Double Your Pleasure, Double Your Fun

Whenever I go away on a trip, I feel compelled to shop myself into a frenzy right before it. This is never because I'm missing something specifically necessary to that particular vacation---hiking boots, for example, or a bikini---but rather because I suddenly go into a panic about, say, what I might wear on the plane or whether I should replace those pajamas I bought on sale at the Gap right after Valentine's Day in 2001, because, yes, right now while I'm trying to organize a hundred other things, right now would really be the perfect time to finally do that.

(Wait, hold on a second: go back and read that last sentence again. HIKING BOOTS? Did you really believe I'd ever need hiking boots for something? Were you even paying attention? I'm sorry, Internet, I'm just not that kind of gal. Sure, you can picture me buying a new mascara for a vacation, maybe, but hiking boots? Honestly. Do we even know each other at all?)

I'm leaving for Singapore on Friday night---two glorious weeks of doing nothing, nothing, nothing!---and it's fair to say that I've been shopping for this trip pretty much every night after work this week. A lot of this has been for Christmas, of course---I swear on a stack of banana sandwiches, this year is the year of The Holiday Shopping That Never Ends---but I seem to keep throwing in stuff for myself as well. Does this happen to you too? You start out all pumped up to find your sister a red beret in H&M---god knows why a resident of the sub-tropics wants a red beret, and anyway, SPOILER ALERT, SUSIE, I'm afraid I couldn't find you one!---and you end up at the cash register with a party dress, a t-shirt too cheap to say no to, a sparkly gold headband, and a pair of red earrings the size of dinner plates that you will regret as soon as you get home. It's all for you. And it's all unnecessary.

Actually, the dress wasn't unnecessary, because I was supposed to be looking for a black tie ensemble to wear to that New Year's Eve Ball you might remember me attending two years ago. (Wait, that came out wrong; I'm not looking for a dress for an event I attended two years ago---retroactive shopping! damn, I need to find a better pair of pants for my middle school graduation!---but rather a dress for the 2007 version of it, the one coming up in, ooh, a scant twelve days.)

And find a dress I did! Except actually, I found two dresses. (I know! Wait for a bus and none come, then start walking and they all come at once, right?) I didn't really mean to find two dresses---correction: I didn't really mean to buy two dresses---but it sort of just happened, and who am I to argue with the gods of shopping, especially when they finally seem to be on my side for once. (Note to self: now try and find perfect jeans.) The first was a very basic (but timeless!) black number that was just flattering enough to push me over the edge into joining the enormous line for the cash register. Done!, I thought, party dress shopping complete! And then I made the mistake of going next door into Zara and stumbling upon the most gorgeous Jackie O Meets Audrey Hepburn Meets Oh Thank Goodness I Have A Credit Card kind of dress. Which I also bought. As if you could have doubted that for a minute.

Oh, and then I sort of got my hair cut to match it. Is that weird? I think that's a little weird. I mean, most people take a picture of Katie Holmes with them or something and I showed up and described the new dress I'd just bought. (Bonus points to the best hairstylist in the world, who somehow knew exactly what I meant.)

(And on a side note, this haircut---my Christmas Haircut! because the Baby Jesus hates it when you're unkempt!---turned out to be just a tad surreal because, do you know, in the middle of the cutting and snipping, the girl in the chair next to me suddenly leaned over, asked if I was Holly from Nothing But Bonfires, and then told me she read my blog. What a small world San Francisco is turning out to be. Hi Wendy! Nice to meet you last week! Hope the bangs worked out okay!)

So now I have two dresses for one event, and two pairs of shoes (to match each dress, naturally), and thank the lord that I only had to buy one Complex Underwear Solution that could work under either, because cripes, those Spanx aren't cheap. (Reader tip: buy a Spanx camisole. You will lose five pounds in an instant. Do you know what this means? It means you can have another one of those holiday cookies that seem to have mysteriously appeared in every nook and cranny of the office. Trust me on this, I AM NOT THE AUTHORITY FOR NOTHING. Trial and error, if you will.)

