Recessive Jeans

August 5th, 2008

Oh, what a difference a year makes.

Last year at this time I was on a self-improvement mission. No, nothing as noble as spiritual or intellectual self-improvement. I’ve learned not to try for the impossible, Tony Robbins be damned.

I mean I was attempting to make myself look better. Not an easy feat when you don’t have a lot to work with, but I wanted to break away from being Dumpy, Schleppy Mommy and be Hot, Hip Mommy instead. Yeah, laugh all you want, but there are plenty of moms who pull it off around here. That’s the problem with Around Here: Too many Beautiful People. Too many rail-thin mommies who’ve popped out three or four chitlins and still look bootylicious in their hipster jeans, not to mention their flawless makeup and perfect hair. Or even worse: The ones that look spanktastic without flawless makeup and perfect hair.

Then there’s me. Everything about my face is BIG. Everything about my hips and thighs is BIG. Hot, Hip Mommy does not come naturally. But I guess there was something about seeing the light after those first really difficult years with my son, about wanting to feel a little more attractive after living in sweats and old t-shirts for so long, about needing to reclaim my life a bit… I knew I wasn’t going to magically transform myself into a supermodel, but at least I could avoid getting jumped at the mall by the producers of ‘What Not To Wear’.

So I was doing it all: Regular workouts, pedicures, expensive haircuts, plus a much-needed update to my wardrobe. In particular, I decided I needed to trade my high-waisted ‘mom jeans’ for some of those cool hipsters. Not that hipsters are a great style for my body type (flat butt, chunkster thighs), but my Relaxed Fit Levi’s 550s just weren’t cutting it in the hot-n-hip department, or even the I-live-in-the-21st-century department. Pre-pregnancy, the entire low-rise trend had passed me by, but now I was ready to join the party.

Shopping for the right jeans was about as fun as getting a Pap test, but I persevered and finally ended up with a couple pairs that I liked. Now, I’d never been very good at bargain shopping. I’d always operated on the adage of quality over quantity, or “If I want it that bad, who cares how much it costs?” Of course I had my limits. I won’t let myself go into credit card debt, and the fact that I don’t particularly like to shop has been my saving grace. That being said, one of the pairs of jeans I ended up with cost almost two hundred dollars. Two hundred dollars. For a pair of jeans. Crazy. Yet I bought them because somehow I decided that these jeans were THE jeans. The jeans that looked the best, fit the best. The jeans that would launch me into the Hot Mommy stratosphere.

Fast-forward to the present. Gas is expensive. Food is expensive. The economy sucks, whether they want to call it a recession or not. Hubby and I are doing ok, but things are definitely tighter, and we’re a one-income family, which can be scary in times like these. I think about those jeans –-the jeans that ultimately turned me into Hot, Hip Mommy for about five minutes and just aren’t practical enough to wear on a daily basis –-and consider how much better the money could’ve been spent. Sure, they were a splurge that helped me feel better about myself at the time, but over the past year, I have become much more frugal. I clip coupons, shop sales, hunt for the best deal, or simply don’t buy much. I’ve given up pedicures. Expensive haircuts are few and far between. I’m not pinching every single penny, but my habits have changed a lot.

The funny thing is, as much as I disliked scrimping in the past, I now feel good about it. It’s kind of an engaging challenge to figure out ways to save and ways to help support the family. And I know there are so many others out there trying to do the exact same thing. That’s why I love the suggestion made by Kristen over at Motherhood Uncensored to make August ‘Blog The Recession Month’. She proposes, “If you read blogs, then for the month of August, make the “pledge” to click through from your feed reader. No obligation to leave a hilarious comment or send a long stalkerish email….. Just click through to the blog (not on ads unless you are so led) and if you’re feeling generous, click around to their older posts.” For a lot of bloggers, page views=revenue. This post is my pledge to help out my fellow bloggers and start clicking away. Why don’t y’all join in on the fun?

As for me personally, my latest scheme is to sell everything in sight –-garage sale it, eBay it, whatever. (Hubby had better hide his power tools.) I even considered selling those jeans, just to help out with our own personal recession. But deep inside, there’s still a part of me that aspires to be hot and hip. Frugal, but hot and hip.

Let’s blog the recession, people!

previous post: Acceptable or Unacceptable?, Vol. II next post: I wonder if he would taste good breaded and pan-fried.

7 Responses to “Recessive Jeans”

  1. Steve-O on August 7, 2008 11:01 am

    We’ve been doing the single-income thing too, it’s kind of fun to see where you can save some money. As an example, Kragen will put motor oil on sale for 49cents/quart after coupon+rebate about twice a year. So I stock up and by doing my own oil changes, it’s comes to around $6 per oil change including the filter..

    Another one is apply for a bunch of 0% for 12 month with no fees credit cards, transfer the money to a high yield internet savings account and profit. Sadly, rates are down to about 3.5% these days, but it’s something. Plus there’s something very satisfying about earning interest income from the credit card companies’ cash, instead of the other way around.

    The other one that’s helped is getting rid of monthly cell phone contracts and going pre-paid (AT&T Go Phone). We’ve saved a ton by doing this

  2. mad mama on August 7, 2008 10:08 pm

    I switched from Ketel One to Smirnoff. :-D

  3. Jamiept on August 8, 2008 8:32 am

    You’ll always be the Hip Momma in my mind….

  4. TheAngelForever on August 8, 2008 1:29 pm

    Good luck with everything. Blogging the recession has been such fun. It is a fabulous way to help each other out and to find new and wonderful blogs :)

  5. Daisy on August 11, 2008 1:52 pm

    I like second hand clothing stores for jeans because the jeans are already worn in and they won’t shrink. That’s the best part – even better than the low prices!!

  6. Caroline on August 13, 2008 8:23 am

    I switched from my regular hair dresser to supercuts. I don’t do the highlights any more but I just couldn’t live with blowing $100 on my hair, you know? But the cut is fine and I can feel good about myself for only $13.99. I’ll take it. Here’s to blogging the recession!

  7. mad mama on August 15, 2008 4:00 pm

    Oh yeah. I always fall back on Supercuts. Some of them do just as good a job as a pricier stylist. Lately what I’ve done is supplement my more expensive haircut with in-between visits to Supercuts. My cut is pretty boring these days anyway, so it’s hard to justify spending a lot on it.

    About the jeans: Don’t you just love the way putting on a freshly dried pair sends you into a total panic? “Red alert! Red alert! I’m getting FAAAAT!!!”

Trackback URI | Comments RSS

Leave a Reply




Speak your mind