However, they are also the one thing I hate trying to purchase. Why? Because I am 6′ tall, and my inseam is 36″. Do you know how difficult that is to find at a price that won’t make you choke?? When I find a pair I like, I will wear them until they literally fall apart.
Which is precisely what happened when I got into my truck Monday night to go to work at the hot dog stand. Yup. I ripped my jeans in the butt. Not just a little rip. A long, gaping rip. The kind you can feel the air hitting your exposed rear through.
I was just glad it happened before I left home and not after I got to work!! I went to change, cursing the fact that I was now going to be down to ONE pair of blue jeans and would need another pair. I have one pair of khakis, one pair of jeans and one pair of black slacks. That is the extent of my pants collection. A little depressing, to say the least, and, yes, I wear them atleast twice between washings. I make it work, but I draw the line at only one pair of jeans.
So, tonight, I logged into my favorite site to order jeans: Victoria’s Secret. They carry jeans that are 36″ inseam, reasonably priced, and in styles I like. I literally have a VS Angel card to buy jeans. If the day ever comes that they take my card away, I will cry. A lot.
I carefully went through each pair of jeans and narrowed it down to one pair to replace the pair I split the night before. On sale, I didn’t feel TOO bad about the order. Dark blue wash. And I threw in a $4 v-neck t-shirt to my order. It’ll be in sometime around mid-month. I’m excited to have a new pair of jeans! I don’t order them often, because buying pants just overwhelms and frustrates me. But, hey, you gotta do what you gotta do. And I had to order new jeans today. They are my favorite clothing item. They are the bane of my existence.
When the economy takes a turn for the worse, people tend to look for ways to cut expenses while still boosting their mood and looks. A few months ago I read that when the economy is low, sales in home hair color and lipstick goes up.
Today, I officially fell into that first group, along with other at-home indulgences.
Let me start by saying that I love getting my hair highlighted, and pedicures are a wonderful treat. However, lately I’ve nixed both in an attempt to keep my monthly expenses as low as possible. That doesn’t mean that I can’t still pamper myself at home.
For years, I’ve given myself my own version of a pedicure. I get a huge boost out of painting my toe nails, and I have fun using stickers to decorate them. I recently purchased a nail color pen. (You can find it in the “Favorite things” widget in my sidebar if you are interested. I do recommend it!) Its like a sharpie for nails! Its so much fun to draw my own hearts, or edge my nails like a French Manicure. I can be as silly as I want to and change it often without feeling guilty about the cost.
When I first started to color my hair (10 years ago!), I started with at-home hair color. However, I eventually moved on to getting highlights in the salon. I always called it my one big splurge on myself. However, recently, I’ve not been able to justify the cost. Its made me sad to see my highlights grow out and fade, but I just couldn’t go get it fixed.
Last night, I asked my Mom if she’d help me color my hair at home. We were both nervous, but we decided to go for it. And wouldn’t you know? Not only did it come out great, but it was time that I wouldn’t trade for anything with her. Plus, it ended up costing me 10% of what it would have cost in the salon. SCORE!
I also enjoy giving myself facials, convincing my husband to give me a back and/or foot massage, and a pair of tweezers can shape my eyebrows just fine. Lots of other little pamperings.
Does it mean I’ll never get another pedicure or never go to the salon again? Not at all! I keep in mind there are people out there making a living providing these specialty services. I like to help my fellow wage-earners! Plus, it IS fun to go be pampered. However, right now, I’m trying to cut costs left and right, but I am doing so without cutting out various personal wants. I’m just doing them for myself for awhile, and there is a lot of satisfaction in that.
Believe it or not, for the last few years, I’ve worked for a little “hot dog stand” in a bar downtown Nashville part-time. I’d make hot dogs, hamburgers, sandwiches, nachos, Frito-chili pies, and other snack items. I’d sell chips, gum, candy, cigarettes and canned sodas. I did this once or twice a week for about three years.
This year, though, I’ve gone to being a back-up employee, filling in when the owner needs to go out of town or has something come up. I made this choice to allow me to focus more on writing and other career goals. However, I have to admit that I HAVE missed many elements of working there regularly.
Saturday night, I filled in while the owner went out of town for the weekend. It was my first time back in the stand in over two months, and I was actually a little nervous! Did I still have the skills to handle a busy Saturday night? (I usually worked the slower week nights.)
You may be wondering: what kind of skills do you really need to make hot dogs? You need several, and they are skills I credit my time at the stand for teaching me.
- The most basic of people skills. You can’t be a wall flower and work in any sort of a service industry. You have to be able to talk to people.
- Figure out how to read people in an instant. Are they drunk? What are they wearing that might tip you off as something to strike up a conversation? Do they have an accent that might help you know they “aren’t from around here?” Are they mad at the world? Are they shy or cocky or open and welcoming to conversation?
- Learn how to BS. Frankly, this isn’t anything I didn’t already know how to do. Having a journalism degree, I always used to joke that I had my BS in BS. This job just taught me how to turn the volume up on it a little. Example: Have I been to NYC? No, but I have friends who have been. Is there anything they told me at some point that I can use to chat up this business man from the Big Apple?
- Counting change back. Face it, these days, most places have a machine that tells someone how much change to give back. In this stand, I had to do it all in my head. Math is not my strong point, so I had to learn fast how to count change back and how to figure a tab on the fly.
