Funny about Money

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. ―Edmund Burke

Ya Can’t Shovel Heat!

Gosh, what a gorgeous morning!

When the hounds rousted me out of the sack around 5:30 this morning, the thermometer in back measured just under 80 degrees. Beautiful morning!

Tidied the pool a bit — an Algae Wars maneuver — and then went swimming. 🙂

The Algae Wars are going well. The human may not be winning, exactly, but a sort of détente has been arrived at. Sweeping the walls or, more fun, getting into the drink and washing them down with the sprayer is beating back the little green critters, even though the water is now about as warm as it’s going to get. Algae love warm water!

So does the human. With a very small amount of daily attention — like, about 10 minutes’ worth — the human has managed to reclaim the pool from the plant life.

It’s 8:30 now and I’m still on the back porch, soaking up the lovely outdoors and swilling an extra cup or two of coffee. Soon, very soon, I must get to work: yesterday had planned to read six pages of the clients’ abstruse magnum opus (having read ahead six pages the day before), but by the time I sat down to work, I was so tired I couldn’t focus on it. So now must get through 12 pages of Chinese-accented academicese so the result can be proofed tomorrow and then sent off to the professors.

The water bill is going to be astronomical this month. During the warmest summer months, I set the watering system to run through its entire cycle every day. This results in water bills that match or exceed the power bills, which as you can imagine are themselves pretty bracing. But as the heat has hovered around 118 to 120, I’ve trotted out around noon or 1 p.m. and pushed the button to run all cycles manually for about 15 or 20 minutes, by way of keeping the greenery alive.

Oh well… It’s only money.

Speaking of astronomical, yesterday a friend and I decided to kill the day exploring Scottsdale Fashion Square, the elegant mall she and I have both drifted away from.

Well…lemme tellya something. Most normal malls indeed are dying, no question of it. But the ones that target the One Percent? Thriving!

You never saw so many rich bitches and overpriced teenagers in your LIFE! The devil may wear Prada, but so does Mrs. Gotrock’s daughter.

And yes, the rich are different from us. (In some cases it’s questionable whether they’re even human: just look at the critters in the White House.)

They eat in food courts, though, so my friend and I grabbed a Pita Jungle lunch and watched the scene go by. We reflected on the latest styles and colors: hevvin help us, what is HOT now is a throwback to 1969: every store is full of hippy-dippy outfits. On steroids.

Some of the stuff is very pretty. And…yes…forgive me, Father, but I have sinned blown away three months’ worth of my budget. 🙂

We went into a hilariously wonderful store called Johnny We. This outfit sells the most gorgeous shirts you can imagine. They’re embroidered, not printed. And elaborately embroidered.

Some of them are a little much, but many rank in the Top This, You Bitches! category. 😀

So there we are with our working-class noses pressed against the window, pining for an embroidered shirt or a purse that costs as much as a Mazerati, when what should we find hidden in the back of the store behind a partition but a couple racks of picked-over merchandise: 30% off!

Hot damn!

This image does not do it justice, thanks to the Mac’s stupid new software. Click for a larger picture…i hope…

We found this filmy cream-colored shirt with café-au-lait and champagne-colored embroidery all over it. With cutwork, if you can imagine! Thirty percent off! Yes yes yes YES!

It’s so, so, so pretty. Even with just a pair of jeans, it’ll be a jaw-dropper.

Not since I was married to the Corporate Lawyer have I spent so much money on a single piece of clothing. Holy mackerel!

Now I’m in the market for a pair of leggings in brown (preferably) or beige. Looks like one can order them from Amazon, but I really don’t like ordering clothes online: too much of a pig in a poke.

So anyway, over lunch we sang the “Where Have All the Shopping Malls Gone” song. And we concluded that the middle class, people who used to support the chain stores that populated the Metrocenters and the Paradise Valley Malls of yore, has essentially gone away. Neither she nor I shop in malls anymore because we can’t afford to shop in malls. And, as the old stand-by stores’ customer base has slipped, so has their customer service. It’s no longer fun to shop in those stores.

