Tuesday, February 19, 2008

flip flops and shopping woes

Wasn't it a beautiful day today? If I had a camera I would have taken a picture. But, alas, from the severe lack of photographs on my blog, you probably have realized I do not own a digital camera. So here is a public apology to Heather and all the other picture lovers out there: my blog is just going to be a lot of boring words until I have a job and can pay for my own camera. Anyway, back to the beautiful day today. Although, now that I think about it, it was kind of wet, the snow is half-melted and muddy, and the trees are all bare and kind of ugly. But who cares? Spring is on its way. That is a beautiful thought indeed, if it only means one thing: flip flop season is back.

I own approximately eleven pairs of flip flops, nine of which are from Old Navy. And this total isn't counting the sandals and other slip-on shoes (such as crocs) that I also love wearing. Good thing those Old Navy flip flops are relatively cheap, because otherwise I might need to get a summer job just to pay for them! In fact, my shoes wardrobe sports flip flops in every single color of the rainbow (including three colors of blue as well as brown and black and pink and red and yellow and orange--go THS) except white, purple, and green. "Does she really need all those colored pieces of foam?" you may be thinking. Well, need is a relative term. I have to walk around in something, I might as well have it be colorful. And soft. And cheap. If those reasons don't cut it for you, let's just say that it's fun to have shoes that match your outfit, okay?

Shopping trips. Growing up, they were fairly few and far between, mostly because Mom doesn't like shopping and has taught us to be frugal and save our money. However, if you go shopping with Mom, she'll pay half, and that bonus makes the wait until she wants to take you shopping definitely worth it. Then again, at times I desperately needed clothes; I distinctly remember a time during my growth spurt when I didn't have even one pair of jeans that didn't look like capris on my gangly, out-of-place legs. For me, clothes shopping quickly evolved into one of the top five detestable activities, plopped in there with cleaning the toilet and washing the front window.

It seems I was somewhat of an anomaly in this sense. Most teenage girls absolutely love shopping. I think this may be from a combination of reasons:

1. Their parents pay
2. Stylish "cool" clothes = sociality and popularity
3. Competition: Jessica and Brittany and Ashley have that shirt from American Eagle, so I need it too

The reasons I didn't (and don't) enjoy shopping:

1. I paid half of everything I bought
2. I wasn't popular, or even on the track to becoming such, so why should I try to pretend I was?
3. Why would I want to wear the same shirt or pair of shoes as another girl? That's just weird. [This mentality continues today. A journal entry from last August reads: "Today I saw an old lady (okay, about 50) wearing the same shirt as me. Depressing. :( " And can you blame me?]
4. The pants are never long enough, the shirts are never long enough, the long sleeves are never long enough, the necks are always too low, the skirts are always too tight or too short, and most of the styles these days are pretty much the most hideous things I have ever seen.

There's another reason why I hate shopping. If you know me at all, you have probably met my guilt complex (reason #5). I don't know how you could miss it. This guilt complex sometimes takes control, and when I spend lots of money on clothes that aren't absolutely completely totally necessary, it kicks into high gear. Even with my parents paying half on pretty much all of my clothing purchases, I couldn't bring myself to buy stuff I probably should have. Luckily all was not lost because I have five older sisters to give me fashion advice; I daresay Heather and I probably were more fashion-conscious at an earlier age than some of my elder sisters...and if you doubt it I'll show you some of my family albums to prove it.

Anyway, I hated (and still hate) going shopping and getting really depressed because I couldn't find anything that fit. Pants shopping is probably one of my least favorite past times....ever. That is, next to swimsuit shopping. Shopping for dresses isn't much better (when it's supposed to be mid-calf it's knee-length, etc.), and the sleeves on coats are guaranteed to be too short. Thus, it is only rational that I am always drawn to the shoe racks, much like Janel to chocolate cake. :) Shoes are so easy to fit! Since I don't have much wrong with my feet (i.e. no abnormal arch like Mom or bunion like Dad or extra-long second toe like Janel), it's pretty darn easy to find shoes that fit. It's also very nice that my feet are the size of most other women: size 8. Unfortunately, all this means is more shoes call my name in the store...

I have gotten some pretty sweet deals on shoes, if on nothing else. One time I bought two pairs of practically new shoes at a yard sale for one dollar each. I got a pair of Doc Martin sandals at D.I. for a buck. My sparkly "princess shoes" which I wore to nearly every formal dance (thanks to the lack of any sort of heel whatsoever) were six bucks at Claire's. [Quick little aside: Have you ever tried to buy a pair of formal shoes without a heel? They pretty don't exist. Believe me. Except at Claire's.] And my favorite pair of flip flops was originally seventeen dollars at Big 5, but I noticed a little tear in one of the straps and they gave them to me for three bucks.

I suppose I truly am Aunt Julie's niece and Dad's daughter: I love getting a bargain (which is why I detest the Creamery so much). And although I may have a few more shoes than is absolutely necessary, I think as long as I stick with the buy-it-only-if-it's-a-bargain mentality, my guilt complex will be satisfied, I won't have to worry about what all the money could have done to help some starving woman and her children in some third-world country, and I won't get too out of control. Or at least we can always hope so.


janel said...

Hey, no defaming the second toe! I accept apologies in the form of chocolate cake, though.
By the way, if Danielle were here, she'd ask how you feel about bra shopping. And I'd ask Ryan how he feels about getting beat to the first comment on this entry.

Kimberly said...

I share your antipathy for shopping. At least you didn't have to find all your clothes in the kids' section!
Oh, and I can attest to your older siblings having a lack of taste in clothes-- just look at the pictures I dug up last week from us going through my closet!

L. said...

May I come shoe shopping in your closet sometime? --Mom

Ryan said...

Wow Janel, you wasted me today. It probably has something to do with the fact that I had to rehearse for THREE hours today for our Men's Chorus Concerts this week. (You can ask Becca about our lovely 8-10 dress rehearsal, although she got to leave after the first half hour, lucky.) Anyhow, it's been a crazy day, but congratulations anyway Janel.
Nice post Suz, I hate shopping for clothes too. Oh, and I'll make sure to find out whether those starving women in Zimbabwe would enjoy having one pair of shoes before I tell them that my girl back home owns about twenty pairs. Don't worry, I'll take a few with me to give to them if you want. I think they might especially love the princess shoes, I know I do.

Kimberly said...

Suz, maybe this is a mistake to tell you, but I was at Shopko today, and they had sales on flip-flops: $7 a pair!

Suzy said...

Kim, don't tell me this. I'm already spending enough money at the Creamery to set up a retirement fund! AAGGH! Plus, I don't know what Ryan would think of me if I bought yet another pair of flip flops...he might just decide to take the whole bunch of them to zimbabwe and donate them to the needy women there. And then where would I be? Flip flop-less. Hmph.

Camille said...

You and I are similar in many ways, Suzanne. Let's not go shopping sometime.

Becca said...

It's okay that you buy all those shoes Suz. As long as you don't decide to buy another navy blue polo. :)
I wish I had as dainty and cute feet as you. You don't have to shop for shoes in the men's department, you lucky dog, you.