Ned, the newshead junkie, announced today that individual savings is at 4%. Now, I have no idea what that means (and it currently doesn’t pertain to me). However, when he started romanticizing about breadlines and the depression and how neat it would be if we lived in a box with only one outfit, I started to worry.
Now, Ned is a genius but he and hyperbole are on a first name basis so I have learned: questions first, panic later.
Hold on to your hats because this next bit is FASCINATING.
Apparently there is something called the “Paradox of Thrift” and everyone else probably learned about it in high school economics but I avoided any classes that had to do with numbers or politics, so this is completely novel.
During a recession the best thing to do individually is to cut spending and save money but if everyone does that, the economy as a whole suffers. Ned may have even used the word “plummet”. The why’s and wherefore’s have to do with my spending = another person’s income, supply and demand, blahdy meow meow.
The rest got boring but the important fact is this: Today when I go out shopping with Rose, my plan to “look and covet but not buy” is actually detrimental to the entire economy. My attempts to not spend is actually very very selfish. I have always hoped that if called upon, I would (like Buffy) have the strength to sacrifice myself for the greater good. And now that time may have come. I think I’m ready.
While I may be forfeiting my own future well being, my shopping may actually SAVE THE WORLD. I’ll admit I have always suspected this to be true but it is great to have actual facts to back me up.
Today is Earth Day and I am reminded that I have still not completely broken up with plastic.
I want to. I really do.
However, it is in direct conflict with my current obsession with electrolyte water. I am convinced it does a superior job of hydrating. Based on nothing, but still. Giving up plastic bags was a snap. The cute reusable totes are fabulous. It is those damn plastic water bottles! I’m having a problem. I have given up buying the small bottles but those large electrolyte bottles...curse you, superior hydration.
Now this is not for lack of trying. I spent a good 2 weeks searching out those stainless steel portable bottles. I bought two Sigg bottles and 6 glass decanters. I finally got rid of the plastic Brita pitcher (impossible to keep clean) and replaced it with a filter on the faucet. It was truly easy to install. I thought it was an under the sink, only if you own a home deals but turns out, it wasn’t. Super simple and on sale at Target. The filters are a little more expensive but the box told me that it saves 269 plastic bottles a month. I'm not sure what size plastic bottle they are referring to. They really should be more specific.
Now I just need to find someone who puts electrolytes in candy or cupcakes and all my dreams for me and the environment will come true. Of course it should be an organic cupcake in a biodegradable bag, made on a cruelty free, sustainable cupcake farm. All natural, earth friendly, hydrating deliciousness.
I was talking with my sister about recognizing when it is time to breakup with someone. We all have pie in the sky ideas of how things should go and then, well then there is reality. So when you mesh the two together the trick is finding the right balance of both. Pie in the sky isn’t attainable on a full time basis and no one could possibly live up to it after 3 months. However, the relationship needs to retain enough of your ideals to validate sticking with it.
If you think about it, a similar emotional dilemma occurs when you clean your closet. Deciding what clothes to get rid of is a difficult process. It takes a good chunk of time, it gets messy and there are usually tears.
I’m pretty sure you can use the same analytical criteria for both. Hmmmm. My favorite pair of jeans. After searching and searching I finally found them and when I did, it was love at first sight. In the beginning they made me feel so thin and sexy (when I wasn’t either) and I couldn’t wear them enough. Lately, however, it is just not the same.
When was the last time I wore them?
Has the style or personality changed? (yes, clothes DO have personality)
Have I tried or thought about giving them away before?
Do I still get excited about wearing them or are they more of a ho hum habit now?
Do they ever make me cry?
Can I only wear them on rare skinny days or do they make me feel good even when I’m bloated and mad at myself for eating the whole bag of oreos?
Can I wear them with a lot of my other things or do they only go with one outfit?
Am I a better person because of them?
Do they make me feel like I can do anything?
Does the amount of time I have fun in them outweigh the times when I don’t?
Can I remember the last time we got drunk together?
