Thursday, March 26, 2009

Black Velvet and that Little Boy's... oh never mind.

So my husband is a bit of a clothes horse. He doesn't own an extravagant amount of clothes, but he does like nicely made clothing. He has suits that were tailored for him in Korea, and I don't know anyone who owns more really nice kilts (don't ask). He does dress well, and has a really good wardrobe. But once in a while, a doozy slips past. When we started dating, he owned a shirt we refer to as his "Jesus shirt." It literally had Jesus all over it. And the Virgin Mary. And the Sacred Heart. Did I mention it was made of silk? When he wore it, it looked like he belonged in some weird underground gay Latin club. Which is fine, but he's not Latin, even a little, and he's not gay. I think he "lost" that shirt, sadly.

In our attempt to purge our STUFF that we have sitting around, we looked at our clothes that we don't wear. And there it was. One of the doozies. I am partly to blame for this particular article of clothing, though. Let me explain. My husband and I were visiting Stratford, Ontario for the Shakespeare festival a few years back. If you've never heard of it, it's a great place to visit and see some shows. There are all these really unique shops in the town, and we love poking around all of them when we're there. This particular day, we had perhaps a few too many beers at the Boar's Head Pub, and were feeling happy. We wandered into a speciality clothing shop where this really wackado woman hand made all the clothes she sold. The clothes were a cross between a renaissance faire (with an "e" please note) and a "Hot Topic." My husband found this velvet jacket with a fleur de lis embroidered on it. Well, just check out the picture. Nuf' said. At the time we both thought it was a great idea. It seemed the perfect length for his kilts, and it was black and it was velvet, yeah! Ok, maybe we were flat out drunk, I'm not sure. Long story short, we bought it for an unseemly sum.

So onto where this fits in with my blog. After maybe 2 or 3 wearings, we both came to the conclusion that the jacket looked a little, well, renaissancy gay. This was confirmed by one of our gay friends, so our minds were made up. We put the jacket up on ebay. It sat there for 10 days, with no one paying any attention. We knocked off 25 bucks, and put it back up. Another 10 days go by. Where are all the renaissance faire loving gay men? And so the jacket is still sitting in our closet. So much for our first try of getting rid of our STUFF.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

consumable birthday

So last month was my birthday. As my husband says, I turned 29 for the 3rd time. Now, my husband really enjoys buying extravagant gifts for me. I am not unashamed to say I have gotten more than one gift in the "little blue box." And don't get me wrong, I enjoy receiving them. But you know, we have our "rules." I reminded him gently of our "rules" a couple of weeks before my birthday, and he assured me he had it under control.

The week before my birthday, I was talking to my sister-in-law who mentioned something about my in-laws coming to stay the weekend with us so that we could go out for my birthday. Uh-oh. Alarm bells went off because this was the first I had heard about it. Sure enough, surprise spoiled! Oh well. It was still an awesome present. We had not been out together without baby since he was born back in June!! We got all fancy, ate at the local Italian restaurant, and went to our first movie in the theater since the day I went into labor (it's true- I went into labor watching Sex and the City). It was just so amazing to be out again.

On top of all this, my husband brought me flowers (hmmm, they were new technically, but are they consumable?) and an ice-cream cake! My favorite. Oh, and extra points for my husband because my birthday weekend also was Valentine's day and he had reservations lined up well in advance. So I think he successfully pulled off my birthday AND followed all our rules! And I didn't even miss the little blue box.

Monday, March 9, 2009

yes, I'm THAT kind of aunt

So the first gift I had to give once we decided to go through with this endeavor was to my 8 year old niece for her birthday. This was a problem. For one thing, due to family discord, I haven't seen her since she was 2! So I basically don't know her, don't know her likes or dislikes, or obsessions as 8 year olds tend to have. On top of all of this, I have to give her something used, recycled, or consumable? This is going to head right back into family discord!

And then... I remembered a gift card I had gotten at Christmas!! Would this be cheating? I deliberated, and decided, NO! And it just so happens that the gift card is to Barnes and Noble. And it just so happens that my husband and I are notorious book-givers to children. I know, I know. They want toys. But that's what everyone else gets them, we rationalize! And we're both English majors, so it feels like it's our civic duty or something. So I do decide it's not cheating, because it's like recycling another gift.

As I walk down the aisles of the bookstore, I realize I have no idea what an 8 year old reads. I try to think back, but let's face it, those memories are all but gone. I have vague recollections of Sounder, Old Yeller, Bridge to Teribithia... soooo depressing. I stop in front of a Hanna Montana rack of stuff. There are pens there that when you press a button, it sings like Hanna Montana. I figure this is golden. It sings a song called Rock Star or something like that and I grab it! Ok, so it was a moment of weakness, but I want her to have something fun. Now on to books. I wander around aimlessly until I find someone to ask. What do 8 year olds like to read? She points me to Junie B books. I have never heard of these books, but I take her advice and pick up a boxed set. I feel relief, satisfaction, and cheerful that I have gotten her something I know she'll enjoy, and something I hope she'll enjoy.

Last report: she liked the books fine, but the pen was so cool! So that wasn't so bad. Next up is my birthday... wonder how my husband will handle that.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

where we begin

So this decision came about as my husband and I looked around the house and realized how much STUFF we have. We added a baby to the mix last summer, and the STUFF just exploded. Who knew that one little person needed so much STUFF? So as we were bumping into our overstuffed couch while avoiding the baby jumparoo, we said enough was enough. We made ground rules.

But first a little background. I love to shop. I mean, it is my therapy and did I mention I love it? It doesn't really matter what I'm shopping for, I just love it. The object of most of my love is Target. Target is my happy place, meditative zone, and basically where I can find anything I want. My closet is overflowing with clothes I haven't worn in over a year (maternity clothes, and then stopped working in an office...). And don't get me started on my shoes. I actually own shoes with tags still on them. Ugh. Pathetic. And then there are the nicknacks. I am not guilty here (mostly) and neither is my husband. My mom is a nicknack buyer. Kitchen nicknacks ,(what do I need with a zester anyway?) living room nicknacks (we're supposed to hang THAT picture in our livingroom?) etc. Ok, so I'm shuffling blame, but it's true. My husband owns every tool that you would ever need, but yet needs more on a continual basis. Any new job around the house demands a new tool to match. And with a baby, it just never ends what must be bought.

The ground rules:
  1. We will not buy anything new for a year.
  2. Exceptions to the first rule: consumables (like food, beverages, diapers) and necessities for the upkeep of our home.
  3. To maintain this rule, we will buy only used or recycled non-consumables (clothes, gifts, books).
  4. We will either sell or give away all the extras sitting around the house.

So wish me luck. We have already run into problems and I've had some tantrums, and baby is getting sick of hand me downs (ok, so he doesn't notice, but I do!). But that will wait for the next post.