Tag Archives: friends

May 2008 – Slowing my social life

Image courtesy of ankillen

This month I am giving up going out to places that require me to spend money. I consider myself a pretty social person and recently I’ve felt like my social outings, while fun, are eating up all my free time and money. So due to the fact that I’m continuing to prepare for craft fairs while also getting ready to move at the end of the month, I figured this would be a good time to give up going out. 

Honestly I really didn’t give much thought to how much my giving up would affect others, except maybe my boyfriend. Yet again, though, many of my friends have inquired as to why I have chosen to give up going out this month. Once I explain my reasoning, most everyone accepts why I’ve chosen to do this in May instead of a winter month. While I believe everyone supports me, its still kind of surprising to me when friends and relatives ask questions about my choice for the month. At this point I’ve become so used to sacrificing something new every month that I guess I assume that they will have grown used to it too. Maybe I’m not alone in experiencing an odd mix of joy and anxiety when the 1st of the month rolls around…

So far this month’s choice hasn’t really impacted me too terribly much. My boyfriend and I were still able to have dinner and play the Wii over at our friends’ place on Saturday. I knew I would absolutely go crazy if I didn’t have any social contact outside work for an entire month and that doing so wouldn’t really help me in any way. The majority of my social activities involve me spending money, usually on food and drink and usually without much thought as to what I’m spending. This is why I decided to allow myself to do things that are free. Hopefully this month my choice will actually prove to be beneficial to others as well, since I also tend to be the one who organizes a lot of the eating/drinking/shopping outings amongst my friends. 

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American giving

132678210_77ea5c7462.jpgimage courtesy of Rob Maguire

I usually love gift giving. Oftentimes its more fun for me to shop for other people than it is to shop for myself. This month, however, this wasn’t the case. Although I have been frustrated all month when shopping for myself, I just wanted to sit down and cry the other day when I was shopping for a friend’s birthday. I actually avoided going out to shop because I was dreading not finding what I wanted. For a shopaholic like myself, this is obviously a horrible feeling.

Eventually I forced myself out. All I really wanted to find was a pair of tights for Jennifer to go with the dress I bought her on Etsy. I really wanted to find a yellow pair, but considering the stores are packed with swimsuits at this point in the year, I knew the tights selection would be slim anywhere I went. So I remained flexible. Two hours and eight stores later, I finally left with a pair of grey tights that practically blended into the dress. But they were made in the USA and I had my shopper’s soul sucked out of me 20 minutes into the trip, so I settled on them and bolted to my car.Up until this point I was trying not to “settle” on purchases because I could technically do without them until next month. But since this was a gift, I didn’t have a choice. I cannot imagine how people who truly enjoy shopping could possibly attempt to shop USA for more than 6 months. I guess it comes down to what is more important to you – supporting the dwindling American manufacturing industry or recreational buying. And unfortunately it appears as if the shopper inside me is going to win out here. 

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Sun, sand and Etsy

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Since I was planning on leaving on January 5th for the sunny beaches of Playa Del Carmen, Mexico I really didn’t have much time to think about Etsy, aside from the planner ordeal. But my addiction would rear its ugly head even while lounging next to the pool at our hotel. I believe the Etsy poolside discussion evolved out of a greater discussion of interior design and how Megan and I would each like to decorate our homes. I’m sure I mentioned Etsy first, since I am the obsessed one, and she explained how she had only just recently discovered what a great site it was. As we continued to talk about the ins and outs of Etsy, I had an increasing urge to walk poor Megan over to one of the hotel’s guest computers (both of which were way too conveniently located right next to the pool, in an open lounge area) and share with her my extensive list of favorite Etsy artists. The thought would linger in my head for the rest of that day and every time we discussed interior design for the rest of the trip.

Now I still have 10 days of Etsy abstinence left, but I can pretty confidently say that this day most accurately illustrates the frightening attachment I’ve developed to this web site. There I was in beautiful, sunny Mexico lounging luxuriously next to the pool and all I could think about was how fun it would be to spend some time on the computer perusing my Etsy favorites with Megan? What is wrong with me? There is not a web site in the world that should trump relaxing in the sun in January for any winterbound Chicagoan, yet thoughts of Etsy successfully managed to disrupt my tropical escape more than once. I’m still processing this self-observation…

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