- Be the center of attention. When the band promotes the hot dog stand between songs, wave, and smile and maybe make some sort of smart comment to the lead singer to make people laugh. When a customer gets hungry, they’re going to remember you faster that way and, hopefully, feel inclined to come see you.
- Time management and juggling multiple orders at a time. I still struggle with this if my heads not fully in the game. Luckily, last night, I was on my toes and I was able to fill multiple orders at a time and not get a single one wrong. GO ME!
- Tipping is good.Tipping is wise. Tip karma will bite you in the butt.
I made a lot of friends working there, and it was always really nice to be a part of the fabric that makes that bar run. I’m still part of the family, but sometimes when I go back I feel a little disconnected now. But I remind myself it was a choice I made to step back from it.
Sadly, there was a big festival in Nashville on Saturday that I think cut into our customers that night. That along with rain made the Saturday night more like a really good week night. A bummer for the stand because sales were down and a bummer for me because my tip jar just didn’t do as well as sometimes.
But I enjoyed myself and was grateful. I was reminded of things I didn’t miss: sore feet, super late hours, the homeless coming to ask for free food (it kills me to say no…), and coming home smelling like cigarettes and french fries. These things,though, are all minor compared to the fun (c’mon, I get to listen to great music all night and have been known to bust out dancing when things are slow) and satisfaction I have when I do work there.
Weekly Winners is a fun little thing bloggers do to showcase some of their favorite photos from the previous week. It is brought to you, me and everyone by the lovely Lotus, aka Sarcastic Mom. Visit her site and find all the participants. See some amazing photos brought to you by bloggers around the world. Leave a little love when you do — its like food for the soul!
This is me pouncing on August with glee. Very busy week this week, so my photos are random and not quite the quality I usually strive to have. But, hey, I’m here! :)
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It’s the last day of July, and I, for one, can’t see it end fast enough. This has not been a good month for anyone, as I’ve talked about in previous posts, and its not totally over just yet. We have to get through today before we can breathe a sigh of relief as this month to passes. But, I am definitely going into August with optimism.
Times like July has been can either get you down or motivate you to make things better. I’m opting for the latter of the two.
It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.
– Henry David Thoreau
I see opportunities everywhere I look, and I see Aug. 1 as a chance to turn over a new leaf and pursue those opportunities with even MORE vigor. Take the positive changes I’ve had happen in July and build upon them. I refuse to focus on the negative aspects. I acknowledge them, and I work towards fixing them. But I won’t focus on them. I plan to turn those negatives into a positive force to push forward.
Tonight, I sat and did a brainstorming exercise. I plan to participate, for the first time, in NaBloPoMo in August to jump start a good habit of posting daily. I listed out 50 blog ideas. Then I kept going. I’m up to 54 with atleast two of them holding the potential to be a recurring weekly theme. I’m excited! But I want to open up the comments to anyone with blog ideas… any topics that others would be interested in seeing me explore? I welcome suggestions, and I welcome August. Here’s to making it a far better month than the one before.
I had to put all my writing and designing work on pause yesterday. It was a totally domestic day.
Domestic - adj. – of or relating to the household or the family or devoted to home duties and pleasures
Since getting married, I’ve grown to hold a new respect for my mom and all moms out there. Keeping a house is a lot of work! Anyone who looks at a Stay a Home Mom (or Stay at Home Wife) and thinks, “Boy they must enjoy just laying around at home all day.” THINK AGAIN. Keeping a home is a never-ending job!
My day started with scouring the internet and mail inserts for coupons. I am all about trying to save where I can when I can. I’ve not totally mastered the art of coupon-shopping, but I think I do a decent job nonetheless.
Then I checked the account and figure up how much money I had available for groceries and fuel for the truck. After a quick bowl of cereal, I was out the door and off. Three hours later, I came home having only broken my self-imposed limit by $10. Not bad; thanks to the calculator I’d tucked in my purse. Tax always throws me here, though. In Texas there’s no tax on groceries. Here, the tax is different on groceries than from other items, and its that discrepancy that got me.
I had a hard time getting motivated to tackle my next task: clean the house from top to bottom. I liked too many shows on TV tonight, and they kept beckoning to me to come sit on the couch instead of work. Instead, I took a break to fully watch one show. All the rest were background noise.
Bathrooms have been scrubbed, all floors cleaned, kitchen clean, guest bedroom vacuumed and fresh sheets on the bed (I have guests coming!), my own sheets cleaned and put back in place, office relatively clean (as clean as it’s going to get), and a million other little tasks that have been needing to be done… got done.
See, I generally save my cleaning for when my husband is on the road. And even with that, I usually leave it for Friday or Saturday. However, as I said, I have guests coming, and the job had to be done early.
It feels good to be lounging on the couch with my laptop, sipping a glass of wine, looking around at my clean house knowing it looks good. Knowing that now I can relax and enjoy my company. Knowing that its one more thing off my to do list…
…until next weekend. When many of my tasks will come due again.
It never ends. My hats off to those women who keep a clean house while raising children and holding down a full-time job. I know you can say its a labor of love. I know what I did today is because I am both proud of my home, but also because I want to open my home to the people I care about and know they’ll feel comfortable.
But I’m beat! Kudos to those who juggle all angles of domesticity. It’s a lot of work, and I admire every one of you.