Archive for the 'Bargain Hunting' Category

A Christmas Miracle

Wednesday, November 30th, 2011

The deer shirt is mine. I was in Anthropologie with a girlfriend the other night and I felt a small stab in the heart as soon as I entered, thinking about the shirt that got away.  As I listlessly thumbed through the sale rack, my hands suddenly brushed against something silky. It was the shirt. My shirt. There was only one. In my size.

Call it fate. Call it destiny. Call it manifesting my desires in accordance with the laws of attraction. The shirt and I were meant to be together. I wondered if the whole experience of coveting a material object and having it slip through my fingers had been a test to see how pathetically shallow I really am.

My grandmother used to tell me Latvian bedtime stories when I was a little girl.  They often involved two sisters on a journey. Each sister would encounter an old man who needed help of some kind. Often he needed assistance to take a bath, which is just plain creepy, but it was my grandmother’s story not mine. One sister would shun him and hurry on her way to find riches. Inevitably she would get torn apart by wolves or have a shower of tar fall on her. The other sister would help the old guy out and be rewarded with a handsome prince and a never ending supply of rye bread and potatoes. The moral of the story being that if you were good to others you would be rewarded. Maybe the homeless guy I’d passed the morning of the lost shirt was a test. Being sad about a piece of clothing while someone else is hoping to get a mouthful of food is a good perspective maker. If I had been too busy mourning my loss to bother buying the guy a bagel maybe the shirt would not have reappeared. Or maybe I am still shallow and will be showered with tar the first time I wear it and then be promptly eaten by a wolf.

“I found the shirt!” I cried to my mom on the phone, eager to share the happy news.

She paused. “I’ll make sure to tell your father right away. I’m sure he’ll be able to get a good night’s sleep now.” She finally replied.

“I found the shirt, God loves me!” I shouted at The Sweetie when I got home.

“Is it a little frayed at the bottom?” He asked as I held it in front of him.

“It’s supposed to be like that!” I snapped.

Truth be told, it is frayed at the hem. I worry about the first time I wash it, which, I was disturbed to read on the label, I am supposed to do by hand. I don’t wash anything by hand, nor do I iron and it looks like a shirt that would wrinkle easily. I also have to admit that taupey colours tend to make my complexion take on a khaki glow. No matter. You don’t mess with fate when it leaves you an offering.

Morning Mission

Friday, November 25th, 2011

I am a shallow woman, I admit it. I am in love with a store. The first time I walked into Anthropologie I almost collapsed with excitement. Here was a store that was speaking to all of my fantasy selves.  I wanted to live there. I wanted to place whimsical trinkets in a delicate porcelain dish while brushing my teeth with Italian toothpaste. I imagined myself flitting around in embroidered lounge wear planning dinner parties with mismatched painted dishes, jotting down notes notes in a parchment paper notebook embossed with birds. Alas, I don’t have an Anthropologie budget. This week, however, I received an email announcing that Anthropologie was having a mega sale. This morning from 8-11 AM, sale items would be reduced by a further 50%. I could hardly breathe.

The week was spent visiting their website, gazing adoringly at a blouse I was lusting after, a loose frayed looking number with deer along the hem. “Soon you will be mine and we will be together forever,” I whispered to the computer screen. I checked on my beloved every day. I have not been able to wake up early for months to go to the gym or a yoga class. Inevitably I hit the snooze button until I finally give up and go back to sleep. Obviously I never had the right motivation. I can’t get up for my cardiovascular health or spiritual growth, but this morning I was up at 6:30 AM.

The store was already teeming with crazed women jostling for space when I arrived. “I guess other people got the email too!” I quipped to the woman edging me out of her way in order to get at little dishes featuring gilded raccoons.  She ignored me, her eye on the prize. The air was thick with tension, everyone was on a mission and no one was willing to concede space .

I dashed for where I had last seen my coveted blouse. It was gone. I frantically searched among the racks, sweating in my heavy coat, hands trembling and feeling panicked as other women more aggressive than I held their ground and refused to move. I scanned the line ups at the cash and the dressing rooms, certain that someone was clutching my blouse. Nothing. It was gone. My deer dreams were dashed, gone forever.

I walked out defeated and empty handed. Once I was away from the chaos my head began to clear and my hands stopped shaking. Breathing the crisp air and having space again calmed me. I didn’t have to fight anyone. Now there would be time to go to the gym since I wouldn’t be putting on a fashion show for myself. I bought a bagel for an inventive panhandler with an empty cup tied to a stick like a fishing pole. He called me Miss and bobbed his cup at me.

