The Reduced Retail Gene

I was raised to appreciate a good bargain. My mother laboriously instilled a passion for the clearance rack in all of her children. She dragged all three of us kids (OMG, taking THREE kids out in public!) to many a discount, circled plenty of clearance racks and hit up her fair share of sidewalk sales with kiddos in tow.
For this, I can both thank her and damn her for this cursed retail magnetism I have. I have honed my ability to seek out the nicest stores and beeline to the back for the half price racks. I know when Nordstrom's Half Yearly Sales are (which started last week, by the way) and I can find a bargain needle in a fancy mess of a haystack.
My mother has passed on a long family tradition of marathon shopping to my sister and I (I'm ashamed to say my brother refused to carry the retail torch). And after a minimum of 8 hours scouring the racks for cheap (but nice quality) finds, we return home to continue a series of customary rituals.
A. Review said items and verbally apply them to current wardrobe. For example, "That new silk top will look amazing with those black slacks I have!"
B. Calculate a grand total of the day's shopping expenses and announce it immediately after saying the words "I ONLY SPENT ______"
C. Arrive home and assemble remaining family members on living room sofa. Conduct fashion show (remember music). At this point I must add that all family members are participatory at this point. My father, for example, is an excellent commentator. My brother does a great, "OOhhh! Auughh!" and "Hot! That's really cool!"
D. And finally the family scripted "Retail Report", justifying all purchases made today, which goes something like this:
Family Member, "Check out this amazing _____(insert description of purchase) I got today!"
Listener, "__________(insert compliment)."
Family Member, "How much do you think I paid for this?"
Listener, "_______(insert gross over estimate, being polite)."
Family Member, "ONLY ____(insert ridiculously low price)! And it was ORIGINALLY PRICED at _______(insert MSRP $ on original price tag)."

So when I rocked up to The Coverings Annual Warehouse Sale Today in SLO, I certainly had entire generations of my game face on. And the final price tag was "ONLY $___!!" (ouch).
And even though I've been married to my husband for an eternity, I am still working on his role in the customs of my family's bargain hunting expertise. So, NO, I have not conducted my fashion show and NO, I have not shared the total price tag with him out loud (I don't think I can even say that number aloud to myself). But I'm sure, this time, we can let tradition slide.
And the minute I returned home with my sack of fab fashion, I glanced over my calendar in search of ways to redeem a few pennies expended on my wild shopping spree. "There's gotta be some way to undo all this awesome retail spending without actually giving it up, right?!" Today's bargain hunting spree was totally unexpected, and completely unplanned. It was a luxury item all itself, and I'm sure there are a few luxuries I can trade for that cashmere sweater I have attached myself to since purchasing. So mommy doesn't need that second facial this month. That's definitely a luxury item worth trading for cashmere: soft face? or soft sweater? Oh, and we'll skip the pediatrician's follow-up appointment tomorrow (What?! The girls are both healthy as horses...). Okay, okay, to even the field, I'll skip the gynecologist's appointment this year, too. Are you happy? Now, I've recouped at least half of today's TOTAL, which was ONLY $____. And I can feel slightly better about it.
Maybe if I cancel the kid's swim lessons this summer I could go back to The Coverings Sale tomorrow.....



I am lost in a cyberspace shoe mall. Jimmy Choo is holding me hostage with a black patent stiletto!
I am blaming this all on the looming marriage of my little sister.
I'm sorry my every waking spare moment has been spent online (avoiding blogging) obsessing over shoes, ignoring my children.
Bad mommy, hot bridesmaid.
Miss you all.