When I was a girl (more years ago than I want to disclose), I bought a little brown tablet from the local five-and-dime. It cost a penney, which probably put a strain on my budget at the time. While cleaning out some stuff recently, I ran across it and thought I could use its blank pages for grocery lists, reminders, etc.

My daughter and a friend saw me write in it and tear out my note to tuck in my purse. Both remarked how the tablet was a piece of old ephemera and should be saved. By that time, I had written in several pages and tore them out, but both my daughter and friend joked that they could double my money, so it would be a good return on my investment to put it out at a flea market. 

Had I not "abused" the tablet, which had printed on front a sailing ship, the word "Worldbound," and a large "1" with the abbreviation for cent, I began to wonder if my investment could be worth ten-fold or even one-hundred-fold my cost. I wondered if I doodled in it, would that make my investment better? Could I get $1 for the tablet "as is" or would I need to discount it because pages were missing? We deliberated about all that, but reached no conclusion.  

The upshot is that the return on my investment amounted to moments of fun. Financially, well, what can I say? I blew it.

Cathy Rieger