Conspicuous Consumption: Bargain Guilt

Since I'm taking a day off from going through page proofs for More Than This (Touchstone, August '09) and starting up on my next book, I decided to go to the mall. The mall! The great thing (or one out of the three great things) about working from home (as a writer) is I can go to the mall, movies, doctor, salon, Soup Plantation or post office during those weird hours when most of America is at work. I had to mail something off, return a sweater or two and get my eyebrows threaded and, as I usually reserve Wednesday as Fun and Fancy Free day, I decided to pretend this stuff was actually something enjoyable and get it over with. And at my mall, I can do it all in the same place.

I was the only person in the post office so I didn't have to wait, but still didn't get good service, oh well. I've been getting my brows threaded since my mid-20s and now get them done at Ziba, a chain down here in L.A. for $11 compared to the $35 it used to cost me in San Francisco, a bargain and worth the loss of privacy. The sweaters were from Express a store I have a love/I'm embarrassed I shop there relationship with. They sometimes come off as down market bebe (and I think bebe is pretty tarty) but without the limited edition run on what they sell. Which means chances are, one day I'll go to a meeting and be dressed in the same exact outfit the assistant is wearing. But they make the best pants, they fit, can be tossed into the wash and won't break the bank, even if you give into the urge to go for a pair with checks and metallic accent threads.

I had, for once, the foresight to tuck a $20 off a $60 purchase promo card, expiring on the 10th, into my wallet. For good measure, I also toted along the one that came yesterday, a 20% off $125 purchase, expiring in March. I made a quick turn the floor, was turned off by the stirrup pants they're slogging but as I approached the counter I saw the sale section. Loooong story short, I ended up buying four (4!) pairs of jeans and three (3!) tops, all marked an additional 30% off the sale price. As I got a lot of stuff, I pulled out the $125 promo card only to see my sub-total pop up as $68 and change. I bashfully handed over my first promo card and ended up scooting out the door with a bag full of clothes for something like $45.

I'm going to hell for sure.

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