It looks lovely dear…

I have spent the last 3 hours (*Disclaimer – possible exaggeration*) traipsing around the same 2 shops, helping The Boy to choose a new pair of glasses.  For a while, it was touch and go whether he would need to forget the glasses and invest in an eye patch, after I poked him hard in the eye with a particularly sharp arm (I am reliably informed that this is the technical name for the bit of the glasses that goes over the ears).

We started off in Specsavers, where The Boy found a lovely pair of French Connection glasses (and I discovered that I missed a patch at the back of my head whilst dying my hair last week, but I digress).  But if he’d decided to buy those there and then, it would have been an easy afternoon, I could have gone home and eaten biscuits, and I would have nothing to write about.  Luckily for me, he decided to shop around a bit.  So we went into Boots Opticians, where he tried on several near identical pairs of black, thick rimmed glasses (The Boy rocks the Geek Chic look.  I’ve heard a rumour that he models himself on Danny Wallace.  But don’t tell him that I said so), before moving back to Specsavers, as there was more choice in there.  (And I expressed the urge to join a small child who was kicking and screaming her way around the floor.)

I should probably mention that both Specsavers and Boots Opticians have an offer where you buy one pair of glasses and get another free.  (Whenever I say this, I always get that incredibly annoying double glazing advert that’s on during ad breaks for daytime TV stuck in my head.  Marvellous.)

Back in Specsavers, we discovered a lovely pair of Tommy Hilfiger glasses, with no rim on the bottom (apparently, this is a Good Thing.  Not wearing glasses myself, I have NO idea.) which The Boy decided to buy.  Marvellous, job done.  Except that it wasn’t, as he then found a pair of Osiris glasses that looked almost the same as the French Connection ones, except that they had a white rim around them, which made them look a bit special.  They were nice.  So were the French Connection ones.  So were the Tommy Hilfiger ones.  Much like, whenever I take The Boy shopping, the Topshop skirt, the Primark skirt and the New Look skirt all look nice.  He knows nothing about skirts, I know nothing about glasses – it makes for a happy relationship, and that is how I would like it to stay. 

I suggested he leave the French Connection ones, but that was the wrong answer, so I suggested he leave the Osiris ones.  Apparently this was also the wrong answer.  As was suggesting he leave the Tommy Hilfiger ones, buy all three pairs, or leave all three sodding pairs in the shop.  Eventually, I had to try on all 3 pairs, so that The Boy could get an idea of what they look like.  I have completely different bone structure to him, and, I’ll be totally honest, a different face, but apparently this helped, as we finally got to the counter, parted with a ridiculous amount of money, hung around a bit whilst some forms were filled out, and were then told to come back in 3 days.  I never knew how labour intensive shopping for glasses was (and if I had known, I probably would have insisted on some sort of payment.  Possibly in the form of a red dress from Zara).  And I actually have no idea which combination of glasses he eventually decided to purchase.  Ah well, I’ll find out when he wears them.  Or when I wear them, apparently.

As a result of this experience, I would like to take this opportunity to apologise to any friends, family members, or ex-boyfriends (or indeed, family members of ex-boyfriends) (except for one particular ex-boyfriend, on whom I am happy to have inflicted any form of discomfort.  He knows who he is.) for any pain, emotional distress or sheer, unadulterated boredom that was created by my incessant quest for the perfect outfit (something that was undertaken most weekends ‘BTB’ (‘Before The Ban’).  I promise that, should I ever need to shop for clothes again (although I’m hoping that this experiment will dim the urge somewhat, I’m sure that there will be several occasions where I need to buy something new), I promise to go on my own, and rely on the kindness of shop assistants/random strangers and their spouses/the changing room mirror.  Or at the very least, to offer you magazines, video games and/or light refreshments as distraction techniques (delete according to preference).

But I really, reaaaaally want it!

This week, I have mostly been acting like a small child, stamping my feet, slamming doors and generally being a complete whinge.  (I do apologise for besmirching the name of small children – I’ve met some lovely ones, but I’m told that behind closed doors, tantrums of this nature are not unknown.  Although, I remember acting like that as a teenager.  Maybe I was a late developer?)

The cause of all the teenage angst/sulky toddler shenanigans?  A dress.  But not just any dress.  THE dress.  No, that sounds like I’m talking about a wedding dress – I retract that statement.  Just A Very Pretty Dress.  (Note the capitalisation – it’s that pretty.)  It’s red, and it’s from Zara, and I NEED IT! 

Luckily, Frankie from The Saturdays has been seen out in it, so consequently, the red version has completely sold out.  I say lucky, because I have been known to attempt to squeeze myself into an 8 (even though I’m definitely a 12, probably more of a 14), if that’s all that is available to me.  Unluckily, the beige and black versions are just as Pretty, so I’ve spend many an hour looking at the Zara website and biting my knuckles, whimpering (I tried sitting on my hands to stop myself clicking to buy, but that made doing anything at all rather tricky). 

