A RUN-OF-THE-MILL NIGHTMARE

Timely prompt since I woke up to a nightmare this very morning.

I had just graduated college or something like it. I had a sister (not my real sister) and another sister/brother — he/she kept switching back and forth which, in the dream seemed perfectly normal. Whatever he/she was, definitely no relation to real me.

My parents (not my real parents, definitely, absolutely nothing like my real parents) were getting them ready for the world. Buying them clothing, renting apartments for them. Getting them cars.

I keep begging for attention, to help me get a car. I needed a car because whatever I was going to do (no idea what it was), I needed to travel. I was just out of college. No money or credit and as I recall, nowhere to live.

Both siblings had professional positions. Vague but  seemingly important. I (apparently) did not. As the dream wound down, I knew no one would help me. Or notice me.

I woke up, realizing I would manage. Because I always manage. I couldn’t go back to sleep, though. I’m worried about money. Again? Or is that still?

Given the way life is, I always will be.


Nightmares

STRANGELY BEAUTIFUL OR MERELY STRANGE?

CEE’S ODD BALL PHOTO CHALLENGE: 2015 WEEK #21

Odd Ball Photos are those great photos that you take which really don’t seem to fit into a common category. We’ve all taken them and like them, because we just can’t hit delete and get rid of them. From the piney woods to the rest room of a local bookstore … odd balls all.

As seen in the ladies room ...

As seen in the rest room of the bookstore …

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BARGAIN HUNTING – THE SPORT

I have acquired a lot of sweaters over the years. This is New England. Winters are long. Heat is expensive. Sweaters fill the gap.

This morning I noticed more than half my sweaters are purple. I’ve got a few in black, a couple in red, but purple dominates. The sweaters used to be all black. I’m from New York where women wear black. It’s a thing. A co-worker in Israel once told me I dressed like a nun. I could never wear the bright colors she wore. I’d feel like I was wearing a neon sign.

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If you surmise from this that I love purple, you’d be wrong. Purple sweaters scream “final mark-down.” As a habitue of end-of-the-season sales, I know what to expect. Lots of purple, white, orange and some nasty shades of green in which no one looks healthy.

Leftovers also include “specialty colors” designers were sure would be the next big thing. They are inevitably named after fruits or veggies. They never sell well, so there are plenty of whatever it was in the clearance aisle.

All the normal, neutral colors are gone, but you’ll find cantaloupe , mango, kiwi, aubergine, honeydew, sugarplum, pumpkin, mocha and vanilla bean. We all knew they were tan, orange, coral and lavender. New names did not make old colors the next big anything.

I’m a big fan of neutrals. In addition to being essentially conservative where color is concerned, I spent many decades working and commuting. If I wanted to have a life outside of work, dressing had to be fast, mindless.

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Neutral colors are the backbone of a working woman’s wardrobe. If almost all of your clothing is black, grey, off-white, taupe, brown, or khaki, putting together an outfit is a piece of cake. Grab a top, grab a bottom, attach earrings to lobes and voilà. It’s a go-anywhere wardrobe for the fashion-challenged. In other words, me.

After I stopped working, I didn’t have money to spend on clothing. The percentage of purple and orange in my wardrobe rose accordingly. Which explains the orange dress in my closet. I’ve had it for almost two years, but the tags are still attached. It was a 2012 leftover bought the spring of 2013. It’s still waiting to be worn as the spring of 2015 is well underway. It’s got short sleeves and is basically a long tee-shirt, so I’ll give it whirl as a nightie.

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Lack of money has honed my bargain hunting skills, but I have always been a bargain shopper.

I shop final sales and closeouts, even when I am not strapped for funds. It’s a family tradition. My mother raised me to hold fast to one unyielding principle: Never pay full price. 

I take pride in scoring a great buy. You aren’t supposed to brag about how much you pay. You’re supposed to brag about how much you didn’t pay. The less you pay, the greater your bragging rights. I was astonished to discover that some people are proud of paying a lot for something they could have gotten for half off if they’d waited a couple of days. They might have had to take it in purple or orange, but think of all the money they’d save!

Would I have different attitude towards shopping if I were rich?

To put it in perspective, back in the early 1990s, I got into a tug of war with Carly Simon for possession of a 70% off clearance sale silk blouse in a very chi-chi shop in Oak Bluffs on Martha’s Vineyard. The blouse was orange.

I won. Fantastic blouse.

Bargain hunting is not just for people on a tight budget. For some of us, it’s a contact sport.

Somewhere, in Heaven, Mom is smiling proudly.