Friday, August 21, 2009


For those of you new to the craziness I call my life, I publicly proclaimed about a week ago that I was going to make no more non-essential purchases for the rest of 2009.

Now, I'm not a spend-a-holic, but because I love, love, love a bargain, the idea of refraining from making three or more impulse-purchases online while buying school clothes for my kids, or not picking up my 489th clearanced t-shirt during a pilgrimage to the grocery store disturbs me just a bit. I'm still not sure I can do it, but things are going alright so far. Mainly because I haven't left the house yet.

So, yesterday I was feeling just the slightest itch to buy something new (or used. I'm not picky.). I successfully stayed away from the Sears outlet site and instead found two novel ways to curb my desire for something new and shiny.

The first thing I did was to organize my dresser drawers. Until yesterday, I wouldn't have thought for a second that this would substitute for anything remotely fun, but it was totally therapeutic! Not only did I tidy one of the black holes of disorganization in my house, I found all the t-shirts I own that I haven't worn all summer because I forgot they were even there. It was like finding a bunch of new things to buy, without having to spend any cash! And the next time I feel the urge to score a bargain, I'll go through my closet, then the hall closet and then my bottomless pit of purses. I bet I'll last a good month on my closets alone!

Next, I went through a few of the boxes in the garage. Being a military family, we have moved a lot over the past six years, and there are things that haven't been unpacked in that entire time. Here's what I found:
Around the time the Captain and I got married, there was this song on the radio that my father couldn't listen to because it was about a father walking his daughter down the aisle. I thought it was the height of cheese. But after that, for about a year, every time my mom found something butterfly-themed at the large fabric chain where she worked, she'd pick it up for me. And these boxes were one of those pretty little gifts. I still cringe at that song, but I can't help being drawn to butterflies.
This was wrapped in newspaper next to the butterfly boxes. It used to be on display, candles lit and floating every night, in our first apartment. When we had kids, and those kids started ice skating across the kitchen tile on our CD's and throwing the breakables in the air to see what would happen when they hit the floor, I packed up stuff like this and eventually forgot it ever existed. Now, we're not past the point where I might conceivably find Rosemary's Baby rolling this down the driveway, but I'm thinking if I keep it in the kichen (where I am practically chained up anyway)-- just to remind myself that I do own a few pretty things--I might be able to keep it from being used as a football. But, let's be honest, it'll probably end up wrapped back in newspaper and safely stored away within the next week.
When Firstborn was a baby, my mom bought him an electric tank with plastic fish, which enthralled him. For some reason, it never got unpacked after a couple of moves. When I found it yesterday, I suspected it was the perfect way to get Rosemary's Baby to stand still for five minutes, and I was right. By lunchtime, he'd graduated to opening up the lid and pulling out all the plastic fish (note to self: he's not ready for real fish yet!), but I'll definitely take a little wet mess on the counter over a frantic chase down the highway when he figures out how to shift the truck into first gear.

And, oh my lord, I have had this compendium of old-fashioned board games since I was a teenager! Finally, something that will pull my five year-old away from the computer this summer! Uh...does anyone know how to play parcheesi?!

And the urge to shop has been curbed. For now...


Dimple said...

Sometimes it's fun to do this, and the forgotten treasures are a bonus. I'm glad you had a productive time in your drawer and boxes.

Mellisa said...

I'm glad you were able to refrain, it's hard sometimes when it seems there are bargains everywhere!

laterg8r said...

yeah, leaving the house and not buying anything is HARD!

i loved the comment about being chained up in the kitchen LOL :D

glad you found a way to satisfy that craving - i have no idea how to play parchessi though.

Ms. Sarah said...

good for you :) I will be sure to keep nate off the computer so he cant have a chat with Rosemarys baby

Meeko Fabulous said...

Congrats on resisting the urge to shop! I must say, you're posts always make me giggle. Especially the Rosemary's baby reference.

Stephanie Faris said...

Yay. Like shopping in your own house!

Cooking Mama said...

Looks like you had fun. I need to do this . . however, I can tend to be a serial thrower-outter so I probably wouldn't find too much. :( And I am certainly not braving the 215 degree attic at this time!

That fish tank is sooo cool! What a lucky kid. :)

jeannette stgermain said...

It's for you the forgotten treasures, and for me painting that makes me forget about shopping! Whatever works - well done!

Janine said...

Hi there Wendy!!! I was thinking about you today as I cleaned up in my closet!! Found some room for all my purses as well. I am afraid to count them... You go first!! Didn't find anything new or used but felt good after the dusting was done!!
Have a great day!!

Deb Neerman said...

I'm laffin' so hard I'm cryin'. Young lady, you stop that this minute!

Kids. Too-much-ummmmmmm-fun.

But hey, I'm loving your new-found treasures ... especially those vintage game parts. I live to find crap like that. Then I use 'em in paper bag albums, on ATC's, cards, scrapbook layouts, (okay, that's a lie ... I only THINK about making scrapbook layouts), and in altered art. You should try paper crafts. Then you WILL NEVER RUN OUT OF THINGS TO BUY.

Enjoy exploring!!

PS: I RULE at Parcheesi ... c'mon over!