06 August 2006

Tax-Free Chaos

This weekend is Tax-Free Weekend in Texas. Apparently this happens every first weekend in August, as the state graciously agrees not to collect sales tax on clothing to encourage parents to boost the economy by buying new school duds for the kiddies. Most stores add to the savings (and the lure to the mall) by putting everything on sale.

The nice thing is that it applies to parents & even singles like me. The catch is, that you have to get up at 0-dark-thirty if you want to avoid the chaos of a million mommies with 2.3 unleashed kids each.

So I was at the mall early enough that there were still parking spots in my 'favorite' parking section. I have a Speed-Shopping technique that basically involves taking one of everything presentable, and trying it on. I'm very happy to say that none of the stories I shopped today had any crazy ideas about "limit x items per fitting room," because there's pretty much no way I could have accommodated that sort of limit in my Speed-Shopping technique.

The technique usually results in purchasing about half of what you try on, because that's about the fraction that actually looks as good on a lumpy human being as it does on a hanger. Having arrived at the store fairly early, I managed to get checked out with no line, no waiting. (Cha-ching! There goes $300.) However, I had such a large bag of goodies that I didn't want to carry it over to the next store in the mall, so I went out to the car in the now-full parking lot where a line of cars followed me as I walked, hoping to snag my parking spot. But I wasn't leaving... just loading the trunk...

At the next store, I managed to find another pile of "needed" clothes; then I found a lovely Brighton belt (ok, that one was a special treat). At one store I tried on a lot but bought nothing because I could not justify buying any $89 items (not on sale!) when I had just filled my bags with complete outfits for less than that. Plus, some of their cutest items were more than $100 -- thus not qualifying for the tax-free deal. Go figure: I'm a cheapskate! Anyway, I'll watch for those items now in the store's outlet.

I have promised myself that the result of this trip will be a closet-cleaning of all the stuff that I have moved 2x from New York and then Phoenix because "I might need it in my next real job." Mom brilliantly points out that in Houston it's unlikely I will need the 30 heavy wool sweaters that I have stubbornly refused to give up "because I love them." And since I have not had to wear a suit for any reason since I started here, I can probably Freecycle most of those, even tho they are "pretty" and "expensive to replace."

Anybody have any other favorite excuses for not getting rid of stuff that you have not worn for 10 years? heh

By the way, my maid, Ruby (the Roomba), has vacuumed 2 rooms of the house while I've been writing this. Seriously, I love this thing.

1 comment:

Robbie said...

Yup! You've crossed over to the Texas life if you're shopping Brighton. Ha!

I have problems giving up clothes too. I have a closet full that don't fit but I keep thinking when I lose weight... And, I've done it before but still didn't wear some.

What I've been doing is donating a grocery bag a week that way it's less painful than doing all at once.