In 1989, Joanne Palmer left a publishing career in Manhattan and has missed her paycheck ever since. She is a mom, weekly columnist for the Steamboat Pilot & Today, and the owner of a property management company, The House Nanny. Her new book "Life in the 'Boat: How I fell on Warren Miller's skis, cheated on my hairdresser and fought off the Fat Fairy" is now available in local bookstores and online at booklocker.com or amazon.com.

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In 1989, Joanne Palmer left a publishing career in Manhattan and has missed her paycheck ever since. She is a mom, weekly columnist for the Steamboat Pilot & Today, and the owner of a property management company, The House Nanny. Her new book "Life in the 'Boat: How I fell on Warren Miller's skis, cheated on my hairdresser and fought off the Fat Fairy" is now available in local bookstores and online at booklocker.com or amazon.com.

Joanne Palmer: Black Friday or sweet dreams?

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Joanne Palmer

Joanne Palmer's Life in the 'Boat column appears Wednesdays in the Steamboat Today. Email her at jpalmer@springsips.com

Find more columns by Palmer here.

Every time I try to save money, I end up spending more. I don’t know how it happens. Case in point: Last week, I spent $5 on a chance to win the $250 million Powerball pot. I lost. But I did enjoy a good 24 hours of daydreaming about what I would do if I won.

The next day dawned, and I was back to thinking about ways to save money. My family had a good laugh during the weekend at the sight of me trying to scrape what I thought was a Ski Haus buck from underneath the refrigerator. Alas, it turned out to be a cracker.

Sadly, I am that person who finds a great online deal for airfare, and by the time I’ve located my wallet, the price has gone up $100.

My failure at frugality is why it’s hard for me to get excited about Black Friday. I’m convinced my car would have a mechanical failure on the way to the sale and have to be towed somewhere.

Also, Black Friday brings up the problem of conflicting desires. Do I want to save money, or do I want my beauty sleep? Now that I’m past the age of 21, I’m afraid beauty sleep wins. With the exception of scoring front-row seats to see the Rolling Stones, I’m not sure there is anything else that trumps beauty sleep.

But wait!

While researching Black Friday, I discovered I don’t have to get out of bed. Some retailers are offering a virtual line. They will email me the deals in advance, and I can stay in bed and wait for the offers in my inbox.

Hmm ... sounds too complicated and like an opportunity to invite spam.

Let’s go the other direction. What if I had won $250 million in last week’s Powerball? What could I buy from the Neiman Marcus holiday catalog? Historically, Neiman Marcus always has offered one over-the-top extravagant gift in its Christmas catalog — I think one year they even had his and her submarines — and I got to wondering, in this economy, if Neiman Marcus would offer an outlandish gift in 2011.

Yes, indeed!

For a cool million, I could order a dancing fountain for my backyard. Not just any fountain, but one with underwater robotic nozzles that created a watery “Dancing with the Stars”-style couple. Call me a grumpy old lady, but that doesn’t do it for me

Uh-oh. Now, here’s something I do want. Neiman Marcus subtly is encouraging people to ditch their electronic reading devices in favor of books.

For $125,000, I could buy a custom-built library with hardcover books. I’ve always wanted to have a library full of books in my house. A library so big that it would require a ladder on wheels to reach books on the uppermost shelves.

My fantasy library would have a fireplace, an antique roll-top desk, hardwood floors and comfy red leather club chairs to read in. There would be chairs to nap in, comfy throws and lots of window seats.

If there were a Black Friday sale on this dream library, I would get out of bed and stand outside in the cold waiting for the doors to open. Until then, I’ll just ask Santa to leave a few hardcover books underneath the tree.

What about you? Are you a Black Friday shopper?

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