But anyway, I have two dresses now---although I'm going to return one of the pairs of shoes; I don't care if they were only cheap H&M numbers, mommy's kitty cats aren't going without their special catnip-filled stockings this year just because mommy got selfish with the footwear---and I still haven't made a firm decision about which one I'm going to wear on New Year's Eve. Would it be tacky to change in the toilets at midnight, do you think?

Don't answer that. I'm joking. What, are you kidding me? The other dress would never fit in my new sparkly clutch. You know, the one I'm buying tomorrow night after work.

Dec 19, 2007

Have fun in Singapore. It must have been spooky to be spotted by a stranger. I clicked on the link to the photo of your family. I can't believe how beautiful you all are. Do you spend hours just gazing at each other?

Dec 19, 2007

I do the same thing when I'm shopping..."One present for me, one present for so & so." It's okay. Really. No judgements from me.

Dec 19, 2007

Oh, I've had that shopping problem lately too. The sales clerks always ask if I need gift receipts with anything, and I always feel a little ashamed when I have to reply, "No, it's all for me." No wonder I never finish my Christmas shopping until Christmas Eve.
Have a great time with your family in Singapore!! I'm sure you'll have another reason to wear the other perfect dress sometime while you're there. In my mind, you can never have to many perfect dresses!!

p.s. Love the hair!!! You really must have the world's best stylist.

Twice Five Miles
Dec 19, 2007

Post photos of the dresses! We must help you vote! Plus I will most likely be wearing jeans on New Year's Eve, so I will live vicariously through you and your formalwear.

Dec 19, 2007

Dude. No pictures? You disappoint me.

Dec 19, 2007

I support all the purchasing decisions. Must see pictures.

And? How DOES it feel to be recognized? I would think it would blow my little mind. Do you think Wendy was at the hair salon on your recommendation? If yes, you should have received a finder's fee or something.

Miriam D
Dec 19, 2007

I do the same thing. I just bought myself a new pair of boots! And I was supposed to be shopping for my boyfriend!

I'd love to see pictures of your dresses...

Dec 19, 2007

Yes, pictures, please! If I can't get my own shopping fix then the next best thing is shopping by proxy.

Dec 19, 2007

Count me as one of the people who never fails to find a million things for herself instead of the people she's buying gifts for. The only difference is that I never purchase anything BECAUSE I HAVE NO EXTRA MONEY. It's all very depressing.

Dec 19, 2007

I got blog-recognized the other day too!!! It was thrilling...and it helped that it was by possibly the hottest guy I've ever seen in my life. Yes!

Mrs. Who
Dec 19, 2007

When you find two things that fit and look fabulous, you MUST buy them both. It's the shoppers code. Or as I say, if the shoe fits, buy it in every color.

Dec 19, 2007

"because the Baby Jesus hates it when you’re unkempt!" = The funniest damn thing I've read in days. It will now become my go do answer for anything... Can I get ice cream? No, because the baby Jesus hates it when your unkempt!

Dec 19, 2007

I definitely buy more for myself when I am out Christmas shopping. Its a sickness.

Dec 19, 2007

That is so crazy that you met someone who reads you! I wonder if I would say something if I saw someone I read?

Wait, yes. Yes I would. In a heartbeat.

Dec 19, 2007

I LOVE LOVE LOVE H&M. That store saved my butt once and I will never ever forget it. I bought a dress, shoes, AND elbow-length gloves all for $86 CAN. And that was after having tried on at least ten other dresses - ALL UNDER $40! I was so happy I plotzed. And I looked hot. And then I plotzed some more.

Dec 19, 2007

yeah, i'll be wearing sweats on NYE because i have a date to play twister with the most adorable 7 and 8 year olds on the planet. but why can't you do a costume change? don't they have a coat check room???

i was once stopped when i was entering an event and asked if i was a hockey chica (long story) because the person recognized me from the website. small world because there are only like 15 of us. weird.

Dec 19, 2007

oh yeah... i forgot that once i was on a plane from SFO to Vancouver and the person sitting behind me leaned forward and said "not that i was listening to your conversation, but are you barbie2be?" i asked why and they said they recognized me because i talk the same way i write apparently.

