T: Amazing Husband ST: Three-year-old Wonder Prof. G: Advisor I Prof. C: Advisor II Julie: Stylish Sister Rob: Awesome Brother Belle: Our Cat Bill: Grumbling BIL Rita: Uncomplicated SIL SMU: Smallish Midwestern University Doctoral University: where I got my Ph.D.
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Friday, October 21, 2005
Me, the Mall, and the Mary-Janes
I'm not sure if I've mentioned it before on this blog, but I really hate to shop. Honestly, I do. I am not good at it and malls make me very crabby very fast. I get frustrated when I know exactly what I want and I have to search high and low to find it, and most of the time what I end up finding isn't precisely what I want, anyway. I step into the mall only when it is an absolute necessity. I make T do the bulk of our Christmas shopping every year.
As a result of my dislike for shopping, my wardrobe is very small. I have only a few pieces of clothing that I really like, and I wear them to death. A pair of nice black trousers. A black suit. A navy suit. Gray and khaki dress pants. A French blue button-down. A few other button-downs from Ann Taylor. Two ribbed sweaters that are starting to look pretty tired. You get the picture. I am the same way with shoes: one pair of black dress shoes, one pair of brown. Black sandals and brown sandals. Mowing the lawn shoes and running shoes. That's it.
Most of time I don't mind the sparseness of my wardrobe, and I must admit that I take some pride in being a bit of a minimalist. But as I was thinking of what to wear for my on-campus interview, I panicked a little. I knew I would wear the black suit and the French blue shirt the first day since I have to teach a class, meet with the Provost, AND give my research presentation on the same day. But what about the second day, which consists of more meetings and lunch with students? I needed something dressy but not too fancy, and definitely not a suit. I decided I'd wear my gray dress pants. In a fashion emergency, I called my stylish sister Julie for advice on what to wear with them.
"So I'm wearing the gray pants. But with what?" I asked, panic in my voice.
"Just wear a fitted white shirt, some funky shoes, and a great piece of jewelry," she replied matter-of-factly. Julie is the type of person who always looks hip, always looks like she's going somewhere important. Even when her hair is dirty and she's not wearing makeup, she has this aura of style about her that I could never duplicate. Unlike mine, her closet is literally bursting with clothing. She shops nearly every day (no husband, no kids, no student loans = lots of disposable income) and has scads of cool purses and trendy shoes. Tons of inexpensive but terribly cool jewelry, scarves, hats, etc. Whenever she gives me a gift, it's always the same: a gift certificate to Ann Taylor Loft with specific instructions as to what I should use it for. The gray pants, for example, were purchased at Julie's command. I love getting these gifts from Julie because she knows me, knows what I will and won't wear, and gives me explicit instructions so that I don't have to hang out in the mall too long. She is a gem.
I realized after talking with Julie, however, that I was missing everything she mentioned except the piece of cool jewelry: I had no white fitted button-down shirt, and certainly no funky shoes with a heel high enough to accomodate my Ann Taylor pants. That meant only one thing: a trip to the mall. Ugh.
The trip did not turn out to be half bad, though. I was in and out in half an hour. Penney's was having a great sale and I found a cute white fitted shirt as soon as I walked in the door. A few minutes later I found these Mary-Janes (I have secretly always coveted a pair of Mary-Janes but, as you may have guessed, never wanted to take the time to shop for a pair) that look super-cool with my gray Ann Taylor pants. A quick jaunt over to the Toddler Boys department landed me a pair of Carter's pajamas for ST (with construction trucks on them, no less!). I think I got a pretty good deal: shirt was regularly $30.00, shoes regularly $45.00, and pajamas regularly $15.00. I got the whole lot for under $50.00 I hate to shop, but I do love a bargain. And how nice that I could find everything in one store! No wandering around aimlessly for this girl tonight. In, out. Done. Just as I like it.
Now I'm just about set for this interview. I just have to put the finishing touches on my lecture for Monday morning and rework the beginning of my research presentation. In other words, I'm pretty sure that I know what I'll talk about on Monday, and after tonight's little shopping excursion I'm pretty sure that I'll look hip doing it. Three cheers for me.