Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Compact Update

Rick is such a bad influence on me.

Surely I've mentioned how tough it is for me to not buy the Twilight New Moon DVD since I'm doing The Compact and committed to not buying anything new for the year. I first saw that it was available at Costco for $16 and passed it up like a good Compact-er should. Then I had hopes of being able to buy it in a few months once it went to the previously viewed section of the local video store. But the other day, as I was looking over our bank accounts I noticed a charge that seemed odd. I asked Rick about it and he said it was his Columbia House DVD club and he forgot to cancel this month's automatic shipment of the director's pick movie. By the time he went to select the option to refuse this month's selection, it was too late. His excuse was that he was thinking about adding more DVDs to the order and forgot. At first, I was really mad since the director's pick is always super expensive and you never get a deal on it. I started to reprimand him for being careless and wasting money since I just assumed we'd have to send it back and pay more for shipping. He quickly stopped me mid-sentence by admitting that this month's selection was the Twilight New Moon DVD. I pretended to be really upset and he pretended he'd be willing to send it back. Then I waiting patiently until it arrived in the mail and insisted on helping him open it, all the while offering to ship it back for him. He refused my offer on the basis that it would be even more expensive to return and we should just cut our losses. What a guy! I feel a tiny bit guilty, but it really wasn't my fault so I'm letting it slide this time.

The other tough part of The Compact this month was our trip to Minneapolis for my friend Cadence's wedding. You see, when I go to Minneapolis, I shop. It's what I do. They don't have sales tax on clothing and I live in Chicago where we have the highest or second highest sales tax in the nation at 10.25+%. It's beyond ridiculous here and I love a good deal so I tend to splurge whenever I'm in Minnesota. And, Cadence likes to shop so, it's our thing. Last time I went up to help her with wedding stuff, we were too busy to shop and I was good. This time, I tried to shop and even searched for a maternity resale store so that I'd be able to stay true to The Compact while filling a need for a bit more "big momma" clothes. So how did I do?

I succeeded at being good. I ended up buying one shirt that I'm not excited about but Rick says looks "cute". I was going for "hot momma" or "sexy" or "you don't even look pregnant" but instead I got "cute" and "comfortable". What do you expect? It was $6, with no sales tax, from the maternity resale store. As far as The Compact goes, I succeeded. As far as fixing the gaps in my wardrobe and making myself feel phenomenally awesome, I failed miserably.

The most painful part was following up that sad $6 shopping spree with a trip to the mall a few blocks away in which Rick was able to find two pair of dress shoes, a shoe horn, a dress shirt, matching tie, and a new suit. Seriously? He's making out like a bandit on my Compact commitment. Whatever money I've been saving by not shopping, he's been spending on updating his wardrobe. And I can't blame him. He only shops once every five year and gets a ton of wear out of his work clothes so I can't complain. Especially not when he gets 20+% off and doesn't pay sales tax. Nice. What's good for him is good for us both. It just isn't easy to sit back and watch him have all of the fun. Thankfully, my friend Jen got a few more maternity clothes back that she had loaned to her friend in Texas and they will add a much needed spark to my wardrobe for this final eight-week stretch -- and I'll admit her designer jeans do make my butt look good.

In other really-darn-lucky-me news, I was thoughtful enough to pack a back-up dress for the wedding "just in case". I don't know what made me do it but I listened to whatever it was and it turned out to be right. We drove all of the way up to Minneapolis to get into town with just enough time to check into our hotel room and change into our dress clothes for the rehearsal dinner when I realized that the original dress I had fit into just fine three weeks ago--not a maternity dress mind you--no longer fit and looked awful. I had the foresight to make sure black accessories would work with all dress options so it all turned out just fine in the end. Crisis averted. Good thing too since we didn't have any time to spare and I wasn't about to go shopping for a new dress to wear to the wedding. We later found out that I could have rented one from this maternity resale shop, but I think it would have been brown instead of black and you can just imagine the drama that would have created as I frantically searched for a pre-loved purse, shoes, sweater, and jewelry. It would not have been good at all.

Moral of the story: The Compact takes more time, more creative thinking and problem solving, a lot of supportive friends willing to lend you their stuff, a patient spouse, and a knack for planning ahead, but it is rewarding in the end knowing that you can do it.

No comments: