Romeo and Juliet

Note: The following post has nothing to do with shopping, or not shopping or purging or downsizing or anything else that this blog is normally about- it is about love…

I just finished watching Dateline's hour long special about Taylor Swift.  She's cool.  And it seems like she knows what she's talking about in some of those songs.  After the concert I kept thinking about her lyrics to the song "Love Story":

Romeo take me somewhere we can be alone
I'll be waiting, all there's left to do is run
You'll be the prince and I'll be the princess
It's a love story baby just say yes

At the end of the song the guy pulls out a ring and asks her to marry him, then tells her to go pick out a white dress.  The reality is that dudes are scared of the white dress. The big secret about us liberal, confident and take charge kind-a-gals is that white dress really is every girl's fantasy.  The unfortunate truth is that prince charming doesn't exist. He's just in our in our dreams but we desperately want for him to be real.  Out of 100 couples I know, there might be one or two that I could look at and know they were truly in love.  My mom and dad were like that.  Their relationship wasn't without its ups and downs and hard times, but they had that real amazing love.  It is something I've hoped to find once or twice in my life and have failed.  I should be jaded, mad, hurt, angry and just plain disgusted by the thought of love.  But I'm not. 

Someone once called me a hopeless romantic.  I like to think it is old fashioned hope that something magical can still exist, even for someone as jaded as me. 

Taylor Swift’s most ardent fan

Tonight we went to the Taylor Swift concert.  I like a few of her songs- (please don't eviscerate me, they are bouncy and fun to sing) and my daughter and her friend love her.

Once the concert started I noticed a boy one seat away from me.  He swayed back and forth with his hands clasped to his chest while singing every word to every song.  I was highly amused and spent the first part of the concert watching him because he was more entertaining than Taylor.

At one point she appeared at the top of the aisle where we were sitting, sang a song then made her way down the stairs, greeting fans and signing autographs.  He was on that side of the aisle and was almost hysterical by the time she got
to our row.  She  hugged Sam-the-crazed-fan, gave him her bracelet as a gift and left me wondering if I would need to resuscitate him.  He grasped that bracelet, held it high in the air and jumped up and down while emitted several sounds I've never heard before.  I ended up giving him a promotional lanyard I'd gotten before the concert and buying him an autographed CD just to see how hyped up I could get the kid.

At one point in everyone's life they should have a passion as deep and strong as Sam's.  It isn't an exaggeration to say he is her biggest fan.  He knew every word to every song and which song she was going to sing before it started.  His cousin was sitting next to me and she told me it was his first concert, that he was 15, had made his own Taylor Swift t-shirt and was a huge fan— really, I hadn't noticed. 

Flip flop follow-up

I like typing the words "flip flop".

Being in a store surrounded by a shopping frenzy was hard.  Maybe similar to the way they describe the smell of blood to a vampire in Twilight.  Don't lecture me, I held out forever, then read all four books in a week.  Good character development, horrible writing- except for the description of how shopping, I mean blood… smells to a vampire. 

The madness that happened at Dollar Flip Flop day is in my history, and strongly rooted in my DNA, which is why I need intensive therapy and possibly inpatient therapy or maybe to be heavily medicated. 

These types of excursions are legendary in our clan.  Up early, at the door, waiting for the sale.  Pre-blog, I would have been right on board.  It goes way back to the days when my mother and my aunts would go "junking", which is an alternative term for "garage-sale-ing".  I hate garage sales. Check that, I hate to have them, I really love to GO to them.  But they are dangerous for people like my family.  Somehow we talk ourselves into the fact that yes, I really do need another set of ugly Corning Nesting Bowls for a dollar. 

One of the more legendary early morning trips was to a store called Tuesday Morning.  I was there early and shoved up against the heavy metal door.  When it went up I sprinted under, not conscious of the fact that if it malfunctioned, it would crash down and cut me in half.  I'd seen some cute Curious George Barbie Dolls in their flier and I was gonna get me some.  They had four on the shelf and I swooped them into my cart.  As I swaggered around with my loot some woman came up to me and had the gall to say, “do you really need all those.”  Why yes, because I’m an aholic-shopper. 

