Tuesday, November 11, 2014


A few weeks ago I got a letter from the IRS. Opening it with all the trepidation one reserves for communications from Internal Revenue, I found an unexpectedly nice surprise. I'd done my math wrong on my taxes and they were going to be sending me money back.

Last week I got the check, a whopping twenty three dollars and five cents!

Overwhelmed with my new found riches, my next thought was: what to do with it? Not wanting a repeat of the lawnmower episode, I decided that this money was going to be spent on something entirely frivolous. I considered my options. Fine dining was out, too expensive. I considered going to the dollar store, where I'd definitely get the most bang for my buck, but didn't think I'd find anything sufficiently glamorous. The dollar store is great for sponges and wrapping paper, but I wanted something girly and unnecessary, preferably with sparkles.
So I went to Rice Village, where I hadn't been in months. If you don't live in Houston, Rice Village is a shopping complex located near Rice University. It is somewhere between hipster (all those college students) and yuppie (it's located in West U., one of the more expensive enclaves in the city), so there's a range of things available. 
Shopping Trip Rules
  • The item purchased cannot cost more than $23.05
  • The item cannot be practical.
  • The item must be girly in some way. 
I also happened to arrive in time for the Rice Village Flea Market, where I briefly considered a porcelain flower necklace, but decided it was too expensive ($25) and I don't really wear necklaces anyway. There was also a booth doing very pretty silver filigree, but that was far beyond my price point.
Urban Outfitters had peach scented hand cream, in a plastic peach. It fit all  my criteria, but it reminded me too much of middle school. I let it pass.
I briefly considered an infinity scarf in two shades of raspberry, but when I tried it on, it looked like I was being strangled. Besides, scarves are much too practical.
Since I can't pass a bookstore without going in, I visited Half Price Books. I didn't find anything sufficiently precious, but I had an amusing time listening to a young man trying to impress with tales of his travels. "I moved to Austin, where they taught me to, you know, be cool." - Actual quote. He wasn't bombing (though that line deserved it) but he wasn't really getting anywhere either. I hope he stepped up his game.
Those who know the Village, would think I'd go to The Chocolate Bar, purveyors of all things cacao, but honestly, I'm not that into chocolate.
I found the new Savory Spice Shop, which was interesting and definitely in budget; but spice blends are much too practical.  I was tempted by a nutmeg grater though.
I ended up at Sephora, which really, is where I should have started. If you can't find something girly and silly in Sephora, you aren't trying. The problem is staying under budget. I ended up purchasing a variety pack of facial masks.  Not as glittery a purchase as I'd been envisioning, but still brightly colored, and bound to make me feel good for at least 5 hours (the variety pack has 5 masks in it). And I got a Dior mascara sample tossed in for free! It came in at just over $20; enough left over for a celebratory diet coke.

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