I’ve begged parents, friends, casual acquaintances, strangers in the street, but nothing.  I’m doing nice things for family members, just in case they utter the words ‘If there’s anything I can do to repay you…’ but nothing.  I asked my sister if I could accidentally give her £40, could she accidentally buy the dress in my size, leaving a penny ‘change’ in the pocket?  No, apparently she can’t.  She’s gone all crusadey and has decided that this experiment is a good thing for me and the pain that I’m experiencing is making me a better person.  She’s wrong – it’s making me an angrier person.

Something that I probably should have mentioned earlier is that I have a lovely, fabulous friend who works in fashion.  As well as the dress, I have been falling steadily in love with a cardie that her company makes.  It has sparkly bits and everything – although it wasn’t instant like it was with the dress, the cardie has worked its way under my skin, and I now covet it with undisguised clothes lust.  It’s not dignified, or indeed, pleasant. 

My lovely, fabulous friend understands my pain (either that or she was just keen to stop my whining before I really got going), and she sent me a cardigan, as a ‘late Christmas present’.  She’s now elevated to Lovely, Fabulous, Amazing Friend (note the capitalisation – she’s that Fabulous). 

Now just to find something to do to distract me from the dress…

Week One and All’s Well…ish.

So, one week in, and I’ve managed to resist the temptation to buy any new clothes, despite temptation in the form of multiple emails reminding me that ‘stocks are limited’, that there is now ‘An extra 10% off ALL sale!’, and let’s not forget, my personal favourite, ‘Special discount code, especially for you!’

I refuse to believe that I spend so much money with one online retailer that they feel the need to give me my own discount codes.  Although, looking through my wardrobe…no.  It’s just not true.

Before I congratulate myself too much (and believe me, I need no encouragement to do to do so), I have to remember that I haven’t been to the gym once this week.  On Tuesday morning, my trainers looked at me from under my bed, where they’re slowly gathering dust and biscuit crumbs, and guilt swept over me, (in the same way that I imagine it sweeps over romantic heroines.  I read a lot.) but I had to harden my heart.  It wasn’t that hard, we’re not the best of friends, me and my trainers (and, if I’m honest, I only bought them because The Boy dragged me into a sports shop and I had to buy something…).

And that bad feeling that I had about the make up?  Totally justified.  I’ve bought 2 lots of make up in one week.  And when I say 2 lots, I mean LOTS, not just a mascara and a lipstick.  But I need a hobby now that I don’t spend every weekend in various retail establishments around the county, and it may as well be experimenting with eyelashes.  And blusher.  And eyeliner.  Do you know how much make up there is around these days?  Highlighters, High Definition Powders, Nail Art…It could take me 6 months just to work my way around it all…

…And so it begins.

It’s January, traditionally the time where we feel the need to make ourselves as miserable as possible.  As if the lack of funds and freezing weather aren’t enough.  I say freezing, it’s sunny outside.  I never get anything right.

Anyhoo, my idea to make myself as miserable as possible was to give up buying clothes until my birthday (a mere 6 months away).  You may think that this is a frivolous, shallow thing to give up.  And you’d be right.  But, my wardrobe is full, my 2 chests of drawers are full, the crates under my bed are full, as is the space under my desk, my bedside drawer, and half of my bedroom floor.  Yes, my bedroom is the smallest in the house, and YES, I did lie about having a bedside drawer, but the point is, I have too many clothes, and I still can’t stop buying them.

I’ve tried cutting back, I’ve tried having a clear out, I’ve tried stealing my sister’s clothes instead of buying more (she’s 7 inches taller than me and 2 sizes smaller, with hindsight, that one was always going to end badly), so I’m giving it all up. 

I’ve used the ‘but I have vouchers’ excuse, the ‘I have money left in my overdraft, it would be rude not to spend it’ excuse, and, my personal favourite – ‘The sales are on, I’m helping the economy avoid a double-dip recession!’ but, alas, all of these are no longer true (especially the still having money in my overdraft one).  Now is the time to quit.

As for the rules – what about if there’s a freak accident and I lose all my knickers?  I will have to fashion some out of old dusters.  Holes in all of my pairs of tights?  I have to go bare-legged (I read somewhere about wartime practices of using gravy and eyeliner.  It’s a thought).  Trousers falling down because they’re too big (yes, that’s right, I’ve decided to start going to the gym too.  Because I eat too many biscuits.)?  Well, the girls in my office will have to create some sort of kitty to buy me some new ones, or I’m going into work in my knickers/dusters.  Or I’ll have to eat more biscuits.

So, this is it.  My first Saturday in a long time where I haven’t listened to The Boy sigh resignedly and ask ‘So where are we shopping today?’  The question is, will I go mad on make up instead?  Bonkers about beauty essentials?  Or, will I do as I intend, and actually save money?  I have a bad feeling about the make up.