LOST and Savers

January 9, 2008

Today the job search continues.  Next week I think I will just go up to the Santa Monica area and scout and drop by a few of the places where I applied that didn’t specify “No walk-ins.”  This morning one of the relatives I am staying with told me that I don’t need to be anxious. “The right job is waiting for you,” he said.  Last night when I got home, I shared with the relatives that I’m the type of person who is very focused and likes to know what she is doing when she is doing it.

Yesterday I was feeling anxious, so I indulged in two things that always make me feel less anxious: purse shopping at a thrift store and watching several episodes of a favorite television show on DVD. The purse shopping I did in the morning, on my own, after spending about three hours at Panera searching for a job via the internet while intermittently playing Scrabble on Facebook. D took me out to Chick-Fil-A for lunch the other day (what a guy), and we drove by a giant thrift store called Savers. Yesterday I decided to return to Savers, thus widening my radius of daily activities. I tried on some clothes but found that Savers is a little expensive for a thrift store. In fact, I probably have the money-saving savvy to find similar items brand new for the same price or less by shopping end of season sales (I’m little, so I generally have good luck finding extravagantly cheap prices in my size, especially in shoes). If I would buy anything at Savers, it would have to be exceedingly unique and a perfect Ann-item. I found just such an item in a beautiful needlepoint purse. I forgot to bring my digital camera to Panera with me this morning, but I will try and remember to take a photograph of my new bag for my post tomorrow. It was made somewhere in China, which really isn’t that remarkable, except that it was probably sold in China as well. The tag brand name is written in Chinese characters. It’s super cute and very much my style.

In Savers, a woman about my age was ushering around an elderly woman (probably in her eighties) who was blind. I noticed them when I was flipping through the skirts, but didn’t overhear their conversation, so I didn’t realize that the woman was blind. When I was looking at the purses, they were behind me perusing a rack of jackets. The younger woman was enthusiastically describing a soft, cream-colored jacket to the older woman. She guided the woman’s hand to the jacket, and the woman touched it, murmuring at its softness. “This is so much fun,” the older woman told the younger woman.

After that I went to D’s house. For Christmas 2006, I bought him the first season of LOST. It has taken him this long to watch it, probably because I have scared him away a little bit through telling him all about how he’ll get addicted. I’ve never before encountered a more addicting show. Let’s not mention here how many classes I skipped that week I watched the first season a few years ago. After D and I were done with the first four episodes, three of his roommates watched the first disc, so we are all at the same point today and can watch the second disc together. I’m excited. Even though I don’t have a job yet, people have been encouraging me to savor this time of unemployment. The relatives reassured me of it yesterday evening. I’m welcome to stay there as long as I need to.

I am so very thankful for the people in my life.

Baby, It’s Cold Outside.

November 23, 2007

Yesterday while on the telephone with D, he informed me that it was cold in California because it was 50 degrees, Fahrenheit. It was evening, so I in no way doubt the accuracy of his weather assertions, but I do doubt the assertion that 50 degrees is cold. It was 16 degrees here in Minnesota. Baby, it’s chilly — not quite as chilly as it will get here — but, just the same, chilly.

I admit that living in Arkansas for the past six years, before I moved home last month, has made me the weak little duckling. For the past six years, I’ve only spent about three weeks each year of the winter here in Minnesota, if even that, and it was generally at the mildest points. Plus, I was on Christmas vacation or only had a week of work off, or something, and I didn’t have to go outside if I didn’t want to. I didn’t have to experience what I like to call snot-freezin’ weather, and yes, I really do mean that sometimes it gets so cold that when you inhale sharply, your nose hairs get all stiff, and your snot freezes. It is quite the exhilarating sensation. When my brother and I were younger, we used to put booties and jackets on our dogs to let them go outside to poo. We made a doggie jacket out of an old jacket that belonged to our grandpa, and we called it the dogs’ Starter Jacket. I have a Starter Jacket of my own from seventh grade, a real one of the Phoenix Suns, and I am sometimes known to embarrassingly don that jacket to go outside here because the jacket is very warm. It is also very humiliating for a classy girl like me, but in the dead of winter around here, people don’t really care about humiliating — they only care about warm.