Can I remember the last time we didn’t?
Does the possibility of breaking up with them and making room for a new pair make me happy even though I know there will be a hole in my wardrobe for a little while?
Are they just more anxiety than they are worth?
If I give them to goodwill so that someone else can enjoy them, will I fly into a jealous rage or will I think “good luck, sweetie. I hope they can do for you what they couldn’t for me.”
Am I fucking sick of always trying to fit into them?
I’m currently in search of the perfect brown eyeshadow. A neutral lid is a refreshing change from the vibrant colors of spring or fall. You would think it would be simple, but not so. Of course I saw it in the bible (Allure) and now I want it for my own self. The trouble is creating the same effect but on my oddly transparent skin tone. I need to find MY perfect brown.
I do currently love Laura Mercier’s cream shadow in gold and Smashbox’s Cinnamon Toast shadow. Pretty close but not perfect.
This is going to top off my dream outfit of head to toe monochromatic neutrals.
I’m fairly certain that no one in cyber heaven cares about this but I’ve decided to try and use my blog as a vehicle for “the secret”
I’m starting small universe. Brown eyeshadow and an all neutral outfit.
A customer I was waiting on asked me “What’s a cheese plate?” This stopped me in my tracks. Not just the question but the alarming amount of attitude that went with it. What am I missing here and why is she looking at me like I have three heads?
“What is a cheese plate?”
Not “what kind of cheese is on the cheese plate,” but “what IS it?” Ok, I’m going in...
I find it is a delicate process trying to preserve someone’s dignity when they ask a truly stupid question. It takes a certain social nicety to make them feel somehow justified in their stupidity but educate them at the same time. Not making someone FEEL stupid when they so clearly are, is really an art form. I’m really good at it. I really don’t like people to feel uncomfortable (I’ve been this way since childhood) so I go out of my way to accommodate them. Also, my tip depends on the fact that they like me.
Now, I feel compelled to add that this 40 something woman appears to be clean and decently put together (personally, I would have added a little pizazz to my outfit for a birthday party at a hip restaurant, but I digress). How she could have arrived at this point in her life without ever having a cheese plate is beyond me. However, even more alarming is the fact that she lacked the deductive capacity to try and figure it out.
So, I explain the idea of a cheese plate and describe what is on ours in detail but without sounding condescending.
There is a long silence. I’ve really done my best here and she’s the idiot, so I just stare at her. I start to think that she’s probably too stupid to understand my stare, withering as it is, and just thinks we are all trying to understand the concept of cheese on a plate together.
“What is the soup”
“What is that?”
“Cold, tomato, blah blah blah”
“The soup is COLD???” Again, like I’M some kind of weirdo.
“Do you have anything normal?”
Even I have a limit. “Yeah, I’m not really sure what you mean.” And I stare at her. I feel staring in lieu of snarkiness will somehow still preserve my tip.
At this point she looks at the menu, shakes her head, and says:
“This is like a weird dream”
It is truly all I can do to keep from saying “For me too, dum dum. For me too”
Yesterday, I returned the adorable wedges with the pictures of pin up girls all over them since the IRS has decided to cramp my style. They were going to be my show stopper, summer shoe. A conversation piece and a great shoe all in one. However, I couldn’t rationalize it since they came the day the IRS drained my checking account. Had they come before or way after, I could have pulled it off in my own mind. But no, the timing couldn’t be worse. So I wore them around the house to try and get my fix and while Ned was oddly fascinated by them and said they were “so cute” it really wasn’t the same as girlie admiration from my friends. Or even the tiny triumph when my yia yia* shakes her head and says “well you can pull it off” which isn’t really a compliment but I choose to take it as one.
So back in the box they went. What a crappy deal it is that I have to pay for return shipping! Why didn’t I see that before I bought them? As a rule I really am against my taking that risk and will only shop at places that have the free return deal. Blinded by shopping lust I guess. So, thank you IRS, insult to injury. I don’t want to exaggerate too much but this was really hard for me. And I was exorbitantly proud of my sacrifice.
