Checking my email this morning, I saw one of my favorite discount stores is having a sale. Today. One day only.
I needed gloves. It’s freezing out. I bought a pair last month, and they look fun in an ugly kind of way, but they’re a loose knit, no fingers, not even a thumb. Why did I buy them? They were $6! Sure I saw practical, warm, pretty gloves too, but those were $50. 6 vs 50, on a day when it wasn’t too cold yet, no contest. Sure I’m a lifelong New Yorker, and understood it wasn’t going to stay 50* outside, but 6 dollars!
Once I dropped Flower Child off at school, I walked to the store. This left me standing in the cold for half an hour before they opened. OK it was 25 minutes, I guess the manager felt sorry for me and the other fools waiting for them to unlock the doors. The selection was pitiful, but I was determined to take advantage of the 25% off coupon slipping through my icicle fingers. Found a pair. Not what I really wanted. I was imagining something elegant or funky, interesting color, super warm pair with a touch screen fingertip. I found warmer than what I’ve got, no touch screen fingertip, and I’m not really sure if they’re navy or black.
I’m in the store where it’s warm, not overly crowded, and agonizing over whether I should buy this pair of gloves, or wait and keep looking until I find the perfect pair at the perfect price on a day when I’ve got money in my pocket. I’m sure you can all now understand why I own a very limited wardrobe. I decide to look around the store. It really is a very good sale, and there are several things I could use. I look at dresses. I found this super cute wine colored knit–with sleeves! (why do they sell sleeveless winter dresses in the Northeast?)–my size, no obvious rule it out defects, for a very reasonable $50. It’s just my kind of dress (though not a color I usually like), nice, practical, fine for a regular day but if I had an appointment for tea with the Queen I could put some beads around my neck with a nicer pair of shoes and look fine.
Don’t forget the 25% off coupon! I picked up the dress and carried it all over the store, inspecting everything else I wasn’t going to buy. I looked at coats. I would love to have a warm down coat for everyday use. I spend a lot of time outside walking, and do not enjoy cold weather. At. All.
I have a coat I bought several years ago at another discount store. I hadn’t been coat shopping in a long time prior, and was shocked by the prices. So shocked, I called my mother to rant. She laughed at me, and I bought the cheapest one I could find. Sure it’s down, but apparently it’s only got 3 feathers, because I’m shivering in it the second the temperature drops below 45*. I’ve got a fabulous and fabulously warm shearling I got when my Grandmother died, but I don’t like to wear it. It’s the only really nice coat I’m ever likely to own, and I feel kind of silly when I wear it. Here I’m living this crazy broke-ass life; picking up dog poop in a shearling? I’m like a character from a Depression era movie, “Well, de-ah, I’ve fallen on haahrd times.”
I put the dress back. Bought the boring but reasonably priced and warmer than what I’ve got gloves, and punished myself by walking home, instead of taking the train. Why? I dunno, it’s the martyr instinct. I’ve got it, and so do many of the women I know who aren’t shopaholics. It was perfectly reasonable to put the dress back. I’ve got to buy Christmas gifts for the kiddos, and there isn’t any wiggle room in the budget. I could use a new coat, but I won’t freeze without one, I’m absolutely fine wearing layers. I like my layers. I like the look, and they make me feel shabby chic instead of shabby. I did need a pair of gloves.
So why do I feel guilty for having bought them? Besides the obvious answer that I’m a lunatic. What kind of shopper are you?