Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Easy Mark

Yep, that's me.  I'm not that gullible person who clicks on every single Facebook scam link no matter how many people tell me it's a scam. I don't fall for the emails from friends who are suddenly traveling in a far off European or Asian country and have been robbed of all their money.  But there are certain things I am now banned from doing.

  1. I am no longer allowed to stop at kiosks in the mall.  This started one Christmas when I was a minutes away from spending $300 on sea salt products.  Let me tell you, those products were amazing.  My husband's hands were smooth as a baby's butt (obviously a baby with no diaper rash), the cream they put under one eye instantly banished the puffiness, and I don't even remember what else was going to come with this $300 purchase. My husband had more sense than I that day and we walked away empty handed. And with one puffy eye and one fabulous looking eye. The next time I was near a kiosk, I bought my oldest daughter one of their incredible flat irons. But they were called straighteners then.  It straightened AND curled. She was begging for a straightener.  How could I possible resist?  Now fortunately for us, the mall was 2.5 hours from where we lived and I hate to drive, so I didn't get there often.  But then we moved very close to a very upscale, fancy schmancy mall.  I still managed to avoid it most of the time until one day I had time on my own and needed something from Victoria's Secret.  Which meant walking by the many kiosks.  And my hair was a mess and the sales girl (yes,she was younger than me by at least 15 years, so she was a girl) just wanted to show me how straight and smooth my hair could be.  Well, my flat iron was on the fritz, my oldest's daughter's had died, my younger daughter had a cheapie one a friend gave me, and graduation was coming up.  So what did I do? Did I buy one of the damn things?  Noooooooo!  I bought three.  Plus a traveling sleeve and a counter top holder for mine. And did I wait for graduation? No. Did I wait for Easter which was only a month away? No. I was too excited. I gave the girls their gifts right away.  So, now I'm not allowed to stop at mall kiosk.
  2. I am no longer allowed to answer my front door.  Over the years I have been convinced to buy foil art prints, encyclopedia sets, packages of meat, newspaper subscriptions (which usually sit in my front driveway and turn yellow because we don't read the paper and I'm not a couponer), pretty much anything a kid is selling for a fundraiser, and most recently a magazine subscription that cost $50.  I promptly discovered I could get the SAME subscription online for about $15.  But the girl pretty much walked right into the house and sat down and started writing it up,she didn't have any orders yet, the money would help her go - well I don't remember where now - and she would pay the shipping fee, so it was really only $35, so yah okay I fell for it. Except I didn't have any cash and if she had to take a check for it then I had to pay the $15 shipping fee as well.  So I wrote a check for $50 and my husband tried to keep his mocking laughter under control in the other room.  Fortunately the next day I looked at the back of the receipt and found I had 7 days to cancel the order. I felt bad for about 30 seconds and then wrote my letter cancelling.  Someone else has to answer the door now.
  3. I am also no longer allowed to attend parties.  You know the type: purse parties, jewelry parties, makeup parties, jean parties, scrapbook parties, whatever else you can sell out of someone's house parties.  I am, actually, much less of an easy mark at these kind of parties. For some reason it's easier to say no to people I know - probably because they know when my budget is super tight and I don't feel bad eating their food and not buying their stuff.  Unfortunately, though, if there's any leeway left in my budget, I'm likely to buy stuff.  I've primarily made purchases at make-up and scrapbook parties.  I don't wear much jewelry, so something has to really catch my eye for me to buy it.  I don't like to cook, so although I'll admire and covet Pampered Chef stuff I'm too cheap to spend that kind of money on things I won't use that often.  The two biggies that got me were a Mary Kay party and a jean party.  The Mary Kay party was great, and I love the product, and not only did I buy lipstick, eyeshadow, mascara, foundation, eye liner, lip liner and blush, I also signed up to be a consultant.  Let me just say that I gave every single person who ordered from me a discount, gave away too many free gifts, and spent more than I earned.  But it was fun.  The jean party was a big surprise. I don't really like jeans (I grew up in Arizona and didn't own a pair of jeans when I moved to northern California my junior year).  I refuse to spend a lot of money on fancy jeans.  I went to the party simply to be sociable and had no plans to purchase anything. And yet somehow I spent $172. On three items: two pairs of jeans and a skirt. I have many justifications for this.  One being I didn't have any jeans with cute little pockets like everyone else in my office and all of the Real Housewives of Placer County wear.  Another being my Old Navy denim skirt was really too short to continue wearing to the office and the new one was much more work appropriate.  Even if it is slightly too big - I love that skirt.  In my own defense, I will say I put back a fourth item.  These were jeans with cute little pockets that brought a cowboy theme to mind.  Apparently my butt looked FABULOUS in them.  But I could pull the waist out far enough to shove a pillow folded in half down the front of my pants.  I enjoy comfort - I don't like skin tight jeans - but these were just over the top too big and I didn't want to spend $67 only to have to attempt to have the jeans altered. And I don't like cowboy themes. So despite some serious pressure to purchase said jeans, I put them back.  And went home to listen to more snickers from my husband as I told him how much I spent. I'll probably still go to parties and spend too much money.
Next time I'll tell you all about my addictive personality.  :)