Have you ever splurged on something and then thoroughly regretted it?
Have you ever splurged on something and then felt not one ounce of remorse?
Have you ever not splurged on something and then regretted it?
These are all common feelings surrounding a splurge (or lack thereof) and they all went through my head as potential outcomes last Saturday night.
The Setting: Girls Night Out with one of my best friends at a high-end shopping mall.
The Store: An adorable little boutique called, appropriately, "Two Friends." Think purses, jewelry, accessories, picture frames, and home decor. As girly as can be.
The Item: A pink/purple pashmina scarf/wrap. 70% genuine pashmina wool, 30% silk. So soft and silky you wouldn't believe it. A delicate, barely-there floral damask pattern woven into it, a slight sheen that allows you to see the faint outline of blossoms. Pretty much the prettiest thing ever made.
So here's the story. My friend and I have been walking around all night, going into stores and perusing the racks of sweaters and blouses that cost about 98% more than I usually spend (I'm a Goodwill outlet shopper, people). We've been fingering their fine fabrics and admiring their detailed workmanship and gasping at the outrageous price tags for over an hour now.
I have reached the point in my life where I'm not miserable doing this: I can accept the fact that my hard-earned money is better spent elsewhere. However, the diva inside me sure does appreciate fine things. And her little voice, every once in awhile, is whispering, Ohh, that would look good on you, and Oooh, this fabric is so soft. But I'm not buying. I'm just looking.
I had already decided that if I found something inexpensive, possibly useful and really nice (clearance racks, anyone?) then maybe- maybe- I could spend just a little. Less than $10 for sure.
So that was my state of mind when my friend and I entered the store. We walk around, appreciatively picking up and putting down various items, making our circuit around the store's perimeter. We're just approaching the opposite side of the front of the store where we had started when I see it: the Scarf. It had been carelessly tossed onto a display table next to its counterparts, all of which paled in comparison. I touch it and discover that yes, it really is as soft as it looks. I hold it draped over one hand and run my fingers down its length, as little cartoon hearts start shooting out of my eyes. The only tag on it reads, "Pashmina, 70% pashmina, 30% wool". No price tag. I sigh, fairly certain it is far out of my price range, and place it back onto the table, puddling it gracefully so that its beauty can be fully appreciated by other shoppers.
I move on to look at other items in the store, but my eyes keep returning to that amazing, lovely scarf. I am walking toward it one last time to bid it farewell when the saleslady calls from across the store, "The pashmina scarves are $22.95."
I have $22.95. Well, not in cash in my pocket, but in my bank account. And it's just at that threshold where it will still be at the eye-roll-and-sigh from-my-husband and not the angry-YOU-SPENT-HOW-MUCH?? from my husband. This I can live with. My mind starts racing, desperate for a good excuse for why I must buy this scarf.
Do I need a scarf? No. I have at least five scarves at home that work perfectly well.
Maybe I could give it as a gift. That idea gets thrown out quickly. I know that once it's in my hands I could never part with it.
Did I do something to earn this scarf? Well...my etsy shop is doing pretty good. After money spent on crafting materials I'd still have to sell a few more items to pay for this, though...
Is it a killer good deal? Well, it's not a bad deal, but killer good? Probably not. I could buy 5 shirts on clearance for what this scarf costs.
My brain goes through every possible scenario, leaving me with only one excuse. And it's not a good one. I just want it. Really bad. Because it's so pretty.
I know what I have to do. It feels strange, unnatural, so not me, and so good.
I buy it. Just because. I have no good reason, other than that I am in love with this scarf and I believe it loves me back. (Okay, I know scarves are inanimate objects and have no capacity for emotion, but this one is special. Really, really special. Trust me.)
As I carry it triumphantly to the register and hand over my card, my hand is shaking a little. I chat with my friend and the cashier about how much I love the scarf and they both agree that we were meant for each other. It makes my high even higher. The cashier carefully wraps my new purpley-pink pashmina prize in a lime green tissue paper and carefully places it into a bright purple bag (it all clashes terribly with my scarf, but I don't care). As I leave the store, my mind is already racing as I try to think of when I will be able to wear it for the first time.
My lovely scarf is now home with me. I took it home that night, showed it to my husband (promptly met with aforementioned eye-roll-and-sigh) and wrapped it around me as we sat on the couch watching tv. Then I took it upstairs and hung it on a hanger in my closet. It still hasn't been quite cold enough to wear it yet, but each morning when I get dressed I finger it lovingly and it just somehow makes me feel special.
So for me, this was a splurge that was definitely NOT a regret. Because sometimes a girl needs to stop pinching her pennies and for once let them make her feel beautiful and special (and purpley pink and soft and silky too).