January 21, 2011

  • My New Toy.


    Perhaps this is a justification post.

    Trying to justify a new purchase.

    I have this fetish for several things:

    1. Things that hang from the ceiling [i.e. tissue paper balls, bird cages, oversized keys, etc. etc. ]
    2. Old things. Vintagey old things.
    3. Other things I shall not mention at the moment.

    But this New Toy I’m talking about falls under the Number 2 category. Old, vintage.

    I walked into an junk store this morning, looking for some old dishes, some treasure to pick up.

    I walked around the corner and almost gasped out loud. Because this is what I saw:


    An ancient typewriter.

    Now, to some people, this is ridiculous looking.
    To me, this is beauty in ancient form.

    They also had this ancient movie reel there, which I looked up online after I got home… Ebay sells it for $300.

    [photo courtesy of the world wide web]

    I couldn’t find a price, so I lugged this 40-pounder typewriter [no joke] up to the counter, much to the chagrin of the clerk, who thought such heavy [valuable] things should be left where they were unless a purchase was in the very near future. “It’s an antique!”  she told me repeatedly, in a very meaningful tone of voice, as if she expected me to think I could buy a similar model at Walmart anyday. [Thank you, my good woman] She told me it had been there a long time, originally marked at $100, now reduced to under half price.

    To buy or not to buy? That was the question.

    Because, see, I had this old one sitting at home that someone had given me. Less than a month ago.


    Rusty as could be. It had been sitting outside for years, thus the leaves all stuck in the keys.

    My husband drastically raised his eyesbrows when I brought that thing home.
    “Going to try to save its life?” He asked me. Or something to that effect.
    I wanted to try. Especially since it was free. But I had [and still have] no idea how.

    So when I sighted this one in perfect, I mean, perfect condition, just a little dusty, I was enamored.
    No cleaning up, just buy a new tape and I could actually TYPE on it.
    Visions of me sitting at this old jewel plunking away came to mind.
    Also visions of there being no back-space key, and I wasn’t sure what I’d do with that. Learn to type more accurately, ahhh yes!

    To buy or not to buy?



    She bought.

    Typewriter 1

    [Never mind that it takes up all the space on the desk.
    Never mind that it's so huge.
    Never mind that I now have two...]

    Okay, okay, so I AM trying to justify this purchase!!!

    I was wondering how I was going to break it to Husband that I spent $$ on an ancient typewriter…
    I didn’t have to worry. Zoe did it for me. No tact involved.

    Within a minute of him walking in the door –  
    Zoe: Hey! Do you want to see what Mommy got?
    Ben: [looks at me puzzled] Hmm? Did Mommy buy something?
    Zoe: [excitedly, at least she pumped it up] Yeah! Wanna see it?
    Ben: Okay, sure, where is it?
    Zoe: On the desk! It’s to write with!
    Ben: very extremely puzzled now, especially with the very sheepish expression on my face
    Zoe: [again] Wanna go see it?

    In we all traipse. Me following behind like a little puppy, to see Husband’s reaction on The New Toy.

    Ben: [surprised expression, jokes] Wow! That old typewriter sure cleaned up good!
    Zoe: No, no, it’s a DIFFERENT one!
       [whispers in his ear for added effect] 
       We bought it at a STORE!
    Ben: Oooooh! [looks at me] Was it expensive?
    Zoe: [answering for me, but really not having a clue] YES!! Yes it was!
    Ben: Oooooooh!
    Me: [jumping in to try to redeem the situation and chattering non-stop] I did pay $40 for it, but I looked it up online after I got home and because it’s in such good condition typewriters like this sell for $100-$500 [even though selling really is NOT what I have in mind for my Toy], and the old guy working there said it actually works – all I have to do is buy new tape for it – and I can actually TYPE on it [demonstrates the working non-sticking keys] and it’s in such GOOD condition [please see all the good points about this, please], just a little dusty, that’s all, and that old junk shop got it because an antique collector died and his son donated a lot of stuff to that shop, and OH, they had an OOOOLLLD movie reel there – IT ACTUALLY WORKS [!!] – that they were selling for $30, only I didn’t buy that because I wanted to ask you first [yes, $40 is somewhat justifiable to spend impulsively, but $70 for the two of them, no, so please know I was indeed thinking of you, dear husband], but I looked those up online and they sell for THREE hundred, exactly like the one I saw there!!……

    He was watching me ramble, very amused I could tell.

