I do realize how unsanitary I must appear, allowing bebe to roam freely on the floor while I'm trying on clothes. I'm usually a better mother than this, really. If anything, it's the secret to keeping one's immune system strong.
We are now in the middle of June, and its dawned on me that I'm half-way through with my No Shopping Challenge. In some ways, time has gone by rather quickly. On the other hand, little bumps in the road remind me that I still have half a year left to go (with Christmas season and sales being expected hurdles). The most difficult times so far have been shopping for or with others, though I enjoy choosing gifts for family and friends, ignorance is no longer bliss and all of all sudden I start seeing a lot of things I would choose for myself. When that happens I am reminded to snap out of it, chastising myself for having wandering eyes. But in all seriousness, I am finding more joy in giving rather than receiving (or in this case, giving to oneself). Yes it sounds ridiculous but hey, if you were a guy, imagine not buying tech-y gadgets for a year! Everyone has their vices, and mine is found in accessorizing my closet.
A hurdle I did not expect came about last week while I was waiting to meet up with the lovely Anisa at Bruxie's in downtown Brea. To make a long story short, we had a bit of miscommunication that caused the poor girl to drive all over the OC. I decided to meander over to the Ann Taylor Loft across the street, thinking that the store would be harmless. The Loft is for middle-aged women, right? There was a huge 40% off sign in the window front. I'm a sucker for sales, and I figured if anything, I could find something for my mother. I guess I hadn't been in the store for some time because boy was I wrong. Upon walking into the store, the accessory section caught my eye. They had teamed up with Wakami (empowers Guatemalan women to become leaders in their community) to create a line of friendship bracelets, adorned with rhinestones, charms and colorful embroidery. Beautiful accessories that fund a good cause. I was smitten. At least now I know where to find a gift!
Next up, I noticed their sandals: snakeskin prints, neons, and plastic jelly sandals encrusted with colored rhinestones! They also had fun summery dresses with bold tropical prints that didn't scream "suburban mom." There was even a romper in sight with green and lime palm prints (*note the above photo- if I can't buy it there's no harm in trying it on)! And a classic striped linen tee (stripes...a weakness). Now I'm not sure if it was my excitement with the revamping of the store or my hunger to shop, but I was pretty sure it was a little bit of both. I felt my adrenaline go up and part of me started justifying why I could use a new pair of sandals...or perhaps purchase a bracelet to save for next year. Wait, what was I thinking?? I told myself I would try on a few items to get it out of my system. That I did, and sure enough, nothing in the store was my size. Perfect. I walked out of the fitting room with bebe and made a beeline for the exit.
As soon as I walked out, I felt an immediate sense of calm. I was reminded that I really didn't need anything. Everything would've been a want, something to bring me instant gratification, and I've been learning to die to some of these desires of mine. I still don't think shopping is a bad thing, I do intend on participating in this recreational activity again, but hopefully with a new sense of purpose. But it was the strangest thing, being inside that store and falling victim to a store's marketing ploys really does something to a person. So props to The Loft and their marketing team, because they nearly succeeded in breaking my shopping challenge...but not quite.
Either way, they really have come a long way, so I figured I might as well do some eyeball shopping and put together a few things that caught my attention. I've been digging more conservative swimsuits these days, being a mom and all, I feel the need to cover up a tad bit more- and chic, tasteful swimsuits are a rarity, but apparently The Loft have some that don't make you feel like a gramma!
Now that concludes my little spat with shopping. For those of you who thought I've been cruising through this challenge...I'm far from being perfect or disciplined. Lesson learned: Don't walk into unfamiliar stores without a purpose. Moving forward and celebrating the small victories...