Posted by: nichemarketplace | May 15, 2008

What buying panties taught me about shopping in a recessionary economy …


So the other day, I was shopping online and bought new panties. They are the most expensive underwear that I have ever owned. (When gasoline tops $4.00 a gallon, it inflates the cost of all consumer goods — even underpants.) In fact, when I saw how much each pair was going to cost … I gulped hard, closed my eyes, and clicked ADD TO SHOPPING CART. Now underwear without holes is not what I consider a luxury item, but in this case, price was not my first priority. In inflationary times, it is tempting to shop for the cheapest price, rather than seek a good value (or what our mamas used to call being “penny wise and pound foolish”).

It is easy to understand that panties that don’t fit, aren’t comfortable, and won’t last are NO BARGAIN, but there is a lesson here that extends far beyond underwear. Looking for “complete package” — quality materials, superior design, competitive price, fast shipping, and excellent customer service — is always the hallmark of a smart shopper in good economic times or bad. In the 2006 film Stranger Than Fiction (screenplay by Zach Helms and directed by Marc Forster), Emma Thompson’s character Novelist Karen Eiffel describes how little indulgences (along with acts of loving kindness) sometimes serve a higher purpose in our lives and may even connect us with the very essence of our humanity …

“As Harold took a bite of Bavarian sugar cookie, he finally felt as if everything was going to be okay. Sometimes, when we lose ourselves in fear and despair, in routine and constancy, in hopelessness and tragedy, we can thank God for Bavarian sugar cookies. And fortunately, when there aren’t any cookies, we can still find reassurance in a familiar hand on our skin, or a kind and loving gesture, or subtle encouragement, or a loving embrace, or an offer of comfort — not to mention hospital gurneys and nose plugs, an uneaten Danish, soft-spoken secrets, and Fender Stratocasters … and maybe, the occasional piece of fiction. And we must remember that all these things — the nuances, the anomalies, the subtleties — which we assume only accessorize our days are effective for a much larger and nobler cause … They are here to save our lives. I know the idea seems strange, but I also know that it just so happens to be true. And so it was: a wristwatch saved Harold Crick.”

So the next time you’re in the mood for a funny film with a message, watch Stranger Than Fiction (starring Will Farrell, Emma Thompson, Dustin Hoffman, and Queen Latifah). You’ll can rent it at your local video store or look for it on cable / pay-per-view. And while you’re shopping around, splurge and buy yourself some new underwear because heaven knows you can never have too many pairs!

P.S. Another awesome quote from the film has become my personal mantra. Try saying this to yourself the next time you’re feeling your age … “You’re never too old to go to Space Camp, Dude!”



  1. Rina –
    I love this post! I’ve always thought of myself as a good shopper but now I have proof for those who have doubted me!

    Your fellow Rock Star –
    Marlene aka TheSavvySeller

  2. Rina,

    I love reading your posts. You are a fabulous writer, you make me laugh!
    I certainly do hope people continue buying underwear…not a good place to skimp!

    Mary Evans
    Drei Katzen Media

  3. Love your attitude Rina.
    Everyone deserves underwear without holes in them. I have a memory of my Grandmother asking me “what if you should ever get in an accident?”
    Oh Lordy!

  4. Hi Rina,
    Loved your blog! Made my day!!

    See you around back stage at OSI Rock Stars!


  5. I don’t know anything about buying panties but everything else rings true!

    Have Fun!

  6. Lots of folks blog about this subject but you wrote down some true words.

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