    BUT, my husband also loves old and antique and vintage…

    And at this very moment, HE is back at the junk shop.

    Just what New Toy do you think HE is buying?? :)





Comments (32)

  • Oh you make me laugh…which is good as I am so sick (“Laughter does good like a medicine”). My son has my great aunts old typewriter. It is portable and in a nice case. So guess what?! It is wildly popular when kids come over and are hanging out in his room. So funny when they all have all sorts of electronic devices. Some thing is certainly romantic and fun with the old/ mechanical.
    I also relate to the child jumping in and revealing something without any prep or tact!

  • this post made me laugh. I love Zoe’s tact. Nothing like broaching the subject gently. But I really love that he’s out there buying the other thing right now. too funny.
    i can’t wait to see what you do with this.

  • You’re just like me the fact that we can’t pass up something we know to be an amazing deal. I have such a hard time with those kind of situations! I love that you’re husband is back at the junk store now. :) Zoe’s tact, or lack thereof, is just too cute! Have fun with your “new toy”!

  • i’m drooling, but, oh so happy for you!! what a delightful find!!

  • this is too funny! i can just about hear the whole thing… i’m laughing!!!!:)

  • And the only reason you have it, my dear, is because I have no place for it. (Plus it really does not fit into my decor either.) No, seriously, I did see it and pecked a little on it and thought to myself what a cool old typewriter. :) :) So glad you got it! Saw the old reel-to-reel too. So funny because I’ve only ever been in that store twice, Wednesday being the second time. :) Let me know when movie night is! :)

  • @justcallmeM - Are you serious!! Oh my word, well, then it feels like the typewriter is partially yours. :) ) And I’ve only been in that store twice too. Kinda junky, I thought. But sure are some treasures to be found amidst the 80′s memorbilia.


  • @lifeisadance - I didn’t have any serious thoughts of buying. :) Obviously we never tell what we’ll find there! And it’s funny because when I was reading the top of your post and I saw what you had highlighted and saw you were at a “junk” store, I immediately thought of the typewriter. Happy typing and sorry I used up about 1″ of the tape. :)

  • YAY!!! I am excited for you. I know the feeling of finding a “treasure” like that!
    It fits PERFECTLY on your desk. 
    There are lots and lots of ways you can justify this purchase.
    1. It is an investment. The typewriter could SAVE you from financial ruin one day by selling it on ebay.
    2. It is quite possible that you could become a famous writer! We could all be getting our books signed at our local Barnes and Noble when you come through our cities on your book tour….all because of the inspiration of THIS typewriter!
    3. Your girls will be much more educated than the average child of today. You will never hear them say “What is a typewriter?”
    4. You will have stronger finger muscles! 
    The list could go on and on….!
    Congratulations on your fantastic purchase! =)

  • YAY!!!! That is just so sa-weet!!

  • too funny…& don’t you just love it when hubby’s GET it?! :) i found a black L.C. Smith & Bros. @ our local GW for 10 buckaroos & it needs tape as well as greasing (i’m guessing). asked hubs to take a look @ it…i’m still waiting!  i’d love to get it in working condition…maybe i’ll take a look at it! :)

  • sorry…i didn’t sign my name on the ‘too funny’ comment! Esther Glick (i’m not sure it’s worth taking up space to explain about my ‘thisisabother’ title…perhaps we’ll meet up in Lanc & i can explain!) :)

  • too funny!  So he actually went and got the movie reel?  Do you all have movies to watch with it?

  • I laughed out loud at Elizabethmarie_1′s list of ways to justify the purpose of your toy… love it! I love seeing pictures of your decorating too! I think I’ve had this page up in a tab for an hour now, just so i could listen to your lovely choice of music.

  • @Elizabethmarie_1 - Oh, you are SO funny! I just laughed out loud at you!! :)

  • Sounds just like my mom. She loves antiques and can buy them just b/c their a good deal not b/c she has a place to put it or use it ;)

  • Oh, this is just too funny! So do you get to keep the movie reel Ben is buying or will you resell it for $300? :)

  • i adore antiquing things, i would have gasped too if i saw this. good job Clarita. i can only imagine the goodness that he is finding…and what a blessing to have a husband that understands or strives to understand the little whims we have every so often.

  • @mel5680 - he went and got the movie reel. :) it came with an old Sea World movie, looked kind of like a commercial or something! So funny!! But obviously, they’re silent, so I don’t think we’ll be watching anything on it really.

