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The Green Goddess - Changing the World One Shopper at a Time

The goddess has been bad. One of my many weaknesses is self-control, or lack thereof. I have no will power to keep on driving past the cute boutique. Like a heroin junkie I need to shut that screaming monkey up. I will rationalize to myself every time I pull into my dealer’s parking lot. “Just pop in and pop out; leave the purse in the car ’cause you ain’t buying a thing.” Who’s kidding who? I will drop $200 in 20 minutes. I should be spanked and hospitalized. But as I sit alone, crying in my closet, surrounded by my needless purchases, I know that I am not the only pathetic loser out there; these stores do not survive on me alone (do they?). The clincher is that although my closet is busting at the seams, I still agonize over what I am going to wear.

Pathetic losers are everywhere and we are becoming corpulent. Also known as the need-and-need-mores, we believe that an abundance of everything is necessary and if we don’t get it immediately we are sub-par. What can be done? Let me step down off my shoeboxes and share some ideas. And because I was recently voted president of the pathetic-loser club, I will use myself as an example.

Big fat mistake numero uno: I shop the smalls when I should be in the mediums. “This will fit me when I lose those 10 pounds,” I say and, bam, 50 bucks later I’m the proud owner of a blouse that won’t ever be worn. One answer to this problem: Maintain my weight (how does one express the sound of choking and laughing out loud?). The better solution is to accept who I am, just the way I am. How Celebration Circle of me.

Number two: Banking on trends is a big no-no. If you’re old enough to buy a cocktail, back away from the skinny jeans, lacy mini prom dresses, and half tights. Stick to neutrals and accessorize with a few trendy things. A little won’t break the bank and you can still get into that R-rated movie. Most importantly, you won’t be stuck with a ton of crap that had a life span of 10 minutes.

A few more tips:
• Look in the sales rack first and do major shopping at the end of the season.
• Shop vintage; not only can you find great deals, but it will be uniquely you, and you are great!
• Don’t pay with credit cards. These traps can get me — I mean you — in all sorts of trouble. Can you say fluctuating interests rates? Get a debit or Visa check card that has daily limits, no interest rates, and that deducts purchases straight from the bank. No cash, no sale.
• Take inventory of what is already at home. Keep the good, re-style the OK, and donate the stinkers. Find a good tailor that can make some of those dumb- dumb buys wearable.
• Multi-task your wardrobe. With a little imagination and ballsy attitude a lot of summer things can be worn all year, especially in Texas. Buy with the intention of going to work and going out in the same outfit — um, unless you are a stripper.

What is that Groucho Marx line? “I wouldn’t want to belong to any club that would have me as a member.” How poignant, because I hear that the smart-shopper club is looking for new members and today I am changing my naughty ways.

Happy shopping.
— GG

p.s. Boutiques with good deals include Dahlia and Penny Lane, both in Alamo Heights. They have $20 baskets that are filled with great T-shirts and more. Francesca’s in the Quarry is all-around inexpensive and offers one-stop shopping. Jive Refried in Southtown is hands-down the best vintage in town and owner Agosto is so helpful. Just down South Alamo Street is Euphorium. It doubles as a hair salon but owner extraordinaire Angelina is a master at re-styling clothes and has an aces seamstress.

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