Sunday, April 02, 2006

No Foolin'!

Yesterday was a long crappy day. Well, up to a point anyway. I had an MCAT practice yesterday, and not surprisingly, taking a week off from using my brain whatsoever does not bode well for test taking. I felt completely stupid and frustrated by the end of the day, and by the time I got home I wanted to cry. I've got 3 weeks to finish preparing for this test, an exam in molecular next week that I'm not even close to prepared for, and lab reports a comin' due, and I got nothing done on anything over spring break that I was supposed to.

I did get to spend tons of time with the kids, though, which was good and much needed. I got home from my test about 4, and we had to get ready to go to the auction for Liam's school. Each year the school has an auction as their major fundraiser. Families from the school donate items for both a silent and live auction. Each class also makes something to donate for the live auction. These things are positively priceless, and last year I was just amazed how much some of the items sold for.

Naturally, when I got home in my altered state, I also had difficulty finding something to wear. I usually have a fashion crisis before going to big events, but this one was particularly bad since I was feeling so down. The weather yesterday was much cooler than the past few days have been, and the dress I wanted to wear, a strapless green number that I got last summer, I thought would be too chilly, particularly since the shoes that go with it are slip-on sandal pumps, and the dress is only just above the knee. I couldn't find any nice pants that I thought would be warm enough to wear, nor anything to go with it that was dressy enough. Enter retail therapy.

I left the hubby spinning on his bike in the basement, threatened him that he better be ready when I got back, and announced that I was going shopping to buy an outfit to wear. Time? 4:30. Auction starts at 6. The crunch is on.

So I drove out to the mall, which is only about 10 minutes from my house with Gap card in hand. I never made it past the Kaufmann's. As my sister can attest with all her fashion prowess, I typically look like a Gap billboard. I love the way their clothes fit me, and they have the best jeans (they sell longs, which are a must have for my near 33" inseam) with a bit of lycra in them. On the other hand, I knew they wouldn't have too much in the way of dressy wear.

I headed myself up the escalator at Kaufmann's with the intention of just browsing and not really anticipating finding anything in my price range. They had many beautiful spring dresses which I would have loved to try on, but the price tags were frequently over $100. Not going to happen. Tucked in the back corner of the dress section was a rack of dresses that were more winter-type colors (blacks, reds), and so I started thumbing through this rack. Found a handful that were my size, and off to the dressing room I went. Two of the dresses were perfect. So much so that I couldn't choose between them. One was a black strapless A-line tea-length satin number with a black satin ribbon that tied at the waist. Price on the tag? $35 marked down from over 100. Second dress was a black spaghetti strap dress with toile (sp?) that was also below knee length that had gold glitter sparkles all over. Price on the tag? $25 marked down from around $100. When I saw the sign on the top of the rack as I took back the rest of the dresses, I knew I was getting them both. Take 50% off the marked price. All together, both dresses cost $34 (when together they would have been $200!). And both dresses are very classy black dresses that I could easily wear over and over. Suddenly, I'm feeling much better.

I don't have any nice black heels, so I headed downstairs to look for a pair. Time was about 5:15, so I was starting to run short on time. I looked around and found a few pairs I liked, but the price tag on many of them was more than the dresses I'd just bought. I went ahead and asked the sales associate to bring me a few pairs in size 9.5, and she came back with some in 9s, some in 10s. Apparently no one likes to sell half sizes anymore. The 9s weren't going to work, and some of the 10s were great in the length, but too loose around the balls of my feet. I found one other pair I wanted to try, and she came back with two boxes. "I brought this pair, because I thought they'd look great with your dress," she told me. So I tried on both pairs. Wouldn't you know the pair she chose were perfect. There was no price on the box. "How much?" I asked, assuming that the price would be too high. She went to check, came back, and whispered "13.50." Done. No April Fool's here.

It was now pushing 5:30, and I still had to drive back, get dressed, and drive the 20 minutes to the auction, so I was in a hurry, but my spirits were definitely lifted at finding the good bargains where I did in the short amount of time I had to work with. No such luck with the accessories to go with the dresses, but by then it didn't really matter. I needed to get home. Got home around 6, so we were going to be late, but then again, when aren't we.

I decided on the sparkly dress and paired it with a sparkly taupe openwork bolero that I'd gotten to go with the green dress originally. I threw everything on in record time, and when hubby saw me, he went and changed clothes. We dashed out and got to the auction by 7, and a wonderful time was had by all. We bid on and won a family membership to the zoo, which I was planning on getting anyway, but since it was a donation, the school gets all the money. The purses I donated were each bought, and I received many comments on how beautiful they turned out. We didn't stay for the live auction, partly because there was no where to sit, but also because we were hungry, and the hors deourves (or however the heck ya spell it) weren't going to fill the void.

Since I was all dressed up, we went and had a very nice dinner at Pad Thai, my favorite restaurant. Mmmm....spicy peanut chicken (onions, peppers, carrots, chicken, and peanuts done in a spicy Thai coconut sauce served with jasmine infused coconut rice) and Thai rolls, which are like spring rolls filled with pork. Yum.

I made hubby take a picture of me, just to prove that I clean up nice, and because I wanted to show off the dress. I tried to get a picture of hubby, but he was hesitant. Said he was having a fat day (but probably only because his clothes are 2 sizes too big. He needs some retail therapy too, but that's another story for another day). I managed to snap this of him...he was sassing me as I snapped it. That's what you get!

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