Swindled and Pimped


I was driving to Wal-Mart with my eleven year old son on the weekend and, since our closest Wal-Mart is 45 minutes away, we had plenty of time to listen to Macklemore.

I’m a big fan. Of Macklemore. Of my son. Of not paying too much for toilet paper.

It was starting out to be a pretty good day.

“I call that getting swindled and pimped.” Macklemore predicted as we pulled into the parking lot, the hoards of cart pushers reminding me it was Saturday afternoon.

Oh well, we’ve got a list. We’ll be in and out.

“Run!” I told my son (with the sore ankle)  as I dashed for the doors in the pouring rain. He hobbled along behind me unconcerned as usual about the rain or his hair.

“If we each get a basket, we don’t need a cart,” I said.  He talked me into a cart.

Now, if you’re the kind of person who functions even reasonably well under 10,000 watt fluorescent lights, this would be a good time to scroll to another post, read the newspaper, even declutter a few things. You can come back when I start making sense again.

If you’re even slightly sensitive to the lighting in Wal-Mart, it won’t surprise you that I soon found myself in front of a pair of purple leopard print fleece pyjama pants (not on my list) thinking: Wow…Warm..Pretty…

And, if it weren’t for my son falling under the cart he was now riding through women’s wear, I might still be there.

“What just happened?” I asked, “Did that cart just attack you?”

And, it occurred to me to ask, as the cart gymnastics got crazier and crazier and I got angrier and angrier because it was taking us longer and longer to get through our list – what are we really saving here?

“I call that getting tricked by a biz-ness.” Macklemore’s lyrics came back to me as I caught the eye of the woman checking out in front of me.

She looked as pale and wasted as I felt.

Snatching up our three grey bags imprinted with the ironic “Save Money. Live Better” slogan, my eldest and I fled like refugees for the car.

And, as you might have guessed, it gave me an idea for a new category for the blog.

Swindled and Pimped.

As in, how can I avoid feeling that way by changing my purchasing habits to reflect my real values.

I don’t know the answer to that tonight, but I know that so many of you are living it and writing about it that there’s probably a year’s worth of posts just gathering all that information and applying it to my situation.

It’s really nice to be back.


Day 14: Flour: Hope In A Bag?

1,400 things gone, only 8,600 to go

It’s safe to eat at my house again.

Of course, there’s nothing to eat but, since the weevil incident, I haven’t had much of an appetite anyway.

This was a huge job and took a lot longer than my daily limit of 30 minutes for decluttering.  But since there were insects involved, I felt compelled to do a bit of cleaning as well.

I moved on to the vitamin/medicine/first aid cabinet today and removed bags of expired products.  And, I discovered there’s a pattern to my shopping.

I overbuy things when I’m anxious: 3 types of echinacea, skin care products on top of skin care products, learning games (my kids hate that one), three bags of flour (I never could bake).  You get the point.

Newsflash: not one of these items has ever solved the real problem for me.

I can tell you that tossing bags of flour and bottles of vitamins into the bin, has cured me of the urge to try that experiment again.  Maybe pastry flour will make me a better cook?

Actually, I’m elated not to have to buy things I don’t need.  It frees up my resources to spend on what I want.  Except that I don’t have any time to shop since I started decluttering.

What I tossed today: 65 things from the pantry and vitamin cupboard, mostly cardboard, mixed paper, vitamin and pill bottles (recycle),and 20 styrofoam cups (I’m still trying to figure out what to do with these) and oops! I was supposed to get rid of 15 more things tonight but I think I’ll just let it slide – just this once!