I did something today that I have never done in all my many (ha!) years as a grown-up. I've done it many times, especially as a teen, but never as a grown-up. I went on a true, honest-to-goodness shopping spree with my own (not my mother's) money.
My dear friends and co-workers at Drakes Creek sent me away with a $200 American Express gift card. When I got it, I thought of the bills I could pay with it. My thought process went something like this: "Okay, we can probably have the electricity turned on or pay a few phone bills with this. That will really help us out money-wise when we get there." But when I told Gilbert about this gift, his response was not the same. "Kate, you should take that and buy yourself some new clothes." Wow. How generous of him. I hadn't thought of this. The reason that I was so impressed with his response was because every time he comes into some extra money, I automatically view it as our money. When he suggests that he buy some hunting equipment or musical device with his newly acquired wealth, I remind him of all the practical things we can buy with it. So I was shocked and guilted (unintentionally) when he reacted to my funds in the way he did.
I pondered his proposal for a long time (I think it's been almost three weeks) until I stood long enough in my closet at a loss for something warm, stylish, and un-hole-y (by this I do not mean unholy, a.k.a. trashy) that I couldn't take it anymore. I would go shopping.
I wanted to be stylish. I see all these ladies who look so well-put-together, and I wish I could be more like that. I wanted to walk into the store, find a mannequin with something cool on, and buy that outfit. I didn't want to buy what I normally like or purchase. I wanted to be different.
I started and finished my spree at Kohl's. Because today is the day to observe Veteran's Day, I was able to take advantage of great sales. My concern was that I would get there, not be in the mood to shop, get frustrated that I wasn't fitting into the sizes I thought I should, and go home empty-handed. Here's the proof that this didn't happen: I got there at 8:20; I left at 10:30. I left happily at 10:30. It was great. I was completely exhilarated. I normally hate shopping, but I never knew it could be so fun. I think what made it so fun is the fact that I didn't have to come home and enter large numbers into the check register and then, consequently, fight the desire to make returns. It's a great feeling.
After leaving Kohl's, I spent the birthday money my mother-in-law gave me and bought a new pair of tennis shoes. I came home with two pairs of shoes, two pairs of pants, five shirts, two necklaces and two pairs of earrings. What a great day.
I have so much more from my spree that I want to share, like the fact that I talked the sales clerk into giving me an extra 25% off one shirt because it had a hole that I was willing to stitch up, but I'll move on. I gave Gilbert a fashion show tonight just before I started working on this. One outfit he called an "un-Kate-like outfit"--the exact look I was going for. Mission accomplished.