Thursday, December 29, 2011
My faithful friend(s) Merriam-Webster (MW) defines Bargain as 'an advantageous purchase' or 'an transaction, situation, or event regarded in the light of its results'. Umhmmm... remember back years (ok, just weeks, really, possibly just days as this blog is not so old) ago when I mentioned that we would discuss the pros and cons of buying one quality item vs a cheap thrill or multiple 'bargain' items? Remember how I stated (typed, whatever) that this was not a 'buy all you can bonanza', but a concentrated effort to spend less while still meeting your needs, still (most of the time...when you get some sleep and fix your hair) looking fabulous, while putting your money and time towards things that matter?
It's all come to a head- my fantastic cheap thrill $13.00 Bongo jeans from Walmart have a hole on the seam... right outer thigh, about an inch long. I'm sufficiently able with a needle and a thread (as long as it's on a seam, i.e. brown tiered skirt) to fix this little annoyance, but is this a sign of things to come?
They say (I don't know who 'they' are, but we all know them and have heard what 'they say' our entire life) that you can determine the actual price of an item- dress, tool, appliance- by dividing the cost by the number of wears or uses. I purchased the $13.00 jeans on December 10th... in the ensuing 18 days I wore them AT LEAST 5 times that I can remember, not always all day, but at least a few hours each time... and that might be a conservative estimate. Using our 'what they say' equation, the actual cost of the jeans at this point in time is $2.60... and extrapolating (whoa!!! math!!!) those numbers to a 1 year span with an average of 101 wears in that 365 day period, the 'cost' of the jeans would be $0.13 cents.
You might be thinking... well, a little time, effort, needle and thread- not such a big deal! Surely worth it to continue wearing the jeans, prolonging their life span and decreasing their total cost... yes?
We must have a control item (boy oh boy!!! Science and Math both!!! Together in one little blog about STYLE!!!!) Let's take my Silver brand jeans that I purchased in March of 2008- I spent $67.00 on them- a happy birthday to me splurge!!! and have worn them at least 2 times a week for the last 3, almost 4 years (minus the last 6 months of pregnancy and 15 more months of getting back to my 'normal' size). So ( more math, deep breath) Let's say that we had 46 months (march to march of 3 years=36 + march to december of this year =10) minus 15 too big months= 31 months with an average of 4 weeks each/ 2 wears per month for a total of 248 wears. $67.00 divided by 248 leads us to a 'cost' of $0.27 cents for my favorite, faithful denim pal, with nary a rip nor tear.
Sooooo (more math... in through the nose, out through the mouth) already using only 1 years time we can tell that the 'cost' of the cheap thrill is less than the 'cost' of the premium denim, and when you figure the 'cost' per year average of my Silver jeans (12 months, 4 wks/month, 2 wears/week) the 'cost' is $0.70 for premium denim compared to $0.13 for my cheap thrill.
TA-DAH!!!! But... but, but, but will my $13.00 jeans last 3 almost 4 years? if I'm already mending after 18 days will they make it through my rough and tumble wrestling/tackling crazy boys life? What about the repeated washing to remove smashed goldfish, squished grapes, and chewed then chucked chicken pot pie that, if I had to guess, is the cause (the repeated washing, not the well masticated meats) of the hole on the seam of my cheap thrill denim.
We'll have to wait and see... remember, MW, states that you can't really call an item a bargain until you've 'regarded it in the light of it's results'. Come talk to me in 2015 and we'll know for sure. Until then- What item have you worn for YEARS??? Was it a splurge or a steal? Do you think that price reflects quality or are you really just paying for the brand and all it's advertising? hmmm?
Tuesday, December 27, 2011
What, exactly, can you control? What you wear? Where you go? With whom you speak?
Growing up I had a good friend who wore very normal clothing in a very normal way... anytime she 'branched out' her mom would say "That looks like something Amy Maslan would wear"... and you can bet your sweet booty that her momma was NOT giving her a compliment.
My first phrase was 'I do!'... my way of telling my parents, brother, the neighbor or anyone in shouting distance that I would do it myself, and I would do it MY WAY! That came through in my clothing, in my choice of activities, in the books that I read (don't be thinking I was some wild and crazy rebel... bookworm is more like it, a nice, polite, bookworm)
I know a young man who wears shorts year round- come rain, sleet, snow, or hail, he has shorts on. I know a young lady whom I have NEVER seen without a completely 'done' face, including her beautiful false lashes that I adore and coveted and never would have guessed were faux until I saw her pull one strip right off in a meeting... I about fell off my chair!
These are our public 'faces', our online personas, the 'us' that we put out there for everyone to see... do I post the pictures that show my lumps and bumps and pudge? HECCCCCKKKKKK NO! Nor do I post when we've had an awful FX night- spitting and biting and fussing, not eating and surely not sleeping. What about days when something brings me down, when I'm sad and blue and filled with worry... my mental lumps and bumps and pudge spilling out all over my real life.
Look back at the first sentence- Your occupation might dictate what you wear, and speaking of gainful employment, that surely dictates where you go and when you get there and whom you speak to while you're there. Not saying you can't change jobs, move, and so on... but what can you change RIGHT NOW?
As a parent, I am WELL aware that my attitude, my state (calm, frantic, peaceful or frazzled) has a significant impact on my children's personality and mood. Same thing at work- When I am cheerful, in control and relaxed my patients and their family members pick up on my vibes and, hopefully/usually/eventually, we all move forward in a calm effective manner. I can't control how others treat me... and sometimes it's really, really hard not to pop off an obnoxious rejoinder or to jump on the stressed out train that carries many passengers and runs fast and furious in every medical setting I've ever worked.
I am working on that inner locus of control- the one that says 'Right now, I'm in charge of me... and my life is a reflection of the choices I'm making'. I can't change the past. I can't change my chromosomes, my DNA and the mutation that I carry that caused my sweet big boy's FX, but I can most surely work every day to ensure that his FX does not define him, does not define our family, and that the guilt and worry do not define me. I am in control of my attitude and how I react to the hugging, smiling, milestone accomplishments that he makes is just as important as how I react to the spitting, biting, fussing. Just as with my middle B and baby A, how I react to the boundary testing that 4 year olds do, the 'must have momma' drama that consumes many of my 1 year olds waking moments, and the sweet cuddles and amazing leaps that are being made, it all gets wrapped up into this crazy thing that is 'our life'.
My style is affected by my attitude... When I'm feeling bogged down by negative thoughts and emotions, I wear something safe... something that no one will notice- for good or for bad. When I'm feeling self assured and peaceful I'm more likely to branch out... I don't care so much if other's like my style because it's a choice that I have made that makes me happy (or a learning experience, either one).
So, ramble coming to a conclusion, focus on what you are in charge of- your attitude, your inner state, your locus of control. Decide how you want your life to be, then go after it. Don't worry if someone (or their momma) doesn't like how you look. Be at peace, be you.
Cheap Thrills outfit #8 Sweater, Buffalo from TJ Maxx $19.99, Burnout creme shirt-Maurices 2008, sale $14.99, Creme Cami-Limitted 2008, sale $12.99, Corduroy skirt-Walmart 2007, $5.00, tights-Merona at Target $3.99, boots- $12.00 Kmart years ago. Outfit Total= $68.96