I made a terrible, awful, horrible mistake.
I let my husband see all of my shoes in the same place, at the same time. He's in bed now, with the lights out and a cool cloth over his face, muttering something like "my eyes! my eyes!"
You think I would know better than this. Stupid moving to a different house! Stupid tempting large cabinets with the stupid shelves to put shoes on! How could I have been so stupid?
Please, I implore you, learn from my mistake.
Since I won't be shopping for a very loooooooooong time and am basically grounded to my room to blog, I will offer you everything I know that you need to know about how to shop and get away with it. Yes, I am paying it forward.
Robyn's helpful tips, in no particular order:
1. Leave bags in trunk. Duh! Keep decoy items in trunk (dead body?) to cover bags. Bags go directly from trunk to closet. This bag-to-closet-transfer is akin to moving the President of the United States from one secret bunker to another.
2. Dispose of all plastic tags and price tags. Get over it Environment! These are things we cannot and will not ever recycle. Only God knows what could have been built with all the plastic tag thingys (what are those called anyway?) that have been removed from the clothes I have purchased in my lifetime.
3. Tear receipts into teeny, tiny pieces. Trust no one, not even the shredder.
4. Practice convincingly saying "No, I've had this for a long time. In fact, I think I got it when I was in high school." Then not only will your man think your parents paid for it, but also that you are as thin as you were in high school.
4a. Rule of thumb - any article of clothing/purse/shoes should be treated just like you would a new car - once you drive a new car off the lot it depreciates instantly and is no longer considered new. This is the same for mall shopping. Once you walk out of that mall? It is no longer new, therefore you can always truthfully answer "no" when asked if something is new. I have been married to the Pastor for over five years now, and yet have managed to not wear anything new during that time (And the man has a Ph.D.? Who's the smart one here?). Pretty amazing, huh?
5. Cash is great because it doesn't leave a trail but nothing will rat you out faster than some kid you are forced to take shopping with you. Schools are not so helpful by teaching kids about things like math and money. Decimal confusion works here. If you spend $90.00 say isn't it great that mommy bought all of that for $9.00? Granted this may be harmful to them in the future, but this is shopping survivalism. If you have one of those smart kids, you will probably have to resort to bribery.
6. Stores do not make it easy on us with their helpful size stickers. I know, I know - sometimes it's a real struggle just to hastily remove the price tags when you are getting dressed in the morning, but don't be sloppy - give yourself a final once-over in the mirror and make sure you have removed that tiny, circular XS/S/M/L/XL sticker too.
7. Multiple shopping bags only confuse men. If possible, don't even let the store give you a bag. That's what those large purses are for. As far as I am concerned, caring for the environment was the best thing that ever happened - those reusable shopping bags were not created by tree huggers, they were created by desperate women who love to shop. Shopping bags send a message to the world that says "I care" and conditions your man. He won't know if you are bringing home cans of green beans to donate to the poor or a new outfit.
7a. Keep some cans of green beans in your reusable shopping bags.
8. Sometimes you should buy stuff you don't want just so you can make a big deal about how you don't need it, you care about the budget, blah blah blah and make a huge production of returning it in front of your husband.
9. Save this one for when you need to buy something really fabulous/expensive. Sometimes you have to buy something extra when you've been shopping. That's really why places like Victoria's Secret and Frederick's of Hollywood exist. Men are easily distracted and nothing throws them off quite like buying crotchless panties or stockings.
10. Consider changing your religious preferences. The Amish with their modest dress, Indian women wearing sarees, Muslim women and their burqas - you and I both know these ladies are wearing whatever they want under those cover ups and their husbands? None the wiser. Once they get to lunch with their girlfriends? The wraps come off and the great outfits come out.
11. I especially love it when I can find those racks of clothes that are 70% off, then 30% off, then take an extra 10% off. 70 + 30 + 10 = 110. Whatever I bought must have been free and therefore doesn't count as shopping!
There. I've taken one for the team. Go forth, little shopping Jedis. Oh, one more little tidbit. If you get caught, if you get desperate, just say you didn't buy it for yourself - you bought it for me and send it my way (in plain, unmarked wrapping). In the meantime, don't worry about me and my shopping-free existence. With all this extra time at home I'm bound to find some new secret hiding places.