It turned out to be a good morning, even without a deer blouse.

Uber Swap In Leslieville

Friday, January 14th, 2011

I am dusting off my mouth guard and getting ready to rumble. My friend is hosting a mega clothing swap in Leslieville tomorrow and I am sure the clothing sharks are already smelling the blood in the water. I am thrilled and terrified at the same time. I love a good clothing swap. I am always in the market for free goodies and now in the dead of winter I am really feeling the need for free pick me ups. I have enjoyed many a clothing swap with my girlfriends, but they have always been civilized affairs involving lots of wine, snacks and the ability to openly shame anyone who becomes too aggressive and greedy. I am apprehensive about dealing with crazed strangers in a fashion frenzy. I am a shy and retiring sort, definitely more of a lover than a fighter. Nonetheless, a girl has to pick her battles, and this is a noble fight. I will have to channel my winter angst and aggression to ensure that I walk away with an armful of free goodies and minimal bruises.

Rationale for my New Necklace

Thursday, August 19th, 2010

I saw this sweet necklace by a Toronto artisan and instantly and conveniently forgot about the August shopping ban I had imposed on myself.

I rationalized that much of the ban had to do with my avoidance of anything pertaining to autumn. I do not want to see itchy wool sweaters or heavy clothing so a shopping ban felt timely. This necklace, though, looks light as air, positively spring-like in fact.

Besides being local, light and lovely, the necklace also features rose quartz. I have been a big fan of rose quartz ever since I learned that it’s the love crystal. It is the feel-good-unconditional-love-vibes-for-all talisman.

I already have a fabulous rose quartz necklace that makes me feel like a new age Wilma Flintstone.

Sometimes, however, it feels too heavy and clunky around my neck. I don’t want to feel burdened and weighed down by too much unconditional love, now do I? This new necklace will be light and easy to manage and will still send out the love vibes.

Of course, I recognize that all of this is a cheap rationalization to justify my uncontrollable consumption and impulsiveness. I don’t really need a new necklace. I certainly don’t need an amulet for protection against critics but considering my recent defending my life rampage, it couldn’t hurt. Perhaps this is why athletes wear the same underwear for an important game and business executives have their power suits. Sometimes we need a physical representation of our inner desires or something tangible to cling to when things feel chaotic. We all need a life preserver now and then, a set of water wings in a prettier and less bulky package. I shouldn’t need to depend on a crystal for some gentle loving compassion but sometimes the days can be dark, the critics can be loud, and a sweet necklace may be just the touchstone I need.

Birds of a Feather

Thursday, July 15th, 2010

I have a new necklace.

The lovely and talented Amy at Smitten Kitten is the perfect model for her own works. I saw her last week wearing one of her creations and instantly decided that I needed to be just like her. What I really wanted was her entire ensemble down to her lust-worthy Frye sandals. Luckily she has dainty feet, otherwise I would have had to jump her and nab her shoes. I settled for buying the necklace and I have been merrily wearing it ever since. I love a good dose of gilded nature.

Is is shallow that a new trinket makes me so happy? I guess I’m a very happy shallow girl. I have a gold feather around my neck and I think woodland creatures would approve.

Garage Sale Bliss

Sunday, May 16th, 2010

I was going through some shopping withdrawal this week. My new frugal lifestyle has been satisfying and I’ve had many smug moments resisting temptation and eating my thrifty lentil dinners but the treat-lover in me has been feeling a little deprived. I was experiencing a serious case of budget martyrdom.

Luckily The Sweetie and I found some delightful garage sales this morning. It was the perfect day for garage sales. There were copious amounts of charming, fluffy cats sunning themselves on the sidewalks and porches. The garage sale hosts were extra adorable and friendly everywhere we went. The Sweetie and I would whisper to each other, “Could they have been any nicer? Are you shocked that they didn’t offer to make us smoothies and bake muffins?”

I picked up an armful of delights for a mere $12:  knitting needles and yarn to add to my stash, a novel I have been wanting to read for ages, a belt since I figured I should start accessorizing more, a magazine holder (which The Sweetie is very excited about since he regularly trips over the books and magazines stacked around my side of the bed), and my most exciting find of the day, a retro bread box. I have been lusting after an old school bread box for ages. On top of that, a lovely woman threw is some heirloom tomato seedlings, just because. She was delightful, the cats were delightful, the weather was delightful, The Sweetie and I were delightful.

Sunny spring Sundays that begin with garage sales are always delightful.