You get to meet Penelope!!! Penelope has been frugal her whole life and she's been alive since 1900 so she's had many years of cheapskatery. And, yes, she's almost 111 years old. She'll be 111 on 11/11/11. I know you think I'm making this up but I'm not. I would never make up something so phony. I'd say she was 86 and was born on some random date in May to make it sound believable. Everything I tell you about Penelope is true. I suspect that Penelope herself is not an entirely truthful person however, as some of the things she says are too amazing! She emailed me the following from her house on Cape Cod (Yes, she was born before the Model T was invented yet she uses email!!):
"Dear Mildred, [She calls me "Mildred" for some reason.]
Young people don't know how to mend things. Why, when I twenty years old [ She was 20 in 1920!] I danced the Shimmy to the song "Shim-Me-Sha-Ha". Have you heard it? Look it up on YouTube. Ah, those were the days... drinking champagne and dancing all night, going home with a different boy every Saturday, watching them fight over you. Nowadays they call the cops if you so much as punch someone in the gut, but then, oh, then, the fights over us girls! Wonderful!! Wonderful fights! Broken noses everywhere.
Anyway, when I was twenty, just a few years before everyone from the shoeshine boy to the milkman became a millionaire in the stock market...That reminds me. There are so many uses for shoe polish!! I'll tell you some day! Anyway, before then, when everyone was still poor, a girl had to re-use and re-purpose her dancing dresses and especially her stockings. This involved a lot of mending and sewing.
Here's a tip: draw a line up the back of your leg or draw a fishnet pattern all over you legs if you can't afford stockings. It looks like you're wearing stockings! But it's just drawn on!!! Don't use a wax pencil and then go dancing. Trust me. Messy! Very messy. Yuck.
Young people these days. I swear. Your toe pops out of your sock and what do you do? You throw it out! [Penelope must mean that young people throw out their socks, not that they throw out their toes.] You just go buy a new one. Nonsense!
Here's how to darn your darn sock. Hhahahahahahahahaha! Get it?
1) Get an old light bulb. Not one of these new-fangled twirly compacted ones, but a nornal light bulb.
2) Stick a sock in it! Hahahahahahahah! Actually, stick the light bulb in the sock.
3) Get a needle and thread and sew up the hole in the sock using the light bulb as a form.
So easy! Even you whippersnappers with your prissy unscathed knuckles can do it. "
Wow. Thanks, Penelope! I hope you'll email me about all the great uses for shoe polish. I can't wait!
Cheapskate, do you mend things or do you just throw them out and buy new ones?