Thursday, April 20, 2023

Sara and Melissa Talk About...Shopping

We've been running a column series (for three years now!) to get more personal with our readers. This month, we're talking about shopping. Confessions of a Shopaholic is definitely a classic chick lit read. Are we shopaholics though? You'll just have to keep reading this post...

We both love Romy and Michele's High School Reunion. In honor of that and this topic, we have one little clip to share with you.

We're always open to topic suggestions, so please don't hesitate to share those in the comments. We'd also love to know if you can relate to anything we've said or hear your own thoughts on the topic. So don't be shy. :) We look forward to getting to know you as much as we're letting you get to know us. You can find our previous columns here, in case you missed them. 

Melissa Amster:

There was a time in my life where I was a shopaholic. In my pre-teen and teenage years, I went to the mall almost every weekend, looking for clothes and accessories on which to spend my babysitting money. Of course, I went to the bookstore too! 

As an adult, I was more interested in stores where you could get the most for your money. I went to Walmart all the time and later switched to Target when there were not any Walmarts nearby. (I still love going to Walmart if I ever find myself in proximity to one.) When I lived in New Jersey, I loved going to Amazing Savings, which had all sorts of random stuff at low prices. I could get party goods, school supplies, toiletries, home decor, etc. in one place. 

Courtesy of Hot Yogi Moms

After we moved to Maryland, a friend introduced me to Unique/Value Village. It's the mother of all thrift stores, filled with clothes, shoes, games, books, household items, etc. I could spend all day there, and sometimes I practically did! I had a hard time paying retail prices for clothes after that. I also spent almost every Sunday at Target, just getting random things.  As for groceries, after some Aldi locations opened up nearby, I became addicted to that store. Lidl comes in close second and it's only a few minutes from where I live. (Aldi is a bit more of a drive.) And Five Below gives me Amazing Savings vibes, so I enjoy going there every so often. (It's usually next to Aldi.)

The time I dressed as a shopaholic for Purim

Nowadays, I am not so into shopping. I don't know when or why I lost interest, but I feel like I have to drag my feet to go to any store. I haven't gone thrift shopping in months, or at least it feels that way. Even when I'm shopping online, I have no idea what I need sometimes. It all feels like such a chore. 

I think some of my shopping apathy has to do with the way malls are these days. When I was growing up, malls had this magical appeal. These days, most of the shops seem like they are full of random junk. There are literally two different dollar stores right next to each other and neither of them are as appealing as Dollar (25) Tree. I do still enjoy going to Bath and Body Works though, and all the coupons I get in the mail lead me right to their door. 

I'm hoping the shopping bug will bite me again so shopping at least won't feel so annoying. I have been more practical in terms of what I purchase though. 

Sara Steven:

Two weeks ago, my eldest son let me know that he is going to his senior prom. It was the first I’d heard of it. I knew it was prom season, given the friends who’d posted pictures and video of their own children, dressed to the nines on social media. But my kid never mentioned it. 

His prom is this coming Saturday, so we needed to act fast. Flashbacks from my own prom experience floated up from the back of my subconscious; buying the dress. The ticket(s). Making dinner reservations. 

I’m a major planner, and was like that even in my teen years. I’m sure I bought the dress weeks in advance, and as you can see, I wore it after the event, too. The picture below is from the actual day of the prom, while the one with me leaning on the truck is a full year after the fact. I felt like wearing my dress, just because I could. 

My son needed a suit. ASAP. Which is why we spent yesterday afternoon at a Macy’s nearby, searching through the racks of various colored suits in the hope of finding one that would work well for him.

I’ve always known about the rites of passage that would come for him. Like, getting a driver’s license. High school graduation. College. But prom had slipped my mind. It was a surreal experience helping him choose the perfect black suit jacket and pants, and he selected a deep red button down dress shirt to go with it, complete with vest. The first go around, though, everything was a bit too large on him. He gripped at the waistband of his pants with one hand, while the jacket hung loose and limp around his lanky, long frame. 

I went in search of something that would fit better, grabbing various things from the racks, different sizes. I’ve never had to look for a suit for a man–using the word “man” feels a bit reaching, since I’m referencing my boy. But when he finally stepped out of the dressing room so I could see the latest ensemble in action, I was in awe of the man he is becoming. He looked so grown up. 

It is his first suit. His first pair of dress shoes. His first tie. He’s never had to wear a tie before. How can I in one split second see a young man and my “Buggy Boo” all at the same time? 

I’m excited for him. I’m sure he’s going to have a great time. It’s another milestone that he’ll most likely have memories of for the rest of his life, much like I have with my own prom experiences. I felt honored to be the one to help him choose his suit–and I’ve informed him that, as his mother, I get to take as many pictures as I want of him in said suit, regardless of how much he would rather I not. That’s my own rite of passage I won’t be missing out on. 

Do you like shopping? If so, where is your favorite place to spend money?

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