I'm procrastinating right now. I'm leaving for Columbus tomorrow to willingly subject myself to both shopping and crowds, but not just any regular shopping or generic crowds, but shopping and crowds to the power of... at least 10... maybe more. Brides-to-be, their entourages, and a store full of seriously marked down to like next to nothing wedding gowns. Yep. I'm going to Filene's "Running of the Brides" because I've lost my mind, and... by all accounts... my budget, particularly my dress budget, is minimal. So here's to hoping.
There are many things wrong with this mess. First, I'm not really a shopper. I'm a get in, get what I need, get the hell out kinda gal who has no patience for things like browsing or fitting rooms or salespeople. Second, beyond not really being a shopper, bargain shopping completely eludes me (though my recent shopping venture in Denver challenges this long standing truth, but that's another story, which given some time and continued procrastination I may very well tell you). The crowds... well, I can probably handle that. I know how to run and grab shit, sometimes I terribly mindless when it comes to being polite, so that should serve me well in this particular situation. Also confusing, there's like a whole process to this "event" called the "running of the brides." There's swapping, and haggling, this dress for that. Sounds complicated.
My mom and sister are coming with, though Mom refuses to run in and grab dresses. Mom will hold the mirror (yes, we are bringing a mirror). Sarah and I will do the dirty work and probably end up on the 5 o'clock news in a bridal gown brawl.
Last week into this week I was in Denver for a work trip that proved to be... well, lacking in the actual work. Instead I did stuff like eat at Mad Greens, my new favorite place on earth. I went to the art museum even though I tend to be staunchly against things I consider vacation-like on a business trip, I had nothing else to do. I went to dinners with staff and had drinks, hung out in the hotel gym, and once in awhile, stopped by a meeting. But Sunday afternoon, I had nada left to do work-wise, so like any lady who lunches at Mad Greens, I went shopping.
So the other week I had this epiphany. It was spurred by something I read that reminded me of something my mom said. Really the details are inconsequential. The point is, I had this realization that went something like this (I have a hard time stating this gracefully, so... sorry): Do I really not care about myself enough to put on makeup and comb my hair and wear nice clothes? And if I do care about myself why don't I make the effort to look nice? Perhaps if I made the effort to look nice, I would feel better about myself and shit.
I don't know. The ideas are there, clunky for sure, but it made sense in that moment and I decided after all these years it was time for a change. Now sure, we can speculate all day as to why I became the way I became, but that's really neither here nor there. So, after putting the nicest work clothing I owned in my suitcase, vowing to wear makeup, and packing my curling iron, I went shopping. I thought, fuck sizes. I'm going to buy what fits, and not pin my self-worth on a number attached to an item of clothing. First, I went to TJ Maxx where I found a cashmere button down sweater for $20. Then, I hit pay dirt. Banana Republic was having a sale. And I got this:
Please note: the original price of the dress was $130. The online sale price is $34. I got the dress for $19. How? Hell, I don't know. Pure dumb luck seems the likeliest answer. And (AND!) I got a skirt for $16 (originally $79). I spent less than $40 at Banana Republic and walked out with merchandise originally priced at over $200. Now that is some seriously impressive bargain shopping if I do say so myself.
Wish me luck!