Monday, July 30, 2007


I like nice things. And I like to spend money, especially on food, travel, and gifts. I'm also cheap, especially with clothes, accessories, and cosmetics.


When I got engaged, my mom took me to the little wedding dress shop in the town where my folks live, where I graduated from high school. This was a practice shopping trip, before we headed into Chicago to look for my dress. We never made it to Chicago. For form's sake, I did try a couple more shops, but I got my dress at Sisters Bridal. Although I had ideas about current fashions, one of the sisters who owns the shop took one look at me and brought me a dress.

"This is your dress, honey," she said. It was nothing like what I'd planned to wear, but it was absolutely perfect on me.

"You look exactly like a woman is supposed to look," one of my parents' friends told me during my wedding reception. And she was right that the dress was very very flattering. And comfortable. And inexpensive. It was on sale. And I got a discount for ordering my bridesmaids' dresses through the shop. And for something or other else too. In the end, I don't think my wedding dress even cost $200.

I did, however, have an expensive engagement ring that I loved, by a name-brand designer. I didn't think this was quite fair, so I wanted to buy something comparable for Paul. I nixed his suggestion for a laptop: um, no, something that will a) be outdated in a year, and b) distract you from the glory of my company? I think not.

We went to Neiman Marcus and I bought him a nice Hugo Boss tuxedo that he still squeezes into for special events. (Unless I become terribly ill, I will never successfully squeeze into my wedding dress again, lovely though it is.)

When he went in for his first fitting, he needed shoes to go with the tuxedo. The salesman brought him some, he tried them on, then agreed to buy them on the spot, too embarrassed to ask the price.

Paul is the proud owner of a pair of Ferragamo tuxedo shoes that cost more than twice as much as my wedding dress. Fortunately, his feet haven't changed size. Unfortunately, he doesn't find very many opportunities to wear tuxedo shoes.

Cut to 2007.

I needed new glasses, so I went to Lens Crafters. I carefully avoided the lovely frames in the section that was padlocked, and carefully deliberated about exactly what quality my lenses needed to be. I spent about $250 on new glasses, after insurance.

A couple of months later, Paul went in to get himself a new pair of glasses. In his defense, he has bad eyes and has to pay more for some sort of unusually thin lens (not just the usual Featherweights). Also, he decided that he absolutely must have sunglasses as well.

A short month after our big BudgetFest, wherein we decided that we were never ever going to go into credit card debt again (so far, so good, somehow) Paul spent $750 on new glasses.

And, yes, the frames are Ferragamo.


Rob Monroe said...

We, too, just invested in glasses over the weekend. I always forget how much that stuff costs! (Anny got her first pair of new glasses since before we moved to Virginia six years ago...)

Hope he likes them. For a VERY long time!

ccw said...

To think I whined over having to spend $300 on glasses.

My wedding dress was ridiculous so I am hoping that I can get someone to wear it again so it will seem more affordable.

Orange said...

The neckline on that wedding gown is beautiful!

What kind of bras do you have? Have you got any $60+ Wacoal or Chantelle or Felina bras? I think you deserve some to keep up with Signor Ferragamo here.

Victoria/Beachcomber said...

You look stunning in that beautiful dress!! (and he looks mighty fine in that tux, too!)

I second the pp who thinks you need to go nuts on some really good quality bras or something. I also seconds the pp who hope he likes those glasses for a VERY long time.

PPB said...

You make a beautiful couple. I love your dress and his shoes.

The nice thing about glasses is that you do actually wear them every day, so that boils down to 2 bucks a day for him for a year's use....presuming he doesn't lose or scratch them, and that if his prescription changes, he is changing the lenses but not the frames....basically, I think he just bought his engagement ring.

Rob Monroe said...

I totally disagree with both Orange and Beachcomber! You are doing a good thing by avoiding debt in as many instances as possible. When trying to keep your money, it's definately not a tit-for-tat process!! That could become an endless, miserable game.

jharootunian said...

That is so funny. The last time I bought glasses I spent about the same as you- somewhere in the $200 range. My husband spent like Paul. He just had to have the transitions too. A year later he went ahead and got lasik. But they aren't a total waste. He ended up needing driving glasses so he had lens put into his nice expensive frames.

Jenny from downsyn

flatflo said...

Yowser. The good news is that your eyeglass expenditures are tax deductible if you itemize.

We have an optometrist friend that games with Dave sometimes. He owns his own practice and offers a gamers' discount. If you bring in your own d20, you get that plus $10 off your order. So yeah, up to 30 bucks isn't a huge amount, but still...

Gorgeous picture, btw!

Sarahlynn said...

Rob, Paul was wearing his new frames when you all were here . . . and nobody noticed. Alas. My frames were as old as Anny's, so I felt justified spending a couple hundred bucks.

CCW, it's lovely to think of someone rewearing my wedding dress. Unlikely, but lovely. Best wishes on that for you!

Thank you, Orange, I love that neckline too! I do have some expensive bras. Good point. My arguement is that I need good support for the makers of the babies' food, saving us all that money for formula. Works for me!

Thanks, Beach! And, yes, these glasses better last more than a year or two.

Thanks, PPB. And, to be honest, it would take several nice tuxedos and eyeglasses to add up to my engagement ring.

Rob again, but it would be a fun game while it lasted! (Until they came to take away the car, the house, etc.)

Jenny, Lasik: I'm not even tempted! Glad it worked out for your husband.

Flatflo - good point! We'll have to save the bills for our accountant next April. Thanks for the optometrist tip. And, thanks!

Anne said...

LOL, we have this dicotomy. I tend to buy my clothes at Walmart. Love White Stag, etc. They fit my SAHM lifestyle and my figure. Hubby buys most of his clothes at Nordstrom's and Brooks Brothers because he needs large talls.

Hubby usually ends up with glasses in the $700 to $800 range but they do tend to last him 5 or 6 years. Unlike M.E. who needs a new pair every year. Fortunately, kid's glasses are cheap.

Lovely dress, btw.