vanity tableRecently I went to my favorite makeup counter to pick up some lipstick. I left empty handed. By the time I was done hearing about the possible “free” gifts and pricing out the products I was interested in I didn’t know what to do. Should I go with just the lipstick? Or by spending just thirty dollars more should I maximize my purchase by getting $100.00 of free product I hadn’t been interested in ten minutes ago? The only other product I was truly interested in was $80.00. Now what? Spend $100.00 to get $100.00? I brought my tired brain home so I could do the math in peace. No decision has been reached.

The situation was compounded by the fact that I had just cashed in on a bunch of “deals” at my favorite retailer in order to have a decent wardrobe to get through the summer. So there went several hundred dollars. I only buy every couple of years but still, ouch! After coming home with my ill-gotten gains I realized I needed a pair of shoes to go with one of the outfits. This wasn’t just me being fussy. I only keep two colors in dress shoes – a dark cream and black. The dress is brown. It needs another set of shoes. So there lies another purchase in my near future. Look out Payless, here I come!

While shopping for clothes I also bought a necklace. It is an absolutely adorable teapot and teacup charm necklace and since I am going to a tea party on Sunday and it was on sale, I snatched it up and added it to the overflowing box in my closet. Fortunately I am a costume jewelry girl or the amount of bling in that box would be a pirate treasure. Literally.

So there are the shoes, clothing, and jewelry – what about under it all? I’ve broken the sexy lingerie habit but there is still the perfume. Bath and Body Works sees me quite often as I try to buy as inexpensively as possible without resorting to something that stinks rather than sweetens. Yet shopping there requires algebraic math because between the discounts and coupons arriving at the proper amount to spend to get the coupon amount off requires prodigious use of percentages. I always wind up coming home with six lotions, half a dozen sprays and enough hand sanitizer to ensure no one in my family suffers from stray germs again.

Now compare this to the men in my household. They use Lubriderm for the skin, sparingly apply a bottle of cologne which lasts a good long while, wear clothes that seem to stay in fashion for over a decade, their jewelry consists of a watch a piece and there is no makeup. They get 10 haircuts for what I pay for a cut and color. My husband is a runner so his shoe budget blows mine away but that is the only area in which he outspends me. After all this shopping – and the resultant depression over what was spent – I look at the other ladies around me and realize that I probably still spend far less than they do on being a girl. That’s okay. I would really rather spend it all on books anyway.

So what about you – do you spend a lot on being a girl? What girly things are your weakness – clothes? Jewelry? Lingerie? Handbags? Nails? Shoes? Expensive perfumes? Makeup? Do you do all of them? Some of them? Or are you strong and just say no?

– Maggie AAR