I had some deep thought regarding spending this week, something inspiring, and I didn’t write it down…and it’s gone. Oh well. I hope it will come to me again. If it does, I’ll let you know.
This week I decided that a wee purge was in order since last week I spent too much on unnecessary items. But since I am a mom with kids at the high demand stage, I wasn’t able to attack it with as much energy as I had hoped. I did manage one sort and purge session during a particularly long nap. I spent an hour reorganizing the toys into their designated bins and in the process pulled some toys that either have seen no love from the kids at all or are now too “baby” oriented. What I did was then post those toys as a single lot of “baby distracter” toys for sale on the local facebook buy/sell/trade page. That and a few other items all of which, to my surprise, sold. Yes, one thing I gave away for free, and the others were just token money, but it felt good. I not only got stuff out of the house, but I got a tiny bit of cash for it too.
I also returned those sparkly shoes I’d gotten for my 3 year old. ‘Why return it?’ you ask,’ if she really liked them and they were only a few bucks’. Well, for one, I had bought two other verysimilar shoes, and two, she herself said she wanted them returned. The slight glitch was that in the time it took me to make that final decision, I’d lost the receipt. I thought, ‘gosh darn, I’m going to have to keep them after all’. And then I thought, ‘gosh darn, other people would just go ahead and ask if it were possible anyway, I need to grow some cojones’. I am such a chicken when it comes to things like that. You should have seen me standing there, my two kids eating a snack in the back of my Volvo station wagon while I debated whether or not to go in with the shoes without the receipt to ask if they’d still return it, or if I should go in first, ask and then if they said yes, go back to the car to get the shoes…or if I should declare to the door security guy that I had a pair of shoes with tags on I was bringing in and that I was just going to the counter to see if it could be returned..just so he’d know I hadn’t stolen them. See, it made me nervous to go into a store without proof of purchase. I even thought about calling the whole darn thing off. What ended up happening was that I tried to channel my brother-in-law, Daniele’s, gumption ( he is a pro at returning items) and walked in, hauling both my kids with the shoes prominently held in my hands with tags on so the theft prevention guy could see it plainly, then walked straight to the line at the counter. When I got to the counter I WAY over explained myself, clearly, as the woman looked at me dully, said “yes, we can give you store credit” to which I thanked her and blathered on about how my toddler had chosen another pair from this store that she was currently wearing and that toddlers have such distinct individual tastes…and the woman said “yes. NEXT!!” …and that was that.
I have such a persecution complex. Honestly, I think that’s why we got through my immigration interviews so well, because I just blather and sweat so much that it is clear that I am so goddamn honest. A person who can truly lie well is someone with ready answers and a dry brow.
The history behind all of that is that I used to be painfully shy. I mean really shy. Like, I didn’t want to eat at friend’s houses because I didn’t want to draw attention to my chewing; I’d try to make no noise at all (which, of course, in hindsight, is way more conspicuous), I was terrified of answering phones (and sometimes still am). Along with that, as I grew older was fear of having to pay for things (because I didn’t want to take too long counting the money and make others wait) and hand in hand with that was not ever wanting to return something for fear that the store person would think that I had done something to the item and then scammed them by returning it. I know, crazy right? But there’s also more history there, because there was one time I was scammed as a retail sales person myself. Some man came in without a receipt with some elaborate story, I returned the item for him, gave him cash and then an hour later realized he’d simply take the item off the shelf while I wasn’t looking. So, yeah, I had a lot going though my head as I made the return. It seems silly, but that’s the mind for you.
But the ultimate take away is that I did it. I overcame all of that mind gunk.
And then I promptly put that store credit to use on birthday presents, because, yes folks, I have now entered that chapter of life when your kids’ friends have parties. Three parties in the next three weeks to be exact! Now, I don’t mean to out myself as a cheap skate to my mama friends who may be reading this blog, but the truth is that I want to find presents, good ones, at reasonable prices. Ideally we’d get all crafty and make something awesome, but this mama is getting real with herself…it ain’t happening. So, I had made my return at Ross, so that’s where we went to look for toys and books. Since Christmas fever has already struck all the major retailers, they are really well stocked. Now, while there were troves of overly cross-marketed, tv and movie character driven toys, there were still some great, not so branded items. I just had to dig. But we did good, and then we got right out of there. I will admit that I had a lot of fun!
This is Halloween week. I like to think that I am creative and that I can make costumes, but I tell you what, I was so glad when my eldest said she wanted to be a black cat. THAT I can do. For my littlest, I got a dog costume from a thrift store for a couple bucks months back. This is almost the last time she will not have an opinion so I took advantage of that ( though she certainly has an option about the hood part of the costume – she DOES NOT want it on her head!!!). For the cat, I relied on my eldest’s existing black clothing- black leggings, black sweater, black shoes, and then dug out a cat tail I had in my “costume” bag in the closet (a bag my husband questioned me about a while back when I refused to purge it along with my clothing I had been KonMari-ing. See! It did come in handy!). The only thing I had to do was knit a hat and buy some black cheapo mittens that I hot glued paw pads to and voila! Two costumes for under $10. Not bad.
I also stepped into the land of temptation just yesterday. It’s a long story but the gist is that the store was the newly opened Nordstrom Rack, we were nearby having just come from dinner, the kids were hopped up on rocket fuel aka food ( all food is rocket fuel for the kids; why does it always entail the desire for a nap in me?), so we needed to walk it off. After circling a set of benches (with the enthusiasm only the very young can muster)…oh, about 15,000 times, I just wanted to walk somewhere else. My sister in law was game, so we walked through the adjoining mall and ended up at NR. Man, that store has NICE stuff. In my head I was thinking ‘I want that…and that…oooh, do I need that? I think I need that….no I don’t…maybe I do…’
But we got out of there without anything. Phew! Why do I do that to myself? Maybe just to see if I can. I will say that it definitely did trigger the thoughts I sometimes have of wanting a select number of really high quality, classy items. A nice concept but not something I’ve managed to do or will manage to do in the near future. Right now it’s all about throw on clothes that will get stained despite my best efforts. It was interesting to note that these thoughts occurred along with feelings of excitement. Not sure what to do with that info though.
This week, I feel perhaps, a bit more successful than last. I’ll take it.