Sorry for the absence but I hope you’ll be happy to know that it was partly because I was doing actual paid work – hurrah! I wrote a piece about the geography of dating (why you’re hot in some countries and not in others) and how to make a biscuit that looks like a Wedgewood plate. I also got naked again, this time for a magazine. No, not Playboy.
Yup. Between that and the ‘I’m a money magnet’ mantras, life continues to be weird. In the best possible way.
So my money month is almost over (I’m running behind schedule, surprise, surprise) and I celebrated with a wardrobe clear out.
Kate Northrup suggests selling old clothes you don’t wear because a) it’s a source of cash and b) in Feng Shui clutter is bad because it blocks your capacity to get new things.
So I took a bunch of old clothes to a second hand shop. When I say old, they weren’t really old, there were dresses that still had the labels on them, bought for occasions and never worn, or worn once for a work do. They were all good labels – LK Bennett, Marlene Birger, and a couple of pairs of TopShop skinny jeans that I bought at the height of delusion. They were a 28 inch waist as opposed to my real 30-31 inch waist. There was also a pair of Marni heals that I bought in a sale but which were always too big and fall off nearly every time I’ve worn them.
I tried to skip the whole self-loathing, what were you thinking buying this £225 leopard print dress that makes your arse look huge? stuff – and focus on the fact that I was now making the best of the situation.
I knew I could probably get more money for them on Ebay but even though I’m trying to be more financially saintly, I am still lazy. So I figured I’d take it to my local second hand shop as a compromise. I actually thought they’d be delighted with this collection of stylish swagger. I envisaged them telling me they couldn’t believe I was getting rid of such gorgeous clothes.
Ha! Apparently not. They went through my bag of goodies like it was something the cat dragged in. ‘We don’t do Top Shop,’ they told me, re the jeans. ‘There’s a pull on this seam’ they said about one unworn silk dress (again, me buying something too small). They inspected a chiffon blouse as if they were examining a crime scene. ‘No, I don’t think so’ was the conclusion. They looked at the designer heels and announced: ‘Too battered.’
Two of the dresses were ‘possibles’ but another two were not because they were too summery. ‘Bring them back in a couple of months they told me,’ they told me as if they were doing me a favour.
I joked about how brutal the rejection was and the women looked at me blankly. ‘There’s no point us taking stuff that we don’t think will sell,’ they said. Fair enough.
I realise they were just doing their job but it’s ridiculous how crap this exchange made me feel. I felt like I was going with a begging bowl and they were looking down on me. I felt demeaned and embarrassed.
On the drive home I tried to figure out exactly why this experience humiliated me so much and I think it all comes down to status.
While I actually don’t have much money, especially at the moment, I spend like I do – and that gives me status. The status of going into a shop and buying a cashmere jumper while the assistant wraps it up nicely. The status of being able to flag a cab when it’s raining, instead of standing by the bus. The status of eating out instead of bringing in a packed lunch.
I didn’t realise quite how much I rely on that status bit. I’m not proud of it but I do.
I give to charity shops all the time and that makes me feel all fantastic and generous and saintly. Trying to sell my old possessions felt beneath me – after all, I don’t worry about pesky money, I’m too good for that! – and the fact that they didn’t even want them added insult to injury.
So there, once again, money brings up weird emotions and uncomfortable realisations about myself.
But maybe the Universe is telling me to stop being lazy and to get onto Ebay. Look at me referring to what the Universe is telling me, I’ll be referencing my best friend Angel Gabriel next. It’s a slippery slope I’m on…
The next post will be my last money post, then it’s time for something new… doesn’t time fly?Money, a Love Story: Untangle Your Financial Woes and Create the Life You Really Want