Are you my conscience?

This week I have discovered my conscience, in the shape of a very helpful work colleague, who I will christen Jiminy Cricket (I’ve run it past her and she has absolutely no problem with being associated with a top hat wearing insect).

It came to her attention some time ago that I was spending far too much money on clothes that I didn’t really need, so she was thrilled (no, really, she was) when Igave up buying them.  Then, sometime in January, I needed to buy a new soup bowl, for lunch-related activities (long story short, another of my lovely work colleagues lent me a plate once.  I dropped it on the concrete floor of the canteen, meaning that people at my place of work are now strangely reluctant to lend me crockery), so I popped along to Tesco (other supermarkets are available, it’s just that Tesco is 4 minutes from work).  They had their January Sale on, and I managed to find a lovely, non-chipped, mushroom coloured bowl for £3.50.  Except when I got to the till, it was £7.50.  Jiminy was surprisingly stern about the whole thing, and questioned my commitment to saving money, even when I explained the situation (she can be quite strict).  Anyhoo, we managed to move on from the whole thing, and get our friendship back on track – she asks nice questions about when myself and The Boy will be moving in together (the way my saving is currently going – sometime around the 12th of Never), what sort of house we want, etc.  She’s a very smart lady cricket, and knows that asking me questions like this will encourage me to save money, because it’s something that I really want – she tends to start asking when I start whimpering about the Zara dress, or a pair of lovely shoes that I’ve seen in Office.  Or Next.  Or New Look.

Through no fault of my own, I have recently run out of several beauty related products (toothpaste, deodrant, perfume…) and I’ve needed to replace them.  I repeat, this is through no fault of my own.  Boots have also been doing ill-thought out promotions on haircare products that I love (I don’t like to name drop, so I’ll just say that the packaging is pink.  And smells divine.  And has Lee Stafford written on.  Oops), so I’ve spent a bit more than I would usually.  Jiminy clocked me walking into work after lunch with my Boots bag, and questioned whether I really needed a new night cream, more leave-in conditioner, split ends serum, root booster or shine spray.  Or mascara, eyeliner, lipstick or moisturiser.  Despite my talking her through why each and every item was integral to my evening beautifying, she saw right through me and my nonsense (she does that a lot), and asked that I give her all of my receipts, where she will use a pretty pink highlighter to show me how much I spend on unnecessary toiletries (although she has agreed that toothpaste and deodrant are allowed).  I’d be annoyed, but she’s genuinely so nice – you know, one of those people that you can’t ever get annoyed with, because you KNOW that they’re only doing something for your own good.  For example, if you’re upset about something and I ask you what’s wrong, there’s a good chance that I’m mostly worried about your wellbeing, but I’m also being a bit nosy.  If Jiminy asks, it’s because she doesn’t like to see anyone sad and wants to help make you feel better – she’s great at the empathy, and it’s been known on occasion for her to cry even before the person that has recently lost a loved one/pet/set of keys.  Not that she’s a saint or anything, she’s just…Lovely.  Note the capitalisation – she’s that Lovely. 

Anyway, I now have a spending watchdog, and I have a feeling that she’ll take to following me around at weekends, popping up just at the point of purchase, to ask if I really need that purse hairspray, when I haven’t used one since 2003.  It’s going to go one of 2 ways – I’m either going to knuckle down, really start saving and stop spending on what is essentially a big pile of unnecessary crap, or I’m going to start acting like a teenager, sneaking things in under her nose and talking about it behind her back.  Oh, wait – I’ve just thought of a third way.  I could become a shoplifter (technically, this could come under the header of acting like a teenager.  Not that I ever shoplifted as a teenager, I just know some people who did.  I won’t name names, they know who they are…), everyone knows that it doesn’t count as shopping if you don’t spend any money.  No, Jiminy definitely wouldn’t like that.  Ooo, this having a conscience thing is already working out nicely!


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