    @thisisabother - I’m glad to know it’s you! I didn’t realize that. :)

    @MartinTreehouse - I thought Liz was sooo funny too! :) And glad you enjoy the music!

    @smilesbymiles - not sure yet. I thought we’d resell. He’s thinking maybe keep??!! :)

    @mytoesareblue - You are so right – the blessing of a husband who caters to my little whims. :)

  • I am a fairly (ok, very talkative person), but I can hardly imagine being able to utter a proper word (maybe ‘ahhhh’s', ‘ohhh’s’ and many ‘oh my goodnesses’ )if I were to have the privalege of walking through your beautifully, elegantly, personally, lovingly  decorated home. I can completely get lost in your blog…I cannot imagine actually being there. Thank you! Thank you! for the inspiration you bring forth!!!

  • oh, this is FABULOUS!!!  I cannot wait to see how she works.

    I too bought a typewriter last week, but it’s not *antique* as in real antique.  It is, however, from the 1980′s!!!  The boys have a blast with it, finding random things to type out.  I typed a letter to a dear friend last night and it took me foooorever because i couldn’t handle there being any mistakes, but about 3/4 of the way done, I just said, ‘forget it’ and let the mistakes land where they will.

    It was wonderful though to think about EACH WORD that I wrote!



  • What a cute story!
    Hey, at least your daughter saved you the angst of figuring out how to tell you husband!

    My Mom used to have a typewriter kind of like that when we were growing up. I wonder if she kept it? Hers would have been from the early 70′s, yours is probably older than that.

  • @jnicolemiller - You are so very sweet! BUT I will have you know that most of the time my home, despite the 3-times-a-day-cleaning-up-kiddos-toys, does not look so tidy as on the pictures!! Perhaps I should show more realistic pictures of my home!! As in show the difference between “cleaned-up” and “normal mode”. :) )

  • Once upon a time, not too long ago, I saw a typewriter that looked just like this in a little secondhand store in Daviess County. I should have bought it for you so you could put that forty dollars towards a plane ticket to Pennsylvania.

  • @dreamstillcometrue - And WHY, may I ask, did you not? Because you very well know that, indeed, a ticket to Pennsylvania would be an utter and complete delight… And I’m shocked still further that you did not purchase the typewriter for yourself. How very fun would it be to type letters to your boyfriend? :)

  • I love your typewriter story. I know the exact feeling- when you can’t decide whether to buy or not to buy.

    Sounds like you made the right choice.

  • You make me laugh. BOTH of you. I like old things, but if it would come down to keeping the movie reel or $300.00, well I must admit I’d take the money on this one. So do you think you can convice him to let you keep the typewriter and him to sell and split the profit since you were the one alerting him to the deal?? You could probably make a go of buying and reselling old stuff, don’t cha think?

  • Oh, WOW!!!!! I love old typewriters!!! They make supremely wonderful photo props which you probably had in mind, too? :) My favorite part of this post was your paragraph explaining, thinking and reasoning to Ben–it could’ve just as well come from me and it made me smile to hear it.

  • @FOREVERLANE - I was thinking reselling the movie reel too… especially since I handed him MY [hard-earned piano-teaching] cash on the way out the door to buy it!! :) I’d much rather have the $300 too, nice vacation, weekend getaway come to mind… :)

    @twofus_1 - ha ha! I think we reason similarly sometimes. :) And I need your brilliant ideas for photos now. I was thinking it would be cool to use them, but not sure how???

  • i am very very jealous is all.
    i can`t believe you can even type with it– oh think of the possibilities!

  • Great post!  I had to laugh at your wanting to break it to your husband that you bought the typewriter because just today I went to this natural food store in McMinnville and bought some Calmac for my aches and pains in this pregnancy and some rasberrry leaf pills that are “supposed” to help with a smoother labor.   I am dreading telling my husband how much it cost.  Even though I’m sure he’d say to go ahead and get it.   So could identify!  Zoe’s so adorable, I love the way she spilled the beans.  Anyway, just wanted to say once again thanks for the smiles and laughter that this post brought.

  • Loved the story…and the way you had to “justify” the purpose to Ben’s amusement sounded all too familiar.

    Did you ever go to Porter’s Furniture when you lived in Lancaster City? It sounds a lot like the junk store you mentioned and I just thought maybe you have been there before. They went out of business at the end of 2010 and we were able to get several old trunks and suitcases for a steal. I was so tickled! I know that they are worth FAR more than we paid for them plus they look so great sitting around in our house.

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