Wednesday, March 10, 2010

I'm Bad

I think I'm in rebellion against myself--against my goody-goody environmentalist, anti-consumer, health-conscious, plastic-hating, literary, too-good-for-pop-culture, self-improvement self. In the last week I have:

-Spent more money on new shoes and clothing than I have in the last five years put together.

-Bought Easter candy for my children's Easter baskets, and eaten it at night after they go to bed.

-Had a Michael Jackson (re-)conversion after listening to an original, mint-condition record album of Thriller. (I now waggle my hips in time with "Billy Jean" humming inside my head while I walk across the parking lot at work).

-Started re-reading Bridget Jones's Diary (for the third time) while taking my weekly Spa Night bubble bath.

-Bought a (plastic) bag of salt & vinegar potato chips and ate nearly all five servings in one afternoon (I don't even like salt & vinegar potato chips!) I can feel new layers of muffin top splooching out over my new low-rises.

More, perhaps, on some of these topics later, but for now, how 'bout a fashion show?

I realized that, after my existential crisis Friday, that maybe a new wardrobe might just be the cure to all (or at least some of) my ills (I do agree with commenters that I need to get some new artwork and my very own computer, and I would also like to add that a new couch--a midnight blue velvet camel back with curved arms and affixed cushions that have no fort-building potential--would also help, but those will have to wait).

So I made my way coastward with a friend on Saturday, and came home with some springy fabrics (organic canvas and mushrooms) and a pattern for a jacket--crazy talk? Perhaps.

But first, for a little instant grad (or would that be instant grat?), I made this jaunty little scarf from a half yard of voile.

I thought I might make a pile of these for gifts, but that thin fabric was not easy to work with (my sewing machine just wanted to eat it!). Perhaps a smaller (or sharper) needle? Perhaps ironing under the hem rather than trying to use the hemmer foot? We'll see. (Tempting to add "new sewing machine" to my list of life-altering necessities!)

I also ordered two pairs of pants from Sweetgrass, feeling all excited about getting clothes that won't be tainted by toxic materials or sweatshop labor. I thought their website said something about plastic-free packaging, but they came in a Tyvek Priority Mail envelope. I can add it to my Tyvek recycling pile, but still. And, to top it all off, one pair arrived medium, rather than large (ahem) so I'll be getting a second envelope (but I'll reuse one of them to send back the mediums).

Onto the shoes. I first fell in love with these when I was shoe shopping for C's birthday, back in September, and haven't stopped thinking about them since. I tried stopping at the little independent shoe and leather shop in Damariscotta, but they were on vacation for the month! The nerve. So I settled on a Maine-owned chain, which never seems to have anything in stock (in their Augusta store), but they were more than happy to find my a pair in one of their other stores. I do feel bad that I didn't look for the woman who ordered them for me when I went back to pick them up--I'm sure they work on commission. Here they are with my new sailor jenny pants. I do heart them.

So I guess I should start feeling buyer's remorse about now, but I have to say, I think them marketers are onto something--the clothes really do make the woman! And I have several good excuses for not feeling too guilty:

1. I bought sustainable materials.

2. I purchased locally where possible, from a small online company where not (thereby keeping the US Postal Service solvent).

3. I have not bought a pair of shoes in nearly three years.

4. The only items of clothing I bought last year were 2 pairs of socks, 3 pairs of underwear, 3 badly-needed bras and a hooded sweatshirt to replace the one I bought in New York City when I was eight months pregnant with M nine years ago.

5. When I started working full time my take-home pay doubled but my childcare costs only went up by a third, so I have to do something with all this cash.

6. Just ask anyone who knows me and they will tell you, I never buy new clothes and I'm a total cheapskate, so this is totally out of character, yet totally deserved.


Kristen @ Motherese said...

May I suggest another reason why you shouldn't feel too guilty?

With a couple of your recent posts (especially the bathroom clean-out one) playing like a soundtrack in my head, I have placed my family on a buying freeze. We won't buy anything that we have a suitable substitute for in our house. So far, so good for our wallets and our consciences.

I know that sounds simple, but it's amazing to me how powerful a basic intention can be.

Andrea said...

So you're saying that because your family's buying less stuff, I'm freed up to buy more? Awesome.

Sue said...

What do you mean a couch with no fort-building potential!!???? That's a horrible thought. Gees.

As I read your blog I am amazed (but not surprised) at how very different we are. And yet I am fascinated by what you write. A lot of this stuff is far, far off the radar of anything I'd ever think about. Guess that makes it enlightening.

kendra said...

because i'm bad, i'm bad-
come on
you know i'm bad, i'm bad-
you know it

oh, those shoes are spectacular! i hope the pants are perfect too! and, have you seen this?:

you are doing your part for your community!

Fake Plastic Fish said...

You're too funny. What the heck is wrong with listening to Michael Jackson or reading Bridget Jones? Interesting that I too wrote a post this week about my funny pop culture habit. Perhaps this video will help:

If you think that commercial is funny, you are truly done for and lose all your green cred. Along with me and Crunchy Chicken. :-)

Anyway, if you feel guilty, please reread the section called "Scolding and Guilt" in my interview with Annie Leonard. Perhaps it would be a good idea to memorize it.

Mary said...

I was JUST about to leave a comment asking if you'd seen or read Annie Leonard's The Story of Stuff. (She is a parent at my kid's school, though I don't really know her) Anyway, I saw her interview on Colbert yesterday and thought of you. You make good purchases so stop feeling guilty!!

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