Yesterday I attempted to go Xmas Shopping which is quite challenge as I've embraced The New Frugality.
And it's not such a Bad Thing. In fact, Embracing Frugality has become a totally entertaining & rewarding pastime. Just as long as it doesn't become another Obsession.
I've always been careless with money like I'm Barbara Hutton without the Millions. I recklessly spent thousands & thousands of dollars on things like take-away Lattes & endless copies of Vogue magazine from every English-speaking country in the world. And even sometimes non-English speaking ones. Frequently, I would buy Italian Vogue which was quite expensive, & sit for hours trying to work out what it was saying.
Now I buy one magazine a month - 'The World of Interiors' which I've been buying since 1985. It would be wicked to stop. All the others I steal from 'Zinc', my local cafe, or pull out of our building's recycling bin or read at 'Borders'.
Books are a bit more difficult. And I feel like I really should buy books. Besides, it's hard to read them standing up in bookshops. 'Borders' is too noisy to read a whole book, so I frequent my local bookstore which is the size of a postage stamp. Yesterday, I found this wonderful new book of freshly discovered writings by Kafka, who I'm a fan of, not that I've read much of his stuff. But I like the idea of it. You know, people waking up one day only to discover that they've turned into Dung Beetles. I'd hate for that to happen to Mr. Ex-Middleaged.
Anyway, it was a slim volume of Kafka's anagrams or aphorisms or something starting with the letter A. It was rivetting. But I couldn't stand there for too long because I could feel the slimy presence of the Shop Owner right behind me. I wandered out of the shop feeling smug for not spending $32.
Yesterday, I went to another bookstore. A much larger one where I can read in an armchair without being bothered by the staff. I found this wonderful picture book called The Red Shoes which is a re-telling of the old story. Or is it a fairy tale? And I can't remember the story.
And I call myself an English Teacher.
Instead of buying it, I took pictures of the fantastic illustrations with my phone. Which was yet another occasion to feel smug. I just love love love this book (Rachel Zoe is rubbing off on me). And I thought it was Relevant to my Own Life Right Now as I keep on thrifting red shoes. It's incredible. Four, or is it five pairs in the last couple of weeks. What is the Universe trying to say to me, I wonder?
I must go read the story & find out.