Sunday, February 8, 2009

I think I now know how I got myself into debt...

This week after grabbing dinner, Alice and I decided to visit our favorite overpriced store to see what we could see on the clearance racks. It was during this venture that I figured out the root of my issue with spending money I don't necessarily have on things I don't necessarily need.

I can now say that I blame it on my imagination and overly strong sense of empathy. I've been trained (by myself? by the media?) to see the potential of every diamond in the rough. And during clothing shopping this tendency manifests itself like a bad rash.

"Oooh," I think, "that knitted poncho could toast me right up during the cold winter months in my classroom!" I think. "I'd be like the school's eccentric/sophisticated/slightly hippy-ish English teacher wearing that." I think. These mistakes have found their way into my goodwill bag time and time again.

And so, my insanely active imagination expressed itself full force once again during our most clearance rack browsing trip. 

It all started when I saw IT: a vanilla colored, asymmetrical/chunky knitted collar, synched slightly at the waist, hits just below the hip, dressy-casual masterpiece at 75% off. At that price, this coat was a steal!

In this coat I could make men swoon. In this coat women would drool with envy and attack me with sharp claws when they found out the clearance special I nailed. In this coat, I would fall in love with the man of my dreams in a chick-flick-esque love montage: building a snowman together with my coat and maybe a bright knitted hat and matching mittens, kissing in the snow with that coat, walking through a brisk autumn in central park together, my coat standing out against the leaves. This coat, my coat, would star in this whirlwind romance. Imagine with me:



*kind of what it looked like but not really even close at all because my coat was even more splendid and I am certain I looked better than some skinny, faceless catalogue model


*only the jump for joy would include my coat

I saw every last reel stream through my head and I hadn't even pulled it off the rack. When I put it on it got worse, trust me. This coat was dreamy and beautiful and looked even better on than hanging there, lifeless. And did I mention it was on SALE?

But I didn't buy it.

Oh, I took it into the dressing room with me and a smoking hot red dress (that was too tight in all the wrong places and quite itchy, really). I paraded the coat for Alice to see. I stared in the mirror at me in my coat. But amongst the reels of my future's movie footage, a few key facts kept bludgeoning in on my shopping nirvana:

1. I already own several casual coats and two dressy-er clearance coats. One red, one black. They haven't fulfilled their imaginative promises yet.

2. I spill or accidentally rub everything on me from dry erase marker dust to salsa. And here I was foaming at the mouth for a CREAM coat.

3. 75% off at my favorite overpriced store isn't really that much of a steal, especially when it's in the coat department. And I didn't have the available cash so it would without doubt be going on my credit card.

4. There isn't really a four, but one through three sort of kept reoccurring again and again and again, interrupting my imagination incessantly.

The final slap in the face came when Alice, who supported my purchase because she knows better than to stop me when I get "that glazed over, far off stare" in my eyes (her exact words describing me while facing any and all clearance racks), said, "that's kind of like Cameron Diaz's coat in The Holiday."

That is when I knew I couldn't get it. I was duped by my own imagination and too many chick flicks over the years. The purchase would be impractical and stupid. It wouldn't bring world peace or the man of my dreams.  It promised nothing, not even to keep me all that warm.  And I'd probably get a bloody nose or worse the first time I took it out on the town.  And, after all, I'd just have to pay it off when the bill came.

And so, I've learned what my problem is when it comes to the ever-stuffed-can't-find-ANYTHING-in-here closet. We can blame my imagination.  Yes, all the lies my imagination tells me as it runs away from me all the way to the counter where it pulls out my card and buys unfulfilled promises.

P.S. A little piece of me still wishes I had that coat.  
P.P.S.  Does anybody else do this too?  Tell me I don't need help!


Sephalo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sephalo said...

You my friend are too funny, I do this too! If clothes did make dreams come true I'd own a bakery and live on the beach lol

The Lathrop's said...

All I can say is that I love how you write, how you express yourself with words - you paint a very real picture - looking forward to more. :o)

me said...

This was very funny and insightful. I'm a little sad however because I eventually benefit from your run-away imagination in the form of hand-me-ups! ;)

Jen said...

You don't need help. I have gone on such trips of fancy as well. There is just something so tantalizing about clearance deals. I have a pair of crazy green trousers I got for $4.50 that only go with one orange shirt because they are so low, but I still love them because they were a STEAL.

Alice said...

The coat was great, but definitely not a necessity. Let's continue to watch for the price to drop. Especially since you have been dreaming for a coat like that for quite sometime. Who cares if you have two other ones, if the price is someday right-you need it.

As for the wishful thinking at the clothing store, I totally do it. I have to otherwise most of the time I would be NAKED! The problem however, is no matter how well I dream it up, my dreams come crashing down when I see the picture. It makes me sad really. Maybe one day huh?

Heidi said...

Do ya'll take VISA??? I love you and your shopping habits. I wish I could come on a visit to the store with you and Alice again some day.

Rie Pie said...

Umm, I would have bought it!! Here are the reasons why;
-I love debt. It's my favorite.
-I love white expensive clothing. It's like a brand new painting canvas for my food.
-I love overpriced stores that when they have a clearance, it's still more than I would ever spend on a piece of clothing.
-I look exactly like Cameron Diaz, so the coat would make me find my own "Mr. Napkin Head".
-I could wear the said Cameron Diaz coat over my "Barbie" evening gown.
-I never gain weight. So by the time I could wear the coat next year it would still fit perfectly.
-I wear a lot of white clothing and this would fit in with everything else I own.


I'm glad that you didn't buy the coat. Go Rookie.

Life Coach - Russell Small said...

I found this article interesting and your style of writing very easy to read. Congratulations on your conscious buying decision!

Imagination always leads the way and it takes good judgment and even better willpower to do what you did.

However the voice inside of your head talking to you wasn't your imagination, that was your ego.

I look forward to reading more of your writing and insights rookie.