Dec 19, 2007

So cool that you met a fan in realspace! Yeah, I want to see the haircut too -- have Sean take a snapshot tonight, will you? And have a great time in Singapore. I'm jealous!

Nothing But Bonfires
Dec 19, 2007

Gretchen -- haircut is on Flickr. Go to "Recent Photos" over in the sidebar on this page and click on the one in the top left hand corner; that's my new haircut.

Heather B.
Dec 19, 2007

This is why I absolutely adore you; I would do the exact same things for a trip. And I would do them unapologetically and for the hell of it. Have a wonderful time.

Dec 19, 2007

speaking of shopping and singapore...i am now at the singpaore airport on a 6-hour layover from 2-8am and cant wait for the charles & keith store to open at 6am so i can buy some shoes that i totally dont need

Dec 19, 2007

you know what else is a GREAT idea before a big trip? reading blogs. it's 11:30 here, my alarm is going off at 4:15. I am ALMOST packed, there's laundry drying all over the place and I'm here, possibly as fired up about your two NYE party frocks as you are. Radical.

Dec 19, 2007

I am so guilty of that pre-vacation shopping. I can spend a small fortune if I'm not careful. I've started to make sure I leave all the tags on what I buy/pack since I rarely seem to wear what I buy for those vacations. The pre-vacation makeup though...I always use that! ;-)

Very cool about being recognized!

Dec 19, 2007

I have done the pre-vacation shopping. What makes it even weirder is that my friend Beth and I went to a scrapbooking store and bought stuff for the scrapbooks we were going to make after we took the trip we had yet to take. I mean, at least you can justify buying clothes. You have to wear clothes on trips. I'm pretty sure it's a law.

How cool that you were recognized. I would certainly say hello to you. If I ever ended up in San Francisco or Singapore.

Dec 19, 2007

Oh, I see your hair -- wow, gorgeous! You know, not too many people have the bone structure to pull off a cut like that, but you can TOTALLY do it. How tall are you anyway? You should be modeling, and then again, so should Miss Doxie.

Oh BTW, I do the pre-vacation shopping too, but it's always for my kids -- new kickboards, water toys, Hawaiian shirts, etc. When you're a mom, you feel guilty spending money on yourself, so you live vicariously through your kids.

Camels and Chocolate
Dec 20, 2007

1) Zara tends to have that effect on people.

2) Thanks for designating my new hair salon for me. I move to SF on Feb. 4(!), and I think the most stressful thing about moving 13 times in the past six years is finding 13 different hairstylists. Though in actuality, I just fly back to my parents house in Tennessee every time I need my haircut. Seems awfully expensive for a mere trim, doesn't it? But there are some things I don't joke around with, and at the top of that list is hair.

3) I was just in Singapore 10 days ago. Wish you'd been there at the time. Hawker Centers and Orchard Road just aren't the same when you're traveling solo!

Happy travels!

Dec 20, 2007

Why has nobody mentioned Spanx yet?

Spanx are amazing. Even if you are thin, you will look EXTRA thin in your Spanx. If you are bit blobby in places (beware singletons: for some reason, marriage makes you this way) the Spanx will make it all better and smooth you out and make you hotcha hotcha in a flash.

Every woman should own herself some Spanx.

It's simply not optional.

Dec 20, 2007

Heeeeeeeeey! Berets are cool!!! You have an H&M??

Nothing But Bonfires
Dec 20, 2007

We have THREE H&Ms! And I looked in them all!

Dec 20, 2007

I just looked at the pictures from nye two years ago (totally second your post on forced merriment, btw, I hate new years AND parties on boats for that reason), and I wanted to say that you have a very attractive family. You're all so pretty and sparkly and blue-eyed! You guys should like, be on TV.

Dec 20, 2007

You were recognized in public! That's so exciting, does that propel you into Bloghood Royalty or something? Hmmm, I think so.

Love the dresses, love the (almost purchsed?) sparkly clutch. Hurray for shopping!


Dec 21, 2007

I hate to argue, but Spanx are from the devil. I own a pair and they are so ridiculously uncomfortable, it offsets the fat-smooshing factor. I just wear big shirts over my "I have four kids" belly and have done with it.