December 24, 2012 § Leave a comment
December 21, 2012 § 1 Comment
December 18, 2012 § Leave a comment
I drink the 2-buck-chuck. I’m down with Frugalmas and Econukkah. Every month without fail I take my 20% coupon to Bed Bath and Beyond and by one useful for the house. Just slowly chipping away at the list I keep on my phone: Things I put off until I can get a deal. Seriously, I can’t wait until March when I can finally buy a much needed toilet brush.
So I’m cheap. I take my shoes to a cobbler and I maintain my girlish figure primarily because I cannot afford to buy new jeans. I picked these habits up somewhere, but I never considered it to be from my parents.
Growing up I wanted for nothing and every 6 months or so my mother and I would find ourselves at the mall and we’d have one of those, “don’t tell your father” days. I’m not talking super spending sprees, but my ma is a brilliant seamstress so I could always find something that she could not make for the price tag. She’s the best person to shop with, if she approves you know you’re getting your money’s worth. She’d check the stitching, consider the quality of fabric and if it fit great I’d be wearing it to school the next day. “You look just darling,” she’d say. As a result, I ended up with a good portion of my wardrobe stuff she bought because she thought it looked “darling” on me. My tailored brown leather pants weren’t exactly the Abercrombie cargo flares I hoped for. I wasn’t about to look a gift horse in the mouth if she wanted to buy the pink pleated chiffon dress with princess seams and matching slip that I was going to wear once for my confirmation, sure I wasn’t going to tell my father. I’ll be her dress up doll forever, but I didn’t always like it.
Like I said, brilliant seamstress. When I was younger, what I assume was to save money and exercise her creativity, my mother made all my clothes. The Christmas dress in particular was a big to-do in my elementary school years. One year when I was about 6, she got a great price on some deep crimson velvet. Before she put on the finishing touches on said christmas dress, I tried it on, approved it, loved it. The next day I come home from school to find my dress dripping with appliqués, like I had doilies trapezeing from my shoulders, swinging around my neck, crawling up from the bottom they were everywhere. It must have taken her forever, hand stitched with beaded detailing. I hated it. I took on look at it and burst into tears. I’m pretty sure I was heavily bribed with the whole Santa’s watching thing and put it on 3 times that year: Christmas eve, Christmas Day, and Christmas Daddy/Daughter Dance. The outfit was complete with tam (it had feathers around the band), shawl, and muff. Yes, that’s right and it was my favorite part of the ensemble. I was possibly the only 6 year old in existence in 1989 who even knew what a muff was. Perhaps she got carried away with the feathered muff, but as perviously stated, I wanted for nothing.
It wasn’t until this year, when mister red and I set out to spend our first christmas together in the new place did I realize where I get my penny pinchers from. We do try to stretch each dollar as far as we can, so I didn’t think twice when my mother offered to send us a fake christmas tree. I was thinking she must have gotten a new one and she was going to hand-me-down their old one. Great, free tree! She even said she was going to send some ornaments. Sweet.
As a girl I danced with a competitive company through high school. Every year we’d exchange ornaments at christmas, so you can imagine how many little ceramic ballerinas I had coming to me. Through this dance company, we had a yearly garage sale as a fundraiser. One year my mom got a little 4ft fake Christmas Tree for a dollar. This is a tree she sends me this year. My very own Charlie brown.
Let’s recap, my generous mother sends me and my boyfriend a 4ft Christmas tree she bought for a dollar from garage sale a decade and a half ago with a missing leg on it’s stand and a couple of key branches. She probably paid at least $20-something putting it through the mail to get the package from Michigan to California that included 30 little pink dancers and one new ornament to add masculinity for Mister Red.
For about that much she could have just sent me a check and we could have put that toward a brand new 6 footer. But we’re being frugal, so I ponied up and made a tree topper from toy princess crown I found and we called it good. Guess I know where I get it now.
December 14, 2012 § Leave a comment
December 11, 2012 § Leave a comment
This is the year I start lying about my age. Next week will be the first time I turn 29. To be frank, I look fantastic for 29. I look so good people think I just got out of college. Let me rephrase that, I look so young, when I buy a TV dinner, bottle of red and a whole cheese cake, I get carded and questioned. Really? Wild cheese cake party of one! When I had a fake ID I thought all reds were merlot and all whites were spritzers. Now if I was buying a bottle of Boones Farm I could understand the interrogation.
You might know, I’m now a fitness instructor of the Pilates and Barre type regimens so the daily attire has my age down a few years as well. It’s hard to believe anyone who lives their life in spandex has adult tendencies. I’ve recently been in training to instruct for a new barre workout and everyone in the program with me can’t be a day over 13. Even the girl who’s teaching the program is probably just doing this to save for grad school. I haven’t disclosed any details about my age, yet I’ll complain every now and then after a hard workout that I feel like an old lady. They just look at me and laugh, little do they know I’m on the road to hip replacement. On the flip side, I’m the smartest one in the class. Possibly my worldly adult experience and my aging wisdom has made this material easier for me to pick up, perhaps I’m just mature enough to stick my mind to it so it sinks in. Or maybe I’ve been out of college just long enough that I actually like learning again. All this doesn’t matter, I’m not telling them I’m pushing 30. I’m just going to let them believe I’m 20-ish and super smart and well rounded. They are none the wiser… right? For the next 10 years I’ll be turning 29 and no one else needs to know.
My next thought… 29 is scary. Time to get real serious about where your life is headed. Shoot…. I think I said that last year. I’m almost afraid to tell these young counterparts my actual age, what if they don’t accept me? What if my jokes will forever fly over their heads? Some of them don’t remember the 80s. What if they look at me and think in the back of their not quite fully developed brains, “geez I hope I’m not still doing this when I’m her age.” The only defense I have is to tell them I’m on my 3rd career and I am a well rounded individual. I almost rear-ended the bat mobile with a golf cart! You don’t get that type of experience if you’re a loser.
The worst part about approaching the completion of another decade is that time is speeding up. As you get older, time feels like it speeds up, yes? As time speeds up, you can see the evolution of yourself. Once a night owl, now early bird special. Your tastes change, I’m constantly looking for outfits that have more coverage and a blouse effect. But it’s not just me, I happen to know a few fellow christmas babies and 3 out of 4 of them had plans to visit a museum on their birthday. Not that there is anything wrong with getting some culture and grabbing a beer, its just not the 3-day benders we are used to. Me? My big plan is yoga followed by a mani pedi and a really good seafood dinner. Far cry from the birthday shots of yesteryear.
As for my barre class, as far as any of those babies knows, I’m 24. And it’s going to stay that why until I’m questioned and break.