May 09, 2008

Working to Consume, Economic Stimulation, and More Deals

Meet my new (pre-loved) 2006 Black Balenciaga Day with regular hardware. I don't have it yet but the bag (tucked safely in her dustbag) is en route to me from Saudi Arabia. I promise to explain below.

The last few weeks have been hectic as I strove to wrap up the three courses I taught this Spring and prepared to begin two more next week. But the money from this extra work, plus economic stimulation, PLUS another successful bag sale (wherein, I made back what I paid last year plus a chunk extra because the color was rare, and the bag was in great condition!) means that my impending trip to NYC for a conference (and the usual shopping) will not break the bank! It also means that the bulk of my spring indulgence debts are going to be eliminated and my usual end-of-summer-economic-slump (from not getting paid between the end of June and the end of September) will be a non-issue if all goes according to my planned budget!

But in practicality, taking on extra work to enable further consumption is not without its pitfalls. While I will only be teaching these two courses over 6 weeks, I accepted assignments that occur on two different campuses, through two different universities on the same two days each week. One class starts at 9am and the other ends at 9:15 pm. That will be taxing, physically because I try to remain energetic and engaging in lectures and discussions. Although I have taught them both before, condensed summer sessions will require that I retool my lectures and exercises, not to mention the syllabi schedules. All of this equates to hours I could have otherwise spent working on my research project and/or spending time with loved ones.

I'll still be working less hours per week than if I had an office job, but if I include the hours I should spend writing/editing/reading then it quickly becomes more than full time. And if I consumed less material goods, the extra teaching assignments wouldn't be necessary. The extra hours I'd have would translate to polished manuscripts able to be submitted for review or even publication. All of this gives me immense guilt and internal conflict over my consumer behaviors and career status as an unpublished phd candidate.

The silver lining is that because the classes I opted to teach meet Mondays and Wednesdays, I will have Memorial Day off! AND due to my conference trip, I also have to cancel one Wednesday. Despite working 17% less than the course assignments specify, I will still be paid the same amount.

But enough exploration of how I acquire funds to facilitate my material indulgences. On to the consume or consumed stuff!

On ebay, I found the matching pillow shams for the new summer-weight quilt.

They were less money than some of the others listed but still more than they would have been at gabriel brothers (where the quilt was purchased). I feared never tracking them down and it bugging me forever, so I jumped on them.

I also found cheap, fancy, NWT Wacoal bras to upgrade my intimates and systematically eliminate the poor-quality, ill-fitting Victoria's Secret bras I amassed over the years due to semi-annual sale goggles. Many of the Wacoal styles are not the sexiest looking bras. I was able to find some lacy, attractive ones, but the "Keep It Classic" is my favorite, technologically speaking.

I bought the others from Saks, for more money, but I rationalize that I was paying for a level of service. The price I paid included lots of attention to detail, personal assistance, and the assurance of being fitted by a woman who knows boobs and bras. Now that I know what works, I can find them without running the financial risk of trial and error e-shopping.

Finally, (as indicated at the start of this post) I took a major leap this week. I am still sort of embarrassed and excited to admit it. But as a member of The Purse Forum's marketplace, I occasionally have access to exciting deals on authentic, pre-loved handbags. And after scoring the extra teaching gig, I decided to bite.

This will be the second bag I own that I regard to be way out of my socio-economic league (the other is a Chloe I got on major discount in January of 2007). It will be my first Balenciaga. I hope I get it in time for my New York trip because I think the Day will be the perfect carry on, carry all bag. And the comforting thing about buying such a ridiculous bag is I know the brand's ability to retain value on authentic items. Although I got a deal due to a variety of circumstances, I could easily re-sell and make back what I paid (plus more, if I really needed it).

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