Rule #15 Do the right thing even when no one will know but you.

These posts — haven’t established an editorial calendar yet — my writing, so far, just takes me where it takes me.  Lately it’s had a darker side, yet doesn’t make me sad or upset.  Now it’s just fact, a history of life, my journey.

If you know me, you know I love bargains almost as much as I love Louis Vuitton, I do not spend money frivolously.  I don’t buy schlock.  It’s wasting money.  For example, I paid $400 twenty years ago for a Louis Vuitton bag I still carry today.  When I have the time I’m sending all my Louis Vuitton to Chicago where they will make it like new again.  To me, this is working smart!  (This working smart girl is the same one who misspelled GENIUS in her post yesterday….among other faux pas.)

While I don’t do department store shopping per se, I will race you to Walgreens if I see a bargain in their Sunday circular!  (I get it early now!)

Walgreensand no, Walgreens isn’t paying me!

And I am a magazine freak.  Ask anyone who works with me.  Right now, even after giving away hundreds of magazines, I have a gazillion magazines waiting for me to decide their fate. I have the first twelve issues of O – OPRAH, each in it’s own sealed plastic bag for posterity!  I still regret giving away my Vanity Fair magazines some ten years ago. And I think I would frame every issue of Cottage Journal  if it didn’t make me look like an total idiot.

Cottage Journal This issue of Cottage Journal reminds me of one of the paintings we have at Conway Art.  It’s a great work by Renaissance Man, Don Bingham.

It’s not for a lack of magazines I tell you what I did in the dark.

Waiting rooms with magazines were my Achilles heel.  Inevitably there is always a magazine I do not have, or a very old magazine and I absolutely must keep an ad, a photograph or feature, so I would just steal it from the lobby.  I was a thief.

Go figure.

Eventually, my behavior got the best of me.  This is what changed: I started asking (a novel thought)  if I could take/have the magazine; then I also carried other magazines back to that same lobby for their use.

I can remember sneaking magazines into my Louis Vuitton!  Pathetic, I know and stupid.   I can see it now, sunny, beautiful room and they had a two year-old ELLE DECOR with a bedroom I would die to have, but knew I would not remember the visual without the visual.  Or, that’s what I told myself.  Sure.

I still don’t have that bedroom, don’t even know where the ELLE DECOR is!

Isn’t this a little like life sometimes?  We take those pens from work or copy paper, don’t return our messages or call in sick when we are not sick?  — cough, cough — I know I have. 

Or, we tell ourselves it’s okay to miss a friends birthday party, or a funeral, that we won’t be missed. But we are missed, someone knows and wonders where we are and why we aren’t there.

I can tell you even tho’ I was deep in grief at my Mother’s funeral I KNEW who was at the funeral and the graveside. It made such a difference.  Friends Deborah Evans Price and Vernell Hackett drove all night to be there even tho’ I told them it was not necessary to make the drive from Nashville, Tn.  They never listen!  Thankfully.

NOW I understand.  Having them drive all night to be with me for a few hours was more comforting than they will ever kinow.  

Deborah, being interviewed for a Religion & Ethics feature on PBS.

Deborah PBS

Deborah accepting a Dove Award for Alan Jackson. DEP accepting for Alan Jackson

Vernell, signing copies of one of her books!

VH book signing

If these busy women can show up, so can we!

We are missed when we don’t show or we think no one sees what we do/don’t do.  I am certain others saw me steal some of those magazines, and I remember years ago when I didn’t show up for a party, thought I wouldn’t be missed, was told the hostess cried when I didn’t show.

There are legitimate reasons for some things, for others it’s greed or laziness or maybe we are just tired.  I’m trying to make extra efforts for friends, go out of my comfort zone now, because that’s part of my Authentic Grace.

Head in the sand is just pretending no one knows.  That’s the fallacy. To be Authentic, give Grace, we must not hide.  EVER.  Authentic Public Relations practitioners, above reproach, will be untouchable in the marketplace.

…and if you want any magazines, you know where I am!

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Steve Martin, George Lindsey, Mark Lowry and Witch Hazel

Remember when Steve Martin got excited about the phone book in THE JERK?  Well, this is me when I get the Sunday Arkansas Democrat Walgreen’s Circular. I am crazed over their Register Rewards program.

Disclaimer: This is only the second time I’ve done it successfully! Yet, I am totally beside myself with glee over my savvy shopping skills.  (Savvy thanks to the Walgreens Managers who help and encourage my newfound obsession.)

I love to shop.  I love bargains. Doesn’t matter WHAT, if it’s a bargain I’m there.  Once in Nashville, Tn. I found a sale on wooden chairs.  Didn’t really need them, but they were a fabulous buy!  I bought all of them. One year — almost to the day later — I attached press kits to those chairs and mailed to NYC talent bookers to publicize Mark Lowry’s Broadway Show.

Allow me to digress a minute. George Lindsey always mailed funny things to people.  He mailed me little clippings about Bill Clinton.  He knew I did his big campaign parties when I lived in Arkansas and remembered.  He never sent a headline, always a tiny comment someone made, he would use a yellow highlighter to emphasize. One time he mailed a chair!

That ‘gift’ was the impetus for me to attach Mark Lowry press kits to those terrific chairs, and ship to NYC media. Always hard to ‘crack’, I was desperate to get David Letterman’s talent booker and others to see Mark at the Beacon Theatre.  Well, it worked, and I KNOW those chairs made the difference. (Indulge me here!)  Kathie Lee Gifford was the ONLY one who did not R.S.V.P. (Of course I don’t watch her show either!)  Oh Well, she missed one of the funniest people on the planet.

This week at Walgreen’s I got a years supply of contact solution by just paying the taxes! Twelve bottles for a little over ten dollars! And I bought what seems like a ten year supply of Witch Hazel for even less. (My Mother’s caregiver quipped, “we are well-prepared if anyone gets hemorrhoids!”  One never knows!)

My by-far biggest find changed my mornings forEVER.  I found a $300 Nespresso Coffee machine for $4.  I didn’t even know what it was, but it looked interesting.  Brought it home and found it’s value. Spent seventy-five cents on a carafe and it has continued to be amazing.   Still love that coffee machine.

There was a store in Nashville once, we called it the ‘dump’ because it looked like a dump! Located in Berry Hill they sold wrecked truck merchandise.  An employee told me they once found a man dead among the rubble.  I mourned for months when they closed.  Still wearing the cashmere scarf I bought there for $20.  Feels awesome when I’m in NYC during the winter – paired with my Louis Vuitton briefcase I’m ready to go — you see, I could afford the briefcase because I got such a bargain on the scarf!  Isn’t that the point?
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