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Unshopping for 30 Days

May 12, 2015

I shuddered a little as I typed those words. My best friend Jane dared me to stop shopping completely for the next 30 days. In my defense, I have a lot of people to shop for in this house–the kids are constantly growing/ruining things/looking like an orphan character out of a Dickens novel. That’s my excuse but it doesn’t hold a lot of water when it comes down to it. I can borrow from my bf-neighbor Rachel and she gives me giant bags of hand me downs for the girls. As much as I want to blame my impulse shopping on the kids, I can’t. I find things regularly that have tags on them that the kids never wore because I either forgot about it, it didn’t work with seasons or I couldn’t remember why I bought it in the first place aside from the fact it was on clearance. When I see the 70% off sign at Target it’s like an out of body experience–when GAP has 50% off sale plus an extra discount for cardholders, I basically lose consciousness. When I come to I have bags of things in my arms and sweat has formed all along my brows (the ones I filled in with my Benefit Brow Zing).

Wasting money is stupid and wrong and I know I need to crack down. There are months when I’ve gone through out bank statement to make a point to my husband about his spending and I’ve seen too many transactions that were mine and I couldn’t remember why I’d gone to the store in the first place nor recall a single real item I had purchased. Costco does not count. I can see the fruits of my labor there when I open my freezer and pantry; there’s no getting around that and I very rarely buy random crap from Costco, except for that time I got make up all over my shirt before work and picked up a lacey shirt for $9.99. I think if I tried to wear it ironically a la GIRLS it would work but it just makes me look like a middle aged mom. Ain’t nobody got time for that.

But I have nothing to wear. I have a closet of clothes that are just a little too snug. I wear the same outfits over and over to work (dress pants– until I get tired and switch to jeans and hide from my boss–, blouse-like shirt and boots or flats). I rarely wear dresses but toward the end of the year when it warmed up I did wear a few to work and my students looked suspicious, like I was going on a job interview or had a date lined up.

In the next 28 days (today is day 2 of no shopping), I won’t buy any make up, clothing, shoes, beauty products, toys for kids (with the exception of Lucy’s birthday)–I probably won’t even set foot at the mall for fear of temptation. Target may be my biggest obstacle so I may have to avoid it as well and stick to only buying groceries and household necessities (as in there’s nothing left at all and it needs to be replaced). I may die.

445

I’m only a little ashamed.

But alas, something needs to be done. I have so much laundry that I can’t even begin to keep up with it and there are several baskets of clean clothes just sitting in my room that clearly we don’t need because they’ve been sitting there for weeks. And yes, that’s my side of the closet and yes, I am wearing a bridesmaid dress from Frances’ 2006 wedding because I wanted to see if it still fit (it doesn’t) and Jane and Frances asked to see what my closet looks like. In 28 days I will post a new picture of a practically empty, soulless, less hoarder-like closet. My husband might cry when it’s finally all said and done. His one issue with buying this house was that we would have to share a closet–a closet that is not much smaller than the bedrooms we’ve shared when we were first married. First world problems, right?

Day 1: Lunch with Dwaynia, who agrees with everything Jane says, except she would wear soft pants $10

Borrowed cowboy boots from a dance mom (thanks, Joy!)–$0

Day 2: Lent a shirt to Rachel; didn’t buy anything at all

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