Please don't tell Ted...
Just before Christmas Ted sat me down and we had "the talk."
"You're top up is over, Michele," my husband said with a serious, even stern look on his face, referring to the salary The Star had been paying for the first few months of my leave. "That means you are not making any money right now. So, we are NOT earning a lot of money right now. Please bear that in mind when you spend money."
"Yes," I said, channeling women's libby-type ideas about male and female roles in society, gender stereotypes, how my man doesn't own me, how he sort of owns me, what it means to be an independent woman completely dependent on my man while on mat leave blah blah blah, before adding:
"I'll try my best."
I have been trying my best.
But when I go for a walk I always walk past cute shops with goods that beckon to me from the windows. When grocery shopping I always walk down the fancy olive oil aisle and one of the bottles usually calls out my name. Imagine that! The olive oils know my name!
If I happen to be in a bookstore one book always leaps off the shelf and hits me in the leg. Ow! I say, surprised. But then I feel bad for yelling and take the book home so it won't get upset.
Now, in my attempts NOT to spend any money I almost completely forgo buying anything material for myself - I haven't spent much money on clothing for myself since Scarlett was born (mainly because my post partum body isn't ready yet) and I steer clear of big ticket items, like electronics and furniture, of course. It would just be dumb to spend that kind of money right now.
But it's things in the kids' stores and ridiculous-items-vendors that have the loudest voices and practically yell "take me home!" whenever they see me. I have a very hard time walking away.
I met a friend on West Queen West last week and we walked into Magic Pony, a cool gallery/store I love to visit. Shockingly, they had an entire set of Barbapapa plates and cups etc, including a small plate (around $15) depicting one of the globular characters holding a telescope. So cute.
"OMG! I love Barbapapa! I had all this stuff when I was a kid," I enthused and the consumer gods winked at one another from their market research meeting in the sky. The plate jumped into my purse! (I paid for it, of course. We're not talking about shoplifting here).
When my friend left I strolled into Kol Kid, my favourite store to peruse (I make up reasons to go there, such as "Hudson NEEDS a hat!" Or, one of their puzzles would make a great birthday present for so and so).
The hairband with wild felt flowers ($13.95) was just chillin' in a basket when suddenly it jumped up as I passed by and bit me on the nose. I could not leave the store without it. I have a girl! I must dress her in things that look like this! I CAN dress her in things that look like this - at least, until she objects.
A few days later I went searching for a nice piece of trout and ended up at a store I really should never walk into again: Advice From A Caterpillar, a beautiful haven of soft woolen baby sweaters, tiny booties in muted tones like eggshell and burnt sienna. The place is studded with baby Panton chairs. They were having a "sale."
I could not stop myself from buying a dress - a striped number that tugged at my nostalgic love of all things orange and blue (?!?!). My mother dressed me fugly as a child.
Since those purchases I've hunkered down and - with great effort - have developed a quasi/somewhat/sorta nap schedule for the girl. She sleeps in her crib for enough time each afternoon that I can't really get that far away... like to the stores I really shouldn't go to.