And then today I went online and bought mushrooms (not the drug kind, the medicinal variety). I have just learned that they are amazing for your skin and energy levels. Good skin is a parallel obsession, so I am all in. IRS be damned! What is the point of reaching my goal weight if I am going to look old and wrinkly? (I have to plan ahead) We shall see if it works. I’m told I will see a difference in a week! I hope I can keep up with taking them. I do have 10 bottles of multi-vitamins that are also supposed to burn fat in my cabinet right now. I can’t seem to remember to take them. It’s like I WANT to be a fatty. In fairness I didn’t see immediate results and may have lost faith. That, and the fact that taking them on an empty stomach made me feel sick and that didn’t mesh with my trying not to eat thing. It is very complicated. Of course I should have stopped the auto delivery of them but I think in my mind I was really going to get back to taking them as soon as I started my “new” health regime which occurs every Monday.
*BTW, if you somehow were living under a rock and missed the mega hit “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” yia yia is greek for grandmother and I have one.
Today I was volunteering for the Pug Rescue at this Gigantic Pet Expo dealio. There were literally thousands of people all with various pet interests milling about and I have to say I was shocked at the absolute lack of fashion sense/interest by every single one of them.
Ok, all but two.
It is totally none of my business, but what the fuck? Why do people walk around looking like their clothes just happened to them? “You know, I blacked out and when I came to I was wearing this bud light t-shirt and these aerobic shoes. I’m not really sure what happened.” Seriously, people who say “I just don’t care about clothes” are actually saying they don’t care about themselves. And that is a crime. I mean every one has to make a choice every single day as to what they are going to drape over their naked body. Decisions are made as to what goes into your wardrobe rotation. And please, don’t insult me with excuses of comfort, money or time.
Fashion can be current AND comfortable. My own father found his way to crocs* so please, it CAN be done. Old Navy, Target and H&M were designed for the excuses of “I have no money/time.” You can glance around the clearance section and find jeans for $9.99 and a shirt for $3! $13 and a half an hour later you may not be the most inspired but at least you don’t look like an accident.
The biggest crime against humanity is the thin person who cannot dress themselves. I mean, COME ON! How dare you waste such potential. There is a great deal of responsibility when you are thin. You owe it to the rest of us to wear the things we can’t and wear them WELL. Every time I try something on and I think “who are they making this for?” It is for YOU, thin, tiny girl! You are giving me a big “fuck you” every time you wear your dirty, baggy John Deer t-shirt, old high waisted jeans, and dirty flats. Just stop. Embrace your destiny. All the cute embellished jeans and colorful corduroys and spaghetti strapped, halter top everything, is waiting for you. GO GET IT.
*Ps and BTW, Whatever you think of crocs (personally, I find them unflattering but still wear them to work disguised by a long pant) there is no denying they are trendy and a HUGE step above the white athletic shoe. I have made it my life’s mission to outlaw white athletic shoes and jeans and relegate them to workout wear ONLY. That, overturn Prop 8, and become painfully thin. I have a lot of work to do.
I have never been good at keeping a consistent diary. It is ironic because I love notebooks and have about 45 of them that each have 4.5 pages of writing. Can’t stop buying notebooks.
If I do successfully embrace the blogging thing, my notebook obsession might actually appear ridiculous.
I bring this up because my tax preparer told me I need to keep a mileage log or at least a diary of everything I do everyday so I could, if audited, create a log that would support my deductions.
Write down everything I do EVERYDAY? I am already attempting to write my morning pages everyday (The crux of The Artist’s Way, a 12 week course that has taken me a year and a half and counting). I also have to keep a food diary for Weight Watchers (or whatever diet I am currently on) as well as a money diary in order to track the sieve that is my spending. Now I am supposed to add to that a tax log?
