Wizard of Oz Shoes (Thing #129)

A couple of years ago I bought two pairs of shoes at Famous Footwear.  I really only wanted one pair, but they were having one of their “Buy One Get One 1/2 Off” sales.  I hate those kinds of sales.  But I got sucked in.  I was in one of my (very!) rare fashionista moods, and bought a pair of bright red patent leather ballet flats with silver buckles on them.  Cute enough, I guess.  But, the issue was that they only fit me if I went barefoot, but if it was warm enough to go barefoot, it also meant it was warm enough that my feet would start sweating in an instant in the non-breathable patent leather.  So, I’ve worn them approximately 3 times and regretted each wearing (I’m of the school of thought that says “Life is too short for uncomfortable shoes”).  So, they’ve sat in the back of my closet for the past two years and every so often I look at them and say “I really should wear those.”  But, I don’t.  Because I don’t really like them.

So into the Goodwill pile they go.  I’m sure someone else will be super duper happy to pick up a pair of bright red, barely used shoes and love them to death.  Which makes me happy; almost as happy as I am to get them out of my house.

The lesson that I learned (again!)?  Don’t buy it if it’s not the exact right thing! Or, at least the 90% right thing!  It’ll end up being a waste of money and I’ll end up resenting the thing and the money and who needs extra, self-caused, resentment in their lives?  Certainly not me!  I’ve a feeling I’m going to be writing this post over and over again, as I seem to have a hard time learning this lesson.  Hopefully my new found attention to my buying habits and the desire to reduce my holding (physical and otherwise) will curb such purchases in the future.  Hopefully!

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The Driving Spinning Wheel (Thing #110)

Several weeks ago I decided that enough was enough and I didn’t need my spinning wheel anymore.  (No, I’m not an Amish woman or a time traveler from 14th Century England – although the time travel thing sounds intriguing!)  It had sat in the corner of my living room for over 4 years and had been used approximately half a dozen times.  That’s not a good ratio of time:use.  Yes, it looked pretty sitting in the corner, it also worked as a conversation piece when guests came: “Do you actually know how to use that?”.  However, I don’t think those things overcame the fact that it was an extra thing in my house that I didn’t need, especially, when it could garner some decent cash on Craig’s List.  So, I snapped some pics and posted it online.  Two scam emails and one offer for an exchange of live sheep in lieu of cash later, a legitimate buyer came through and I now have an envelope of cash (not sheep!) ready to be deposited into the bank.

And now it’s time for me to reflect.  As I watched the wheel drive away (well, you know, the car drove away with the wheel inside it – damn grammar!), I was a little sad.  The few times I did use the wheel I enjoyed it immensely.  Spinning is a very “zen” activity.  Well, maybe a more correct word is “meditative.”  It’s very quite – there is no whir of a sewing machine or klick/klack of knitting needles.  Your foot goes up and down, up and down in an unbroken rhythm, and you must concentrate enough on the roving in your hands that there is little room for any other thoughts.  If your thoughts do wander, as they often do during meditation (unless of course you are not a beginner like me!), the roving slips, or bunches, or breaks.  There is nothing wrong with this, nothing is broken.  It just gives you an opportunity to reestablish yourself and start over again.

But, as much as I enjoyed my spinning, it didn’t do it nearly often enough to justify the wheel in the corner of my living room and the money not in the bank.  And there are cheaper ways to meditate.  Like, you know, sitting on the floor and simply meditating!  I told a friend that I would be sad to see my wheel go, but in a week I would forget that I had ever owned such a contraption and wouldn’t regret in the least that I had sold it.

Update: I think I was a little generous with the week thing – it’s been approximately 4 hours since my wheel left for its new home, and already I can barely remember what stood in the corner of my living room for 4 years.  How quickly I move on!

First 17 Things – Gone!

Facts: I spent several hours today getting rid of stuff.  Here’s the rundown:

There’s a pile of clothes to be given to Goodwill, including:

  • 3 sweaters
  • 2 fleeces
  • 1 vest
  • 1 wrap
  • 1 blazer
  • 2 spring jackets
  • 1 pea coat
  • 1 crocheted shawl (no, I’m not a grandma!)
  • 4 pairs of socks
  • 1 bathing suit
  • 1 pair running tights
  • 3 beanie babies (I know these aren’t clothes, but Goodwill takes Tchotchkes!)
  • 1 beaded necklace

I have two grocery sacks of books to be donated to the library book sale (must find out where these can be dropped off – I refuse to keep them in my house for an extended period of time!)

I threw away 2 items: a leather book dust cover, and a soap dish.  The soap dish was bright pink and teal.  I believe I’d had it since I was 13.  And that was oh, more than a few years ago.  So into the garbage it goes!

Analysis: This was kind of a sporadic purge.  I moved from one small area of my house, worked on a section, then moved to the next, etc, etc.  I didn’t concentrate on say, the linen closet, and completely purge that.  Which I think is fine, for now.  I’m at the point where there’s so much stuff to get rid of, wherever I look is something to toss.  So I just kinda willy nilly work my way through the rooms, stopping wherever I want and tossing stuff into bags.

I know I’ll have some hard decisions to make in the near future.  For example, in my closet is a leather purse I purchased in Italy a 2 years ago.  I didn’t pay much for it, and will get rid of it, probably in a day or two.  But, I had this distinct thought: “I can’t get rid of this, I bought it in Italy.”  Now, keep in mind these two things:

  1. I don’t really like the purse – it doesn’t pass the “elbow” test, and while it’s Italian leather, it isn’t melt-in-your-mouth-soft-like-butter-leather.
  2. Okay, only one thing.

But it’s a major thing: I don’t like it. The only reason I don’t want to get rid of it is because it’s a souvenir. I feel like since I bought it overseas it must be special and therefore I must keep it.  Which is crap.  Really, it is.  When I think of my trip, do I want to be reminded of a crappy purse I bought even though I kinda knew even then I didn’t like it, but really wanted an Italian leather purse?  No.  I want to think about my trip and remember the dark misty alleys of Venice, the sounds of the lapping canals against the boats, the echos of the singing nuns in St. Peter’s Basilica. That’s what I remember.  And I don’t need a purse to jog the memories, thank you very much!

On a similar, but slightly different note, the purse does something else whenever I see it.  It kinda brings me down just a little bit whenever I see it, thrown up on the top shelf of my closet.  I mentioned above that I bought it because I wanted a leather purse.  But I was a bit short of spending cash on that trip.  What I should have done was either just not gotten a bag, or straightened my shoulders and decided to screw the budget and go balls in a buy an expensive, but totally worthy, buttery soft bag.  Instead, I bought something I wasn’t totally happy with, just to buy something.  So now I’m stuck with a bag I don’t really want but am reluctant to get rid of because it came from Italy.  Well, kids, I’m over it.  As of now, I’m completely over it.  And I’ve learned my lesson:

Go big, or go home.

Meaning: if I’m going to buy something, make sure it’s the right thing.  Knowing myself as well as I do, I have a feeling I’m going to have to learn this lesson over, and over, and over.  And over again.