…You eat your turkey sandwich on a leftover 4th of July hamburger bun…
…Your dinner consists of the last of the French Onion dip and Ruffles…
…Instead of taking your old clothes to goodwill, you use them as art supplies…
…Returns are your biggest source of income…
Okay, but seriously. I am a little proud of myself this week. I haven’t been to the grocery store (not that this is a point to brag on, but it emphasizes our efforts to make the most of what we have) all week, yet we’ve eaten well. I haven’t indulged in a lunch out (and we won’t count that I owe my co-worker for the sandwich he bought me). But, the cake gets taken with my trips to the store last night. I had to return items to both GAP and Old Navy. For those that follow my saving struggle, you know these are trouble zones.
It’s almost like a mechanical reaction inside my head that steers me away from the registers immediately upon entry. Something clicks into gear between thoughts that threaten missing out on some jewel on sale or clearance that I would be lost without. It also suggests that there may be something new in stock that would add JUST what I need to my already overstuffed closet. And, begrudgingly (not really begrudgingly, but technically begrudgingly) I end up spending more that I return, increasing the debt… and these days… the guilt.
But last night, folks, we had a break through. And I don’t care if you’re rolling your eyes, or think that I am crazy and these urges are not justified… I had a breakthrough and I smiled the whole way home.
First stop – Old Navy. Now, look… those mechanical tendencies inside my body don’t have an on and off switch. I had to fight the veering urge and head straight to the register. I think it felt like one of those times in the movies where time skips a beat and the whole world skids in your field of vision. But I made it. My eyes, which can’t be locked down, skimmed the register temptations with what would look like REM with your lids up. 50% off ear buds! (I don’t even use an iPod). $25 men’s shorts! (Mike would be so mad). A $5 SIGN ACROSS THE ROOM! WHAT COULD IT BE!?
Luckily, right when I was about to break, the guy calls me up. This is where the Good Lord stepped in to help me fight the temptation… For some reason, what should have been a painless return and walk-out turned into Register 101 gone wrong. (Not to mention that I only returned merchandise for a whopping $16–imagine the damage if I had found things!). The temptation was building… those shorts were cool looking, and Mike could use a light gray pair. Do you think any of the workout stuff is on sale? I LOVE their jersey tees… Had so much fun hanging out with niece Aubs this weekend, maybe I should see what’s in the kids section… oh, and I’ll sift through the jewelry on my way back–WHOA! See how fast that happens?
Returned. Done. Get out.
Next stop – GAP. Now this one is big. Not only do I have to go INTO the mall… but I am going to pass Victoria’s Secret and I have in no way gotten over my pajama obsession. And, I know all the things GAP has to offer, AND they’re having a 40% off sale. Deep breath.
In my head, I seriously am telling myself, “Straight to the register. Straight to the register.” My traitor eyes see neon colors, tea length dresses, long tanks – oh my gosh, all of my new obsessions. I can’t handle it… the tanks are 30% off!!! I have to look. $15. Cheap. Affordable. I would actually still get money back. Ohhhh, but I would rather have the dress if I am going to break.
Guys, do you see what I deal with, internally?
I made it to the register. It was quick. It was easy. I turned and escaped… gave one last longing glance at Vickie’s and picked up the pace to get back to my car. As soon as the blast of heat hit me, promising the safety of the impossible-to-spend-anything-out-here parking lot, I broke into a satisfied grin. Money in my pocket (account).
Feels like I need a nap.