Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The Spinning Nail File of Doom

The hubbs and I, hardly impervious to the charm of As Seen On TV! labels, recently bought one of those spinning pet nail trimmers to use with our squirming, grooming-phobic dog. Lola was suspicious of it, but then, she's pretty much afraid of everything, so we didn't push. We put it out a couple times, like the instructions recommend, letting her sniff at it. But the second we turned the thing on, she was up the stairs and under the bed in a whirl of white fur.

So this morning, tired of her falcon-like claws tearing up my legs, arms and sofa, I sneakily got out the trimmer and coated it in peanut butter, hoping her love of snacks would outweigh her fear of the machine. She circled it a few times, then cautiously lapped all the peanut butter off. I put some more on there, and turned it on. She hesitated for a moment, then went to town on the stuff, licking the trimmer clean. The buzzing must have thrown her off though, because when all of the peanut butter was gone, she started barking like crazy. For like 10 minutes.

I get her calmed down, pick her up and *gently* grab one of her paws to trim. She lashed out with her back claws so hard, I dropped her on to the couch. She tore off like a mad woman out of the living room, and I had to seek some antiseptic help for the wounds she left on me.

Next time, I'm sending her to the groomer.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Totally Awkward Tuesday

For those of you not familiar with TAT, pay a visit to Tova's great blog for the rules.

Hello, my name is Alissa, and I'm awkward. Not just once a week, not on the rare occasion, I pretty much snafu my way through life. And that's okay, because mishaps make for the best stories...

In honor of my youngest sister starting high school this month, today's TAT moment is a flashback to MY first day of high school.

Going from my small grade school to the large high school was a big jump. I am the oldest in my family, so I had no big sibling to shadow around. My first day was basically the first *real* time I had exploring. Which wouldn't have been that bad if the layout of the school wasn't like something out of an M.C. Escher painting. The trickiest part is that on the second floor, a wing suddenly dead ends. You have to either go up or down the stairs to get to the rest of the classrooms with a 200 number.

I was flustered from trying to get from one end of the school to the other in the allotted time, and it was almost the end of the day. I was heading into what should have been a freshman honors biology class. As the bell rings, I duck into the classroom, take the first seat I could find and look around. Some of the faces looked familiar, but I didn't really recognize anyone, which is strange because there aren't THAT many honors kids, and I had been in classes with mostly the same people all day. The teacher stands and welcomes everyone to ... sophomore chemistry. Oops. Blushing furiously, I tried to nonchalantly head to the door, when the teacher stops me. My cheeks were hot pink as I, mumbling, told him I thought I was in the wrong class. I heard someone mutter "freshman" under their breath, and I could feel several sets of eyes rolling. I was off by one number on the classrooms. I should have been next door.

To make matters worse, as I slunk in the next room, obviously late because I got lost, trying to slump in the first seat. But this teacher had alphabetical ordered seating, and he had to "place" me where I belonged. I think he was pissed that I was wasting his time, because for the rest of the year, he blatantly mispronounced my name EVERY DAY while taking attendance. I corrected him for the first few weeks, but then gave up. I'm sure that now, more than a decade later, people still think my name is something entirely different.

Anyone else got any first-day-of-school TATs to share?

Sunday, August 9, 2009

The One Where I Find Eternal Happiness

Covet. I didn't just want the patchwork Coach tote. I needed it. I stalked it.

I remember the first time I saw it, about a year ago, encased in a glass display to keep the grubby-handed general masses away from it. With its smooth suede, funky animal prints and classic-but-hip shape, I was smitten instantly. I looked. I longed. I ... moved on. The $500 price tag was more than an obstacle. My first car was worth less than that bag.

My *ahem* fiscal conservativeness is fairly well known (read: I'm cheap), but even if I wasn't always budget-conscious, I don't think I could justify that kind of money for a bag. Heck, I didn't pay that much for my (designer) wedding dress.

So I watched and waited, scouring the Coach factory outlet store seasonally, hoping it would be marked down to a reasonable price. Mind you, at this point in my life, the most I'd ever paid for a purse was $30.

Fast forward to a month ago. After another disappointing trip to the local outlet mall, we stopped at designer discount store. There, hanging on the rack was my bag. Same shape, same design, not a replica, not a knock off, MY BAG. Authentic Coach. The price was dramatically less than it originally had been, but still more than I could justify. So, after clutching it adoringly for a couple of minutes (probably much to the chagrin of the sales clerk), I hung it up, waved goodbye and moved on.

Then, a couple weeks ago, I had a HIGHLY successful garage sale. After using a portion of the funds to replace the dining room table that we sold, I had about a little bit left over. I planned the ways to spend it - send more on my student loan? Maybe a nice dinner with the hubby? Save it for a rainy day? In the back of my mind, though, the plan was hatching. A couple days later, I *accidentally* stopped at a different branch of the discount store, thinking it would be a sign if the bag was here, in a different location, almost a month later. I knew, going in there, that if that bag was on the rack, it was leaving with me. Responsibility and rationale be damned! I was going to splurge. On something for myself. That I'd wanted for almost a year.

It was with a quiet reverence that I carried it to the register. It was with a gentle force that the clerk had to pry it from my hands to scan the tag. And it was with sheer euphoria that I carried it to my car.

When I got home, I kind of dreaded the hubb's reaction, seeing as I rib him pretty incessantly about his video game/fantasy sports spending. I took the purse out of its protective dust bag.
Me: Isn't it beautiful? *breathes in smell*
Hubbs: It's okay...please tell me you didn't pay $500 for that bag.
Me: Of course not. I'm obsessed, not stupid.

I lovingly placed the bag back in its protective home, stashing it high up in my closet, so not to provide temptation for the dog, or the dust, or, well, anything destructive-like.

It took me two weeks to work up the nerve to carry it. For one, I was afraid. What would people think? It's sad, but I hoped others would think it is a knock-off, rather than think me the sort to spend that kind of money on a bag. We have several friends who are going through rough times with unemployment right now. I just bought a new car, we have a wonderful house...I didn't want to be the sort to rub my good fortune in my friends' faces.

Plus, what would I do if something happened to it?

But once I carried it out, the world just looked brighter. I felt thinner. And more fabulous. To me, it feels like I'm carrying a piece of artwork on my arm. It's beautiful, and luxurious, and it reminds me that life is too short to only think about the bad. Sometimes, it's okay to buy something just because you want it. And if it's got leopard print somewhere on it, even better.