And I'm blaming my family.  Here is the 3rd generation shopper with the flip flop take for my mom, daughter, boyfriend's daughters, and my sister.  DNA folks, it might be what takes me down…


eBay where have you gone?

Between getting terminated, laid off, fired, axed, downsized and whacked a month or so ago, I've been so busy cleaning, building, fixing, lounging and watching t.v., that I haven't posted a thing on eBay.  Shame on me for being such a loser! 

I'm committing to reform myself and GET RID OF MORE JUNK.  Although I did just give away a cedar chest that I probably could have gotten a few bucks for.  And my daughter's car is loaded up with things for the local thrift store.  So PROGRESS is being made, just not the kind I had intended when I conceived the eBay project.  I will repent soon. 

Flip flop frenzy

This morning I woke up early (while on vacation) to spend an hour with some flip flop fanatics. You could call it flip flop fever, a flip flop frenzy.

Early morning insanity.

We arrived at 8:45am, the store opened at 9:00am. We pulled into the parking lot and I started cackling with laughter.  I really wish I was talented enough to get the video off my damn camera, because it shows the line extending FAR past the store.  Sheer madness. 

They opened the doors and the running started, because hell, you could buy 5 pairs of flip flops for only a dollar each. Fortunately no one was injured in the running of the flip flops, so I could maintain my hilarity take on the entire episode.

Here is the first guy in line, who told me his wife said to him, "if you don't come to the flip flop sale with me, no camping for you this summer!"  I am so not making that up.  He was relatively pleasant when I interviewed him and was about 5th or 6th in line, meaning he was up way earlier than he wanted to be.


Here is part of my family waiting in the looooooong line.


Once they opened the door, people actually ran to the flip flop wall.  The five pair limit prompted cajoling and bargaining at the register, so on my second trip around as a proxy buyer, I ended up buying a pair for the woman behind me.  Like dealing crack on a street corner, but at Old Navy.  She slipped me a single and I slipped her the flip flops on her way out.  (I did not violate the no shopping rule.)

The big wall of flip flops had 8-10 people deep and at one point people at
the back were shouting out their size and color and then you'd see that pair go winging over everyone's head.  Sometimes accurately tossed, sometimes not.  Like I said, hilarity. 

Below is what the wall looked like after about 10 minutes.  They also had flip flops in big shopping carts at the back of the store and someone shouted, "more back here", which started a shove in that direction by the moo cows. 


I also have a funny short interview with a male store clerk and his
thoughts on the binge buying, which I also cannot extract from the damn
hyper-technical video camera.  He states he thinks they'll be sold out
by NOON, but really, I'm thinking closer to 10am.

And here is my sweet son, very good humored about having to carry his family's zillion flip flops.  We giggled about this experience all day.  Sweet.


Road Trip!!!

On Friday morning we are driving to Boise for a family reunion.  My daughter works for Old Navy and when I told her we were going she was upset because she was going to miss Dollar Flip Flop Day.  What? 

I was so confused, then she explained that once a year Old Navy sells pairs of flip flops for a dollar each.  Last year they sold THREE MILLION PAIRS OF FLIP FLOPS.  Apparently they sold out in just a few hours. 

I'll digress here for a moment and ask a question- how can they possibly sell PAIRS of flip flops for a dollar?  I doubt they are selling them as a loss leader, so the only logical conclusion is that they are being made somewhere by kids making .10 cents a day.

I was able to get my daughter somewhat OK with leaving for the weekend by promising her we'd scope out an Old Navy as soon as we pulled into Boise. So on Saturday morning we will have driven for 5 hours, spent the night and then we'll wake up early so we can be there Dollar Flip Flop Day. 

And you wonder why this blog is necessary? 


Happy Birthday Mom!

It is my blog so I am making a shout out to my mom, who is partially responsible for my neurosis, addiction to shopping and wonderful children.  Since her birthday is today, I'll leave the recriminations and finger pointing related to my addictions for another day. 

Mom, you probably won't ever read this blog, but I hope you know anyway how wonderful and amazing you are to everyone who knows you.  You are one of the best things in my life and it is my honor to be your daughter. 

Lots of love.

Face cream or college?

