An hour later I'm at Aaron Bros. frame shop, picking up a few frames that I needed for the shows as well. I got distracted by the friendly fellow at the counter as he started talking about painting with watercolors on canvas. Sounded like an interesting prospect. At the checkout, I remembered I needed two sheets of mat board, and belatedly asked about it. "It's $12.50 per sheet," he said.
I winced. Well, I was already checking out, and I could maybe find some cheaper elsewhere. "Nevermind that for now," I said, and he rung up the frames for me.
I swung by Michael's later. Marched to the framing department in the back. "Do you sell uncut mat board?" I asked.
The young man there scratched his head for a moment, then said, "Yeah I think we do," and offered me the array of colors to chose from. After I repeatedly attempted to select a color only to have him look in back and tell me, "We don't have that one," I finally said, "Well, do you have anything purple?" he comes back with a lilac sheet that would do nicely.
"I'll take it," I told him, not even asking the cost.
He started to punch in arcane codes into the computer to get the price. "I think this should be about $16.00 or so per sheet," he mumbled, fingers busy at the keyboard. I winced a bit harder. But at this point I was willing to just take it anyway. After several minutes he said, "Oh sorry, I was wrong, it's not $16.00." Ah good, I thought, that did seem rather pricey. "It's $35.00 per sheet."
My jaw dropped at that, and I couldn't help laughing out loud. "Are you sure you're looking at the right thing?" He turned the monitor out so I could view it. I laughed again, then told him, "I don't need it that badly!"
* * *
Well after those adventures, I headed home, and did eventually manage to scrounge up a scrap sheet just barely big enough for my needs.
And by the way, MisterArt.com for mat board.