She remarked that she used to buy her clothes in Penney’s all the time, and I said I always bought kitchen and household gear at Sears. But now when you go into those stores, the hired help treats you like they wish you would please just go away. Stores like Dillard’s, Nordstrom’s, and Macy’s are affordable only on sale (and Macy’s customer service sucks, too).

Once I would buy cooking and household tchotchkes at Crate & Barrel, Restoration Hardware, Williams-Sonoma, Dillard’s, Macy’s and the like. Now I buy that kind of stuff at Costco or Target — or, more often, order it from Amazon. Used to buy furniture at Crate & Barrel or Macy’s. Now if I can’t find it at an estate sale, I don’t buy it.

Welp, it’s getting warm out here. Damnable “El Capitan” has crashed the MacBook TWICE while I’ve been writing this post, so I guess it’s time to knock off and go to work. On a different computer, thank you very much.

Next computer is gonna be a PC…

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Author: funny

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5 Comments

  1. Ha! I’ve had malls on my mind lately and have been following these posts with interest. I too can remember the days when one would go to the mall just for fun and maybe (probably) come home with something. Now…can’t afford it.

    I don’t think I’d been inside a mall in a decade or more, until last weekend when MrH took me to a nearby mall, strictly for research purposes. It was Saturday afternoon, and though there were people there, it wasn’t crowded at all. On a Saturday afternoon! I’m hoping to repeat the experiment with a larger mall in a different nearby (relatively nearby) town–I’ve a hunch they may be busier. But will they be *busy*?

    I really am looking at this as research–I have a character who needs a nice-ish outfit in a hurry, and someone suggests the nearby mall. But I’ve no idea whether that’s realistic. Do people even shop at malls any more? Where else would she go? And do malls still have food courts? I guess they do, but have no idea what establishments might be represented. I can fudge some detail, but the stickler part of me wants to *know,* y’know?

    My inkling is that freestanding stores and strip malls are replacing traditional indoor malls, which I think is a shame. We have fewer and fewer public spaces in which to gather–it’s just in and out and back home to the TV and computer. Bowling alleys and skating rinks seem to be disappearing too, and I’m not sure about movie theaters. It’s sad.

    • Ditto, about the mall shopping habits: I also haven’t deliberately gone to a mall to shop more than two or three times since I was laid off my job — that was in 2009! And when I HAVE gone into a mall looking for x or y, half the time I can’t find it there and end up ordering it on Amazon.

      Exception: Williams Sonoma, which usually has what I’m looking for (all two times I’ve gone there looking for something…). That’s because I know what Williams-Sonoma carries and so that’s what I go there to find. Word has it, though, that W-S is on its last legs.

      But department stores: noooo thank you!

      I think people’s shopping habits have changed. Yes, free-standing stores for sure: I’ve taken to buying almost all my clothing from a boutique in Old Town Glendale, with the exception of some underwear and the occasional pair of Glorias from Costco; all my shoes come from one (count it, 1) boutique in Tempe.

      Then there’s the fact that as the roads get more and more crowded and more and more dangerous, I REALLY dislike driving. So that means if I can find a one-stop-sells-all sort of place — such as a Costco, a Target, the gigantic Fry’s in Richistan — I will ALWAYS privilege one of those stores to two or more smaller stores.

      You could argue that a mall is sort of like that, except it’s not: every shop you enter means another stand in line at a cash register, whereas a big-box store means a longer wait in line but only ONE wait in line.

      And much as I want to support the “Shop Local” movement, any day I’d rather order something from Amazon than put up with rude sales clerks, rude fellow customers, and menacing drivers. Betcha I’m not alone…

  2. Lovely, lovely shirt!

  3. That is a NICE shirt. Congrats on finding it on the clearance rack. Most of the stuff I see on clearance racks, well, I can understand why it’s on clearance. ;o)