What I Bought–I Mean Did–on My Summer Vacation

Now I’ll give the long-awaited answer to the question: What did I end up buying on vacation?

The answer is: Wait for it…

Nothing.

Yes. I’m just as shocked as you are.

See: There were a couple things I contemplated, but I found myself mired in an existential discussion with my Really Irritating Internal Voice (RIIV), about whether I actually wanted to have these things, or whether I just wanted to buy them. This is, of course, a broad and, may I say, extremely tiring question. I mean, I certainly didn’t want to buy something just to buy something. On the other hand, some of my most-worn items are ones I bought on vacation or at some other time when I just felt like buying something for the pleasure of buying something.

Anyway. First, I almost bought a ring. It had a simple, gold-plated base and a round piece of red/pink sea glass. It was not at all expensive and Mom was like “just get the effing ring,” though she said it more politely because she’s a mom. But it was only the second day of vacation. What if I found something I liked more?

Over the next day or so I did think about the ring, and planned to go back for it, but I got too busy doing such vacation-y things as lying down, reading, drinking wine, eating, and lying down again.

Gone fishing - Herringbones Design Shop

The shop where I almost bought (yet another) bag. I may call and ask them to send it to me. Will I like it as much now that vacation is over?

In a different store, on the last day, I found a super-cute fabric/knit tote bag, with all my fave colors (black, maroon, olive, grey), and lots of little pockets inside. It was a great end-of-summer bag, and everyone knows you can never have too many bags. But again, doubt raised its ugly head. Did I want THIS bag? Or did I just want to go home from vacation with a souvenir?

I decided to ignore my RIIV and “just buy the effing ring.” But, when I returned to the first store (stay with me here, I know it’s getting confusing) the ring had been sold. Suddenly, I really, really wanted it. “And you’re sure you don’t have one in back, right? What about online? The Portland store?” The saleswoman was fairly unsympathetic, conveying a kind of “you snooze, you lose” attitude which seemed fair enough, since the day before, when I had been about to go back to the store, I had actually fallen asleep.

However, now that I’m home I find myself thinking about that bag. I’m even considering calling the store, giving them my credit card, and asking them to send it to me. The problem is, will I like it as much, now that vacation is over?

Shopping Rule #436: Everything Looks Better on Vacation

Courtesy of the Boston Public Library

What to Buy on Vacation? How About Everything. 

A friend once mentioned something in passing about wearing her “vacation dress.” I figured she meant a dress that she had bought FOR vacation: Something cute yet comfy, that would, in fashion-mag parlance, “make the transition from day to evening.” But no. She was talking about a dress she had bought ON vacation. Something she would probably not have purchased had she not been rested, relaxed, and in a shopping mood.

You Can Tell Me: Share Your Favorite Vacation Purchase

This little exchange popped into my head yesterday, since I happen to be on vacation. And you know you’re on vacation in a New England beach town when you go a-browsing in a shop you would give little more than a haughty sniff to back home and fall in love with absolutely everything in it. Flowered skirts. Earrings with smiling whales.

Even non-clothes: A red ceramic butter dish with white polka dots? Love! Birdhouses made of wine corks? Sure–years of trauma wrought by my viewing of The Birds— totally a thing of the past.  Even placards with such inspirational quotes as “One day can bend your life” (though not surprisingly I read that as “A single day can END your life” which makes more sense).

All this to say I am on vacation and a little antsy to treat myself to something.

Tell me about a piece of clothing you bought on vacation that you probably would never have bought at any other time.

Buying Away the Blues

Just Doing a Quick Size Exchange at Nordstrom. I’ll Only be 5 Minutes. Really.

That’s not me. That is my jacket.
Photo: Courtesy of Nordstrom

I have something I need to confess.

Last week, I self-pity shopped. It was a brief but highly successful retail therapy session that made me feel even better than a gazillion milligrams of Prozac mixed with a bottle of merlot and poured over a gallon of Edy’s Slow Churned probably could have.

It started innocently enough. I had an exchange to make at Nordstrom—one size blazer for another. I’d be in and out in five minutes.

But. Somehow on the short walk from car to mall, I started to feel liked I’d gained 20 pounds in two days. Before me appeared the face of every guy who had ever not texted or called me for a second date. I saw all my job applications in the reject pile on the desk of the editor at my dreamiest of dream jobs.

Then I bought a leather jacket, and I felt much better.

A Quick Lap Around the Store

This is also not me. My jacket, though.
Photo: Courtesy of Nordstrom

I mean, it was the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, and all bets are pretty much off when fall clothes are marked down by a third. Plus, it was almost closing time and the store was all but empty. Over the weekend it had been crowded, and wasn’t there the chance that I’d missed something great because someone had planted herself in such a way as to block  my view of the perfect top? Just in case I’d better do a quick lap around the floor.

In my defense, Really Irritating Internal Voice (RIIV), I had been wanting a short black leather jacket for quite awhile and hadn’t had much luck finding one I liked in my price range. But there it was. Continue reading

O Canada! I Shop on Guard for Thee

Is there anything grander than going on vacation to a beautiful city and going to said city’s most raddest shopping district, and coming home with not one but two crisp new shopping bags with one store having been so cool the lovely saleswoman gave you a tote bag instead of a shopping bag; and by the way you would have had three crisp new shopping bags except you were trying to be all kind to the earth and save a bag so you put your last purchase in one of the bags you already had?

Lucky for me I had one such grand weekend over Thanksgiving, when I went to Toronto for my cousin Miles’s Bar Mitzvah. I know, Bar Mitzvah, you’re thinking, BOH-riiiing. Well, I for one haven’t had this much fun at a Bar Mitzvah since I was ACTUALLY 13 and I could get amped enough on Shirley Temples to flirt with the boys from Hebrew class.

The weekend was great from beginning to end. And it got off to an especially great start Friday morning with a walk along the Queen Street West shopping area, which is the perfect blend of pretty and gritty.

The day started with a stop at Joe Fresh. It’s a Canadian company so I felt like I was soaking in some local color. I didn’t find anything but Mom did, so we left happy. Then, a stop for fuel at Arepa Cafe gave us enough energy for Shopping Day Phase 2.

This person looks nothing like me. I’m not that cheerful. I do like the idea of red shoes or accessories, though. Photo courtesy of Fresh Collective.

Among the places we stopped was Comrags, which Cousin S swears by. I did better at Fresh Collective a couple doors down, where I got the most super black and white A-Line cotton dress for work.

Some stores were doing Black Friday sales which I thought was darling since Black Friday is really an American thing. Meg, which also has a store in my home borough, was doing 30% off for black items, so I bought a perfectly-draped basic black top since, can you really have too many black tops? Continue reading