“Dear Diary,Today I woke up late again, 11AM Yikes! I did accidentally stay up until 5AM watching reruns of Angel (can that count as a tax deduction for Satellite TV if the show is in syndication?). I drove 2.2 miles (personal miles) to pick up my dry cleaning (non costume, non deductible) that has been sitting there for over two weeks! I wonder if the pants I got hemmed will even fit anymore considering I ate all of my allotted 22 points for the day plus 20 of my flex points yesterday.
In my defense, a customer I waited on left me the cake. That totally blindsided me. I really didn’t have enough points for that especially after the baked goat cheese mistake on table 34 (I SWEAR those idiots ordered it).Anyway, after the dry cleaner I drove to a voice over audition (13.2 business miles) It was a great audition and I should get it. I mean really, it was about eating cereal to lose weight! Who would be better at that than me? I mean, I’ve tried it (It doesn’t work, but whatever) It is a great idea in theory and I would try it again.
I stopped at the Target for coffee (can that be considered an office supply?) and ended up buying this totally cute sweater/jackety thing for $27 on sale for $24.99. Not much of a deal if I think about it, but totally cute and worth it. I will use it all the time. After that, I took the dogs for a walk and, of course, I carried Hobbit most of the way because he just lays down on the sidewalk in some kind of pug protest. I do think I may have burned a few extra calories doing it so, great. I jumped rope while watching an episode of The Big Bang Theory (Satellite TV, totally tax deductible). Then it was the 7.4 miles to work (commuting miles) where I again ate too much and didn’t drink enough water. So all in all another great day of self sabatoge. Yay me.”
Tax time is an exercise in humiliation and failure. Humiliation because, once again, I have not learned a thing about money even though it is #3 on my New Year’s Resolution list EVERY YEAR (Become alarmingly skinny is always #1, organizing my collection of little pieces of paper #2) and failure because my veneer of being a responsible adult completely crumbles as my eyes fill with shocked and bewildered tears and I sputter incoherently at the stranger who I’m paying to prepare my taxes. “I make NO money how could I possibly owe????” All the while I’m hoping they don’t notice my adorable and obviously brand new faux snake skin flats. I got them for practically nothing but they don’t know that.
Please don’t misunderstand me I don’t have buyer’s remorse. On the contrary, what I can’t wrap my brain around is why in the world I can’t claim my spending addictions as “dependents”. It seems unfair that my taxes go to schools and various kid friendly government programs when I DON’T HAVE ANY! Why, again, do I have to support other people’s breeding while they get a GIANT deduction for each little bundle they pop out? It is totally backwards and makes no sense to me. I am choosing to not have children therefore I should be able to allot that money toward a senseless but trendy ruffle blouse that I will wear once (still in for spring) and that, as my friend, Rose, claims “looks like a bustle for your boobs.”
I mean, come on, dieting alone is like a child I have nursed and nurtured for decades and, ps and by the way, I don’t see that changing in the near future. If it were up to me I should get $3400.00 for Dieting (my first born) and another $3400 for Shopping (the spoiled little baby of the family). My kids are as much trouble as the next
“Dieting! How many times have I told you to take that fat roll off of mommy’s stomach?!?”
I need that money to keep them in line and to pay for their training and supplies.
I guess I should have sent the IRS one of those freakishly annoying “Christmas letters” so they would realize that I legitimately need that money.
"Yang Yang was so cute and I just wanted to cuddle her. I didn't expect she would attack" Krista Lally - Style Therapist You don't have to do what I do...you just have to do something.
Style Therapist at work
Her: I hate everything today. Me: You should put on some bright pink eyeshadow. It will turn everything around. Her: Really? Me: Of course! Every time you look in the mirror you'll think "that's right, I'm fun." Voila, masterful distraction from the other shit. Her: Ummm Ok. Me: Here take mine. But you have to wear mascara too or it just won't work.
A philosophy born. Change your style. Change your life. No, seriously.
On a mission to eradicate the mundane and to uplift the spirit by enhancing personal style. All while dealing with the usual conundrums that every girl faces. Specializing in shopping, dieting, being annoyed by stupidity, making things, making things work, gaining perspective, and generally talking about stuff that will seriously change your life.