I have spent probably a fourth of my life wearing snow pants. One of my favorite feelings as a child was coming in from playing in the snow when all my snow clothes were soaking wet, only to peel off all those wet clothes, don my second set of warm, dry snow clothes, and run right back out again. We Clippertons were experienced and knew how to make this sensation especially enjoyable by setting out the dry clothes on the old fashioned heat radiator beforehand, so when we came in to change, the new clothes would be toasty. I remember exactly what it feels like to pull on those mittens, that sense of joyous relief, when the wet becomes dry and the cold becomes warm.

And even though it was 16 degrees yesterday, it was also a joyous day because I woke up to fat, white flakes falling from the hazy sky. We only got a dusting, a teaspoon dose that lingered in the corners of the streets and between the blades of grass, but still, it is coming. I can’t think of anything more fun right now than borrowing my mom’s snowmobiling suit from the 1970s and running out to the park in the cold and snow with my two-year-old niece, to brave the frozen snot, all for the sake of sliding down a hill on our butts over a piece of brightly colored, thin plastic.

Or, if we don’t have sleds around here anymore, we can use a snow shovel, because as an experienced Clipperton Snow Person, let me tell you, it works.

A Little Splurge

October 8, 2007

For the most part I’ve been very good about saving money for the past few months. A few hurdles have risen out of the ground, but financial discipline is starting to come easier for me. I’ve eliminated most eating out except for a few evenings with friends. My relationship to shoes, bags, and clothes has become one akin to Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie: Once we were the best of friends, but now we avoid each other. I’ve even been excellent at not buying things from the GAP, where I work part-time, even though I have this terrific discount. There was that one time I bought a pair of khaki pants off the sale rack for $6, and then that other time I found a pair of jeans for $5 off the sale rack. Just about anyone would agree, however, that those were wise buys.

Over the weekend, I did a little shopping.  I am the Maid of Honor in my dear cousin Sara’s wedding in about three weeks, and I had to find some brown shoes to go with my dress. I found a terrific pair at Dillard’s. But seriously. Did you see the price on those? Yeah. Saving money does not include spending $100 on shoes (Arkansas sales tax is around 9%).

So, I headed over to F-Town, the only place nearby that has a Target. Translation: cute shoes that are also cheap! Isaac Mizrahi has revitalized the life of many-a woman. I found these fantastic shoes, which, like the expensive Antonio Melani ones, were just what I was looking for — cute, subtle details with a sleek, professional look. And they were on sale! For $25! And that, of course, meant that they didn’t have my size. Being a former Target employee, I happen to know that you can take an item to the service desk and find out the closest location of another store that has the item. Because there aren’t many Targets in Arkansas (this is Wal-Mart country, y’all), I asked them to check in Minnesota (it is Target country, you guys). And bingo — they had them. My mom picked them up last night for the sale price. Boo-yeah!

I also bought a few other things because there were some incredible sales going on. I also need a few warm things for my move to Minnesota. I’m getting there just in time for winter. So, I found this at Target:

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I bought these glasses at the ACB Thrift Store here in Rogers. Unfortunately, I can’t wear them for anything but photographs because they keep sliding off my face. I wonder if ladies in the seventies had this problem. I’m usually not a big fan of faux-vintage clothes, but in this case the colors and style worked so perfectly that I had to run with it.

I’m generally also not a big fan of Charlotte Russe: Home of the Skanky Clubbin’ Outfit. But there was this:

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(Again, model face.) A bag. For $3. And look how terrific it looks with that stripe of tubing between the two bold colors.

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And then there were the shoes. The T.J. Maxx shoes. $15 for a pair of Michael Kors shoes is not something a girl can pass up.

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Fab. u. lous.