Yesterday I ordered these new heels for work as a replacement for the infamous (and… er…fragrant
) problem shoes
. The shoe powder isn’t working and they just kind of gross me out. Especially when I get home from work and slip them off, only to have Alex run over and bury his face in them because he’s looking for the decomposing rodent that must be hiding in one of the toes.
You can always count on man’s best friend to draw attention to an embarrassing issue.
So yes, I love the shoes, but it took five days of staring at them online, all stealthy and stalker-like, before I could bring myself to hit the Add to Cart!
button. Three days later, I clicked Proceed to Checkout!
My husband and I are careful with our money. For many years, we had little. Dates were making pasta and watching whatever movie was on TV, because even a video from Blockbuster was a little too pricey. God, what would we have done if gas cost $3.20 a gallon back then?
I’d have been riding my bike on the beltway, that’s what.
When it came to pulling together a wardrobe for work, it was tough. I became an expert at mix-n-match. I had three pairs of shoes: brown, black, and navy. The black and navy shoes were exactly the same style, which led to a very embarrassing day in my life when I wore one of each color to work. At the time I worked at an adolescent day treatment center, so I tried to pretend like it was Crazy Shoes Day.
No one believed me, so I shortened it to Crazy Day.Everyone
was down with that one!
Growing up, I was very aware of money. My parents weren’t the kind of folks who would cheerfully hand over ten bucks when I wanted to go to the mall. For most things we wanted, we had to come up with the cash ourselves. We did chores to earn our allowances, of which we had to save half. Any lawn mowing or babysitting money I earned also had to be divided equally between spending and savings.
I had a mutual fund by the time I was 7 years old, which was where my paltry savings went each month. My parents did not contribute to this account. I was not allowed to touch the money in it. As a result, it grew over the years.
When I was 16 and got my first job, I got a checking account, a checkbook, and a credit card. I already knew what a FICO credit score was and I lived in terror of not paying my credit card bill on time. I usually sent the payment in two weeks early. To this day I have never, ever carried a balance on my card.
I’m thankful to my parents, especially my pop, for giving me a healthy respect for money and savings. It’s served me well thus far. (I also think it's why I'm somewhat obsessed with My Super Sweet 16
. You mean these parents just give
their kids $300,000? For a birthday
party? I couldn't even get two bucks for pizza!)
To be honest-- thankful though we are today, my brother and sister and I had unlimited jokes about dad's frugal ways when we were kids. Once in Florida we passed a cheesy little discount store named Don Cheapo's
and it was all over. We almost peed our pants over that one, laughing and howling ten miles down the road. Dad is still known to this day as Don Cheapo, and mom, of course, is Donna Cheapo.
(This is why you have children, right? So they can mock you and throw your careful teachings back in your face.)
Being so fixated on frugality and saving, I’ve often been afraid to have any fun with my money. This became clear when we bought our house three years ago. We worked our asses off to save for it, fought the crazy DC area market to win a bid, went to closing and got the keys. As we stood exclaiming in the empty living room that was ours, all ours!
, our voices echoed throughout the house.
“You know,” M said, “We’re going to have a lot of shopping to do.”
Fearfully, my eyes scanned the room. Mentally I calculated how many couches and rugs and tables and lamps we would need. And a lawnmower! Oh my God, WE HAD A LAWN THAT NEEDED MOWING.
I moaned, imagining all the dollars that would be spent.
But over the past couple of years, I’ve let the dollars flow a bit more freely, as evidenced by this
. Oh, and maybe these
Spending [no more than half of my] money is fun!
Last night I told my husband about the new heels I'd ordered online.
"Awesome!" he said. "They'll look cute on you."
I studied him. "You know, most husbands wouldn't have that response."
He laughed. "I know."
"The last thing I'll ever have to worry about is you
spending too much money."
It was my turn to laugh. "Thank you. I think."
"Besides," he said, "You never used to buy nice things for yourself. You deserve it."
And I wanted to marry him all over again, right that minute, but there wasn't time. So I went into the kitchen and made him some homemade baked ziti, which is every Italian boy's dream come true.
(yes, I used a coupon when I bought the ziti. Are you crazy?)
Labels: Marriage, shoes