Let it just be said that I told Jason that I changed my mind and didn't need to go to the bookstore on the way home after all. "I'm neutral on it", I said. But apparently my original suggestion had wormed its way into his imagination, as he drove right past our exit and on to the Brentwood Borders. Oh, darn. So I began my process of variously picking up books, determining to buy them, then being convinced by my financial conscience to put it back. This is vaguely what the conversation in my mind is like:
"Do you really need that?"
"Are you going to read it right away?"
"Well, no, I am reading that other book right now and then I'll probably move on to the next book club book..."
"Exactly. You can always buy it later."
(Sadly) "I guess..."
I did that for several books and 45 minutes or so.
Then I saw it. The new George Saunders collection of short stories out in paperback finally! The voice of my financial conscience didn't even utter a sigh. This clearly was one I had to purchase. Well, guess what, that paved the way for two more books I couldn't seem to find good argument against buying right away. At that point and before picking up the fourth book (I was seriously considering Nabokov's Pale Fire but managed to talk myself out of it since I haven't even opened the new translation of Lolita that I bought a while back, which, by the way, my sister also purchased unbeknownst to me but DID not only start but finish already), I decided I'd better find Jason and see if we could get out of there.
And sure enough, he didn't buy one book.
Luckily for my nagging financial conscience which was beginning to speak up again, the cashier reassured me.
CASHIER: Do you have your Borders Re--William Gass!
I'm not sure if I was confirming that I did indeed have my Borders Rewards card or that I was indeed buying a William Gass book.
CASHIER: This is a great book--Ooh! (That upon seeing my third selection, Dhalgren by Sam Delaney.) Are you a lit major?
ME: No. *pause* Well, I WAS a lit major. I'm well past that age now, but I just can't seem to help myself sometimes.
CASHIER: I thought so; these are really great books. (A pause followed as she took my credit card and began to bag the books and then, in a very heartfelt tone looking at me happily, she offered) Your selections have just made my day!
So there, stupid voice of frugality! I win!