Xmas for the Xemployed

Nov 22, 2014 by

          Friends, you know how I am with money: I overthink every spend. You also know how I am with clothes: I hate shopping for them; it means spending on things I don’t highly value. Therefore, on the rare occasion that I see a clothing item I want, the proceeding cognitive dissonance impairs my judgment. My financial conscience goes into analytical overdrive and breaks down. I usually have to consult Olivia as a result. I go back and forth between why I should and shouldn’t buy the item in question, while she inputs pro-buying encouragement whenever she can get a word in.

          Yesterday morning, I had to use the text-my-best-friend lifeline. After leaving the gym, instead of taking my usual route straight out of the mall to my car, I diverted to Dynamite. I had my ex-work Christmas party at night (because I’m so the girl that quits her job and buys a ticket to the Christmas party), and I wanted to know my dress options outside of my closet. Last year, I wore my favourite dress. It’s red and it got a lot of attention. One of my co-workers was still talking about it on my last day of work in September. “Don’t forget to bring your red dress to Paris!” she instructed as I walked toward the door. “That dress is how you’re going to find your husband!” As much as I really wanted to wear it again this year, because there are few occasions that it’s appropriate for and a Christmas party happens to be one of them, I decided against it. It was too memorable, and I love it too much to wear it out. As for my other options, they came in only black. After rocking red last year, black was my last resort. I love black, but I always wear black and so does everyone else. I wanted a new red.

          “I did something stupid: went into Dynamite while unemployed,” I texted Olivia. “I found a red dress.”

          “Lmao,” she responded.

          “It’s about $46 with taxes. Do I do it?”


          “Shit.” I knew she’d say that. It was the main reason I asked her. “I think I’m going to. It’s simple and classy. It’ll pop, but it’s not the same red dress as last year (even though I love that one),” I rambled. “I never buy new dresses just for events, so it feels kind of like a bad idea, especially since I don’t have an income,” I continued. “Okay, let me think this through,” I said what should have been followed by a pause. “Oh, whatever,” I texted half a second later. “Do it? Final answer? AM I BAD WITH MONEY?” I stressed.

          “Oh my God, girl, just buy it.”

          “I’m so on the fence,” I disregarded her advice. “Okay, other option: black and grey striped sweater dress. Thoughts?”

          “Whichever you like best,” she said.

          “The red. Obv! But I already own the sweater dress.”

          “Lol. Then buy the red, ‘obv,’” she mocked.

          “Okay, I spent $5 less than budgeted for gas both this week and last. There’s $10. Do you think there’s $36 in the couch at the mall?”

          “Girl, please just go buy it,” she urged.

          “Can you justify it?” I asked in hope of something to ease my anxiety. “Recall: unemployed. Also, it’s not a sale item.”

          Her argument was simple: “#treatyourself.”

          Olivia has made “treat yourself” somewhat of a motto for herself. I like it, particularly because I’m so bad at it. Even when I do let myself spend outside of my financial goals and budget, I often have residual guilt. Olivia dodges that with “treat yourself.” When she used it on me, I decided there was no better reason anyone could ever have for buying a dress.

          “Sold!” I replied.

          Upon paying for the dress at the cash, I happily commented to the cashier, “Now I won’t be lost in the sea of black people – I mean, people in black!”

          She laughed at my verbal malfunction and speedy recovery.

          “Wow, that came out wrong,” I said.

          I updated Olivia immediately after. “Purchased! #satisfied,” I texted.

Happiness Tip: Treat yourself.

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