You know what I’ve gotten really good at? Holding out for the “right” thing. I was am definitely an impulse-shopper and it really doesn’t take much to woo me. Despite Advertising Age and Consumer Reports being staples in our magazine rack growing up and being the child of ad execs, I am still won over easily by savvy marketing. Combine this with my lifelong desire to “wear” rather than “wrap” and you’ve got someone with a house full of mostly useless stuff that is often not the exact thing I wanted to begin with.

But somehow lately, this has turned around. There have been a few items that I’ve had on my to-get list in the past month and I’ve been tireless in my search for them, testing out a bunch, but not settling until I found exactly what I had in mind.

The first was a wallet. I can’t even tell you how many wallets I looked at. One sunny afternoon, The Who patiently went in and out of no fewer than ten stores over two hours (his patience handsomely rewarded with a 45-minute stop at the toy store), never finding the “right” wallet. Over three or four different shopping trips, I probably looked at and contemplated 50 different wallets and I almost settled two times. First on a low-quality number from Claire’s. And then on a much-higher quality Fossil one. I looked at Anthropologie, Gap, and Target. Shoe stores, paper stores (they carry wallets, believe it or not), and purse stores. And then I finally landed at the Coach outlet store. I knew going in that I was going to find what I had been looking for (even though that exact something had never truly been clearly defined in my mind.) What I walked out with is a wallet I haven’t regretted for a second. And it doesn’t hurt that it ended up costing almost $100 less than it would have full-price. Score one for patience and perseverance.

The second thing was a tea set for The Who. It drives me crazy that tea sets are so flimsy and character-laden and frilly. Why is it assumed that a kid who has a pretend tea party is also enamored by those infuriatingly ubiquitous Disney princesses? Toys R Us carried crap. Target was no help either. I finally found what I wanted** at a Barnes and Noble nearly 20 miles away. But the moral is that I waited! Score another one for patience and perseverance.

Finally, sneakers. The Who needed summer sneakers. I thought that he would kick around in Keens all summer, like he did last year, but I quickly realized that with age comes forceful independence. Sometimes the kid just wants to wear sneakers. So, for the past several days, despite the gross humid heat, I’ve been lacing him into his old, brown suede sneakers, knowing that I wanted something else. And not just anything else. Something canvas. Something velcro/elastic and something NOT light-up or be-charactered. I looked at Chucks, but they are hard to find in a bricks-and-mortar. I looked at Keds, but it was hard for me to commit to all-velcro, all the time. And then finally I found just what I wanted. Elastic “laces” so I am not compromising aesthetic while making it easier for him to help putting on/taking off. So, score yet another for patience and perseverance!

That’s three points. Three points for me! And if the lesson of waiting until you find just what you’re looking for can rub off a little onto The Who, well even better.

** I would have taken the Plan Toys tea set, too, but that was even harder to come by.

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