A Big Ol’ Dose of Reality

24 Jan

I have a problem.  It’s one I’ve been aware of for several years now, and no matter how hard I try I just can’t quit.

I tell people how much I paid for things.

And not in that “Oh, what?  That little summer cottage?  Well, our Investment Portfolio Manager Lackey told us that paying $6.5 million for it would be a steal in this market.”

No.  My conversations usually go like this:

Kind Friend:  I like your belt.
Me:  I paid fifteen cents for it.
Kind Friend: (politely taken aback and unsure of the proper reaction) Oh.
Me:  Yeah, and the necklace was also fifteen cents, and this sweater was totally free because my friend is so skinny she can’t wear it anymore.

I’m not exaggerating.  In fact, I’m not even using a fictitious dialog.  The above exchange occurred just last Sunday.  Multiple times.

When I picked out my outfit Saturday night the total cost of the ensemble impressed me.  $2.05.  Including jewelry.  Shoot.  I just did it again.

Anyway, as my clothes were laid out for church I promised myself that the next morning I would not disclose the cost of a single article.  I didn’t last long.  In fact, my own rule was violated within the first five minutes, and no less than five times.  There was only one person who complimented my clothing that didn’t get a price rundown.  Now I feel guilty.  Please let me take care of that:

Stephanie, if you’re out there, I totally wanted to tell you that I got my dress for a buck at Salvation Army, but we walked by each other before I had a chance to form a complete sentence.  Next time I will pull a Minnie Pearl and proudly sport a price tag.

When I got home from church I decided to take a picture of the offending outfit and write yet another self-deprecating post, but that is when the trouble really began.

I propped my little camera up and fired some shots, most of which were lousy.

Then I captured one that made me pretty happy, and seemed like the perfect replacement for my months-old facebook profile picture.   But there was a fair amount of counter clutter in the background, so I popped over to Picnik to crop out the mess and to make a facebook-friendly square.

Upon arrival at Picnik I learned the site is closing in April and so they’ve opened up all their premium features to everyone.  Free! Even for cheapskates like me who only pay seventy-five cents for a pair of earrings!  Well, I couldn’t help but messing with a few of the previously locked effects.

I changed the coloring, brightened my eyes, and maybe even used the wrinkle remover.  I did not, however, apply Insta-Thin (the shadows had already taken care of that for me.)  Then I somewhat guiltily hit “save” and posted the following picture.

Immediately the little red notifications started popping up.  And with every comment and “like” my dislike and silence on the issue grew.  I wanted to scream to everyone, “That curve cutting sweater was free on picnik!  And I didn’t pay a red cent for that digital facelift!  And those dilated sparkly pupils came at no cost with the click of the mouse!”

What had I done?  There was no more “undo” option.  So, I am now taking the only recourse I know.  Honesty.

I don’t really look like that.  I really look like this:

Here’s a side-by-side for your comparative enjoyment.

See, I didn’t magically get skinnier, or younger, or more effervescent since you last saw me.  My kitchen is, however, cleaner.

Whew.  I feel better now.  I just needed you to know.  Just like I need you to know that my new jeans are hand-me-downs from my sister because she’s losing her baby weight so swiftly.  Next time she should just put them in Picnik and hit Insta-Thin.

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5 Responses to “A Big Ol’ Dose of Reality”

  1. Jo Wunderlich Fleming January 24, 2012 at 8:33 pm #

    I think you look great in both pictures!

  2. kathy January 24, 2012 at 10:48 pm #

    Pretty! I won’t tell strangers about my awesome thrifted clothes, but I think my husband gets tired of hearing about my deals. So we can get together any time and swap stories. And scan your library. And introduce Gus to older kids, since he’s obviously deprived. He walked up to the kid next to us in church on Sunday, patted his leg, and then put his hands up like he wanted to be picked up.

    • Christina January 25, 2012 at 8:59 am #

      Yes, we should. Soon. And if Gus does that around here I’m pretty sure someone will pick him up. Possibly even one of the Twins.

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