Sunday, November 05, 2006

Cute Dresses and Overused Lines

I have a problem.

Apparently I have lost my ability to stay within my budget. When I mentioned in my last post that I spent way too much money on that Betsy Johnson dress I bought on Thursday, I wasn't kidding. We're talking more money than I have ever spent on a dress in my life. So I promised myself that I would buy no more new clothing (except maybe a coat, as I am on the hunt for one) until the beginning of the year. I also have to forgo a spa treatment this month. While it will be a challenge, I think I'll be able to stay away from the spa until December, but apparently I have no will power when it comes to cute dresses.

I was on my way to Walgreens today, armed with an ever-so-glamorous shopping list of shampoo, hair gel, toilet paper and cleaning supplies, when a dress in the window at Belle Cose on Polk Street called my name. In fact, I'd say it shouted, cried and begged for me. Within ten minutes, purchase made. And here's the rub: since I just spent so much money on the Betsy Johnson dress, I figured the $140 price tag of the Belle Cose number to be a bargain. What kind of weird, skewed perspective have I adopted? Well, whatever my perspective, this little purchase has left me with ten dollars in my checking account until pay day. That's right. No need to worry, as I do have a savings account I can dip into, but still.

I am out of control.

Okay, perhaps I am being a little dramatic here. I am actually financially very healthy. I pay my credit card bill in full every month and carry no other debt. I have a 401K and an IRA. And I stash a decent portion of my monthly income in the aforementioned savings account. I often end up spending that stash when I overspend, but at least it earns a higher interest rate while it's there.

So I guess I am living within my means, but still. Exactly how much money do I think I have? Yes, I make enough to live comfortably in San Francisco, and I am fully aware that not everyone can say that. But those coffers are going to run dry one day if I don't pull myself together. And since men who grossly prioritize making a lot of money tend to turn me off, I shouldn't count on marrying rich.

Therefore, I probably need to watch it.

Well, at least I'll look really cute, even if I have to eat Top Ramen six nights a week because I'm spending all my money on clothes. I'm going to wear my new dress to work tomorrow.

Also today, my friend Helen broke up with the guy she has been dating for the last couple of months. I mean no disrespect to either one of them, but I have to laugh just a little because she used the "I just don't want to be in a relationship right now" line on him. Is it just me, or have you both heard and said that several times? I know the answer is yes, and that the line has been a load of crap every time. I think I've said it twice, and both times I sincerely believed I was telling the truth, even though I knew in my heart of hearts that I wasn't really interested in the fellows I was cutting loose. And both times I soon realized I had been kidding myself; it was about the guys, not me wanting to be alone.

I think I've heard it twice, as well. The first time was way back in 1993, and the guy who fed it to me met a woman through a newspaper personal ad (keep in mind, this was before the days of mainstream online dating) within a week and was married to her within nine months. That sounds like a guy who doesn't want to be in a relationship, doesn't it? I was devastated at the time, but I was only 23. Plus, with the benefit of 20-20 hindsight, I can say that the dude was kind of a loser, and today I am very, very glad he dumped me. The second time was in 2000, and I actually think that guy was telling me the truth. He continued to date casually off and on, but every woman he dated heard the same line. And it was almost five full years before he ended up in another serious relationship.

So I guess it isn't always just a line. But it's still pretty funny and probably should be exorcised from our dating patter.

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