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Monday, March 29, 2004

The two skirts both fit into my purse. The sweater would have to wait under my car seat.

My sister's car was not in the front. That didn't mean that no one was home, though. It might be parked in the back. Or my sister might have driven off, leaving mom alone at home.

Inside TV noise trickled down the stairs.

"Are you home alone?" I yelled.

"No."

It was a good thing I left the pink sweater in the car. It was also good that my spacious purse could disguise the pink ruffle skirt and the yellow skirt with the pearls sewn into the hem. My mother threatened to cull my harvest of Value Village finds. She could never know about my latest batch.

During dinner, she took a phone call.

"Niki," I whispered, "There's something I have to show you. I went to Value Village today."

The skirt with the pearls was too good not to show off.

Niki gave me the highest praise: "You do find good stuff." She herself made a trip to Value Village today and left empty-handed.

This bolstered my courage. What is praise if it can't be multiplied? I had to show off to my mother.

"Get off the phone, get off the phone," I kept thinking. "Now" is how I like my compliments.

She hung up. I leaped before her, waving the skirt to end all skirts. "Isn't it a dream?"

She agreed it was. She oohed my sweater and aahed my ruffle skirt, as well. She promised not to destroy them as she did my black velvet jacket with the gold trim.

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