, "OMG!!!" I am so excited that I can barely sit still long enough to write this. I've got to hurry up and finish so I can get back to my new favorite hobby in the whole wide world!

See, here's the thing. Two years ago in May I made my first tentative foray into Ebay. I got a crazy good deal on a Nikonos IV-A underwater camera and strobe. And then, of course, I needed some things to go along with it. Extension tubes. Macro kit. What else? Books on underwater photography. The essential things.

I was thrilled and I thought that it was a lot of fun - a wonderful way to shop. I could even see how one might get caught up in the excitement. I figured it would be very wise to approach Ebay the way I'd heard friends say they approached gambling; by having a set amount of money you were willing to bid and then not going over that amount ever by even a penny.

Camera safely in my possession, and all the accouterments of course, I left Ebay alone for awhile. No problem whatsoever. And then I was going to go to a Roaring Twenties party and needed something to wear. Where else would one look for an appropriately flapper-ish gown? Ebay! Of course!

You would not believe how many flapper dresses I found! It was astounding! Astounding, I tell you! I spent hours and days and weeks looking at them. It was a blast! And the dresses led to the shoes, led to the long beads, led to the barrettes. Well! It was exhilarating! It was like going through the biggest and best organized old attic in the world and I loved it!

The party over, I was again able to leave Ebay to others, with nary a shiver of withdrawal. Until lately. I may be going down this third time. We redecorated our room a few years ago and I bought some old 1937 magazines to frame and hang on the walls. Because they are cute and because our house was built in 1937. Well, we kind of wound down before we were finished decorating. In our family that is not unusual. We work on a longer time line than a lot of people. Take the decision about buying new siding for our house, for instance. We have had estimates, done research, explored the advantages and disadvantages of doing it ourselves. We are not rushing into a big expensive decision. We are so not rushing that we have been mulling it over and discussing it for . . . hmmm . . . about twelve years. We have been not rushing into a decision for such a long time that nearly all the paint is gone from our 1960's aluminum siding and our house is now a hazard in the evening when it reflects the glare of the setting sun into the eyes of the unwary and blinds them. We are no longer invited to the Neighborhood Association meetings. I think they are getting up a petition.

But, that is a problem for another decade. Right now what I have been interested in is finishing our bedroom. Some people might think that getting rid of the boxes of unwanted paperbacks, half finished hobby projects, and furniture we don't want but think that the kids might need for some future apartment would be a good place to start. Not me. I figure the best place to start is with some more old magazines for the walls. They are so incredibly cute, you see. I especially like Collier's.

When I bought the first ones I found a place to order them on the internet. I hadn't been initiated into Ebay at that time. Now I am. But that is not what I wanted to tell you about. Get this - you can look up, on Ebay, what other people have bought! It is so cool! Suppose you are in hot and heavy bidding with MamaCat4423 and she wins. The rat. But anyway, you click on her name and it takes you to her Feedback. So you can see just what kind of rat she is. You see that she has all kinds of nice comments from the people she bought things from in the past and, to the far right of the screen you can click on the item numbers of the things she won. It is fascinating! It is like going through somebody else's closet or something. It is my new favorite thing to do in the world!!! You might think I could find some better way to spend my time. All I can say to that is, "Bye! Gotta go!" Yee-Haw!
Elizabeth Bussey Sowdal
"The Girl Detective's Theory of Everything" >
November 1, 2006 Column
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