In the realm of shop-a-holics- (I know it isn't really spelled that way, but I like breaking it into manageable pieces), there is a concept called "PRODUCT".  Face "product", hair "product", body "product", you get the picture.  Product is something terribly dangerous because it can seem so innocuous.  Just a little spending here and there adds up quickly. Here is a picture of SOME of the product currently in my bathroom:


These are just the hair and face products once I get out of the shower.  Below are the shower items.


And a few more…


Face cream as a “product” is a topic that divides entire families.  We are lead to believe that the more expensive "product" we use, the more likely we are to avoid looking like Mickey Rourke.  But there are also faithful believers that Dove makes a face cream as good as Crème de La Mer.  If you don’t know what that is, you are not a product junkie.  

Years ago, when husband #2 and I were first married he was going on a business trip to New York City.  I had read about Crème de La Mer, I had dreamed about Crème de La Mer, and now I wanted some.  It was new enough that it wasn't available in my relatively small city, so I sent him to Bloomingdales to GET ME SOME.  It was probably a good thing we were newlyweds because I’m sure when he saw the $125.00 price tag he almost dropped dead right then and there in that sumptuous store.  He made the slightest snarky comment upon return, but I didn’t care, I just wanted to GET ME SOME. Since then I’ve vacillated back and forth, back and forth about whether the pricey stuff works.  Right now I’m using ROC, which is substantially less expensive and can be bought in a 2 pack at Costco for a lot less than $125.00.  I believe vanity plays a big part in the great face cream debate.  Face it, if you are spending that kind of money, somehow it just makes us feel less wrinkly.

They say it’s your birthday

When people ask what you want for your birthday and you tell them, you are committing a charitable act saving them from thinking too hard.  I've spent the last couple of months orchestrating ways to get what I want, gift cards to Nordstrom or cash that I won't feel breaks the spirit of the "no shopping rule".  So when I received several gifts like that and was told "go buy yourself something nice, something you really want", my response was, "gosh, thanks so much, I will", and really I was jumping up and down inside with glee and anticipation of a new purse, or the highest red heels I could find, or jeans, or a floaty airy blouse or Sledge t-shirt, or . 

I literally went into a catatonic trance thinking about the possibilities. Then someone at my party, someone who reads my blog and is trying to ruin my life suggested it might be in the best "spirit" of things to donate the cash to a charity.  Huh?  After all that work, all those hints and suggestions, all the cajoling, bribing, threats and tantrums, I get what I want and they have the audacity to suggest I give it all away?  Were they trying to yank the crack needle right out of my arm?  I felt like someone, after a one year suspension from chocolate, had given me a a huge brownie with nuts and hot fudge, let me take a bite and yanked away the entire confection.  Truthfully, it wasn't a bad idea.  Especially given the fact that I've made it really clear I don't NEED any more stuff.  Although I am going to write a post about how I ruined a pair of jeans painting a friend's house and I really do need another pair, but back to the subject…I don't really need them, but I WANT them.  And that is the distinction. 

I remember so clearly the first time I got the NEED vs. WANT discussion from my parents.  Growing up they would always ask. "is it a need or a want" question when I'd ask for something.  My answer was always NEED. Such a sarcastic kid. 

Birthday joy, or finally… some new stuff!

In 15 minutes it will be my birthday.  I should be sleeping, or cleaning my house for the big birthday bash tomorrow, but instead I'm playing with my new Ipod Shuffle.  I mentioned that I wished I had one for crazy-what-was-I-thinking 1/2 marathon training, and wham, it appeared right in my boyfriend's hand, like ninja magic.  Have I mentioned he's a keeper? And not just because he buys me stuff.  There are a zillion other reasons he is great. 

Running up to my special day, I've had intense anticipation of getting some new STUFF.  After all it has been 78 days tomorrow since I've shopped, which doesn't seem like a really long time to normal kind of shopping people, but to me it has been longer than the four weeks between when the doctor told me I was having twins, and when I had them. Yes, I was 7 months pregnant when I found out I was getting double trouble, double joy.

But in thinking about the possibility that I might get Nordstrom gift cards or cash that I might not feel guilty about spending on clothes (remember… I make the rules!), I kept thinking about how weird it is that sometimes denial breeds massive joy upon receiving.  We live in such a world of I want it now and I'll just go buy it, that when we deny ourselves in the slightest way and then indulge, everything seems sweeter.   Maybe we should all try that more often.