Paranoia leads to discovery

First I should explain that I’ve been on deadline, and so busy living inside my head, that spare time is not something I possess. I have my favorite things to do, and not so favorite things to do. If I have to come out of my make believe world, (it’s certainly not to watch the news), I love to play bridge, beat my husband in Gin Rummy (occasionally), spend time with family and walk our new dog Charley. Still, if you really, really want to sentence me to hard labor—make me go shopping.

I’ve never understood the fascination of going from store to store to discover a bargain. Several of my friends do it, and they wear the cutest things ever. When I ask, “Oh, where’d you get that?” one said, Dillards. “I saw it, waited for it to go on sale, waited for the price to drop even lower, and now I’m the proud owner.”

Huh?

Who has the time to stalk Dillards? Not only time but desire? I have neither. I thought I was a total genius shopping on line. I had Norton after all, I have Lifelock, I was perfectly safe. Or so I thought. Suddenly, I had a buildup of malware that, while technically not a virus, really slowed and damaged my computer. Then this little charming event happened – Desperate to restore my system and not go shopping for a new computer, I contacted one of those on-line companies that claims it can speed up your computer and you’ll never have malware again. I mean, it sounded so promising. I was so tired of seeing something I was looking at appearing on the right side of my Facebook page. I said let’s go for it.

Suddenly, though, the price went from $50 to $200+, and the computer guy said we can really get rid of all the problems on your computer. I said no thank you. He said okay fine, and since I stupidly, stupidly had given him the remote on my computer, everything on my computer really went haywire.

I took my laptop to my local computer dealer, who rolled his eyes and said, when you turned them down they infected you with a Trojan virus. You should have come to us in the first place. (Anyone see the Good Wife last week?) The storyline revolved around a Russian cyber hijacker who encrypted the firm’s files on its network computers and charged them $50,000 to restore it. Of course, Kalinda and the FBI got involved and the writers were genius and the blackmailer got his comeuppance. But here’s the catch, I don’t have Kalinda or the FBI at my disposal!

I’m truly paranoid now. I’m hesitant to log on to any on line shopping stores, even though my computer people have loaded Kaspersky now and my computer allegedly is clean as a baby’s behind. It’s a scary world out there. I read recently that President Obama is asking companies like Target and Home Depot to beef up its security. But what about stiff/staunch prison time for these cyber bad guys?

Stand from Tuesday morningMy laments do have a happy ending. I’ve had no choice but to go shopping in my city.  I have friends who have exquisite taste to my bleh taste.  They love to go shopping (on purpose!) I take them with me.  They bring clothes to my dressing room and say what about this?  It’s magical and a win/win for perpetual shoppers and for me!

Another thing I’ve discovered is Tuesday Morning and the Dollar Store. I have a shamrock plant that was taking over my counter and dining room table.  I needed new dishes to match my kitchen remodel.  Tuesday Morning (yes, you have to go back several times) has great prices and some incredible finds.Queen Imari Dishware

In October I attended Colorado Romance Writers tea. I needed to provide swag to nine people who were sitting at my table.  To my relief, I discovered The Dollar Store.  In this picture you see a cute little Coke glass.  I filled it with Hershey kisses.  What’s more, the Dollar Store had gift bags for – get this $1.00!  Then, I made another discovery.  In December, I’m hosting a baby shower.  The Dollar Store has invitations, cups and plates for – are you ready for it?  $1.00.  I spent $16 dollars in preparation for this shower, and the accoutrements are adorable.Dollar Store swag

I suspect I’m going to be paranoid for some time to come. I refuse to make it easy on these criminals.  If that means not shopping on line, and shopping in person, I’ll do it.  I hope my experience will help you to #1 not do what I did, and #2 find some real bargains while you’re shopping.

Happy Monday!

~ Donnell