Goodbye, Ann. It’s Not You, It’s Me

My heart has that heavy, melancholy feeling today.  It’s like the feeling when you say goodbye to your friend who is moving to the far suburbs, and you promise to have play dates and meet half way all the time, but your heart knows you won’t. (Because your heart is realistic and has inside knowledge about how lazy you are.)

I know I’ll still see her, but it won’t be the same.  I knew we were moving apart emotionally. I tried to walk the line between admitting the truth and pretending we’d have a few more seasons together.

But I am starting to think we won’t.

It’s fair to say I am in withdrawal. It’s not quite Jamie Foxx’ portrayal of Ray Charles in the biopic of the late singer, but I’m a little itchy and twitchy, because I’m breaking up with Ann Taylor and Loft.*  We’re going cold turkey, people.

It’s a little addiction I started when I worked downtown all the time and needed lawyer-y clothes. Back then, I had disposable income and a sterling sense of entitlement that came from not enjoying my job but working really hard.

But 21 months out of my law practice days, and it hardly makes sense to even walk in there. Where am I going in raspberry-colored slacks or a charcoal sweater set?  Carpool pick-up in my new fringey shawl?

There’s nothing wrong with having cute clothes, but I was still buying way more business casual clothes than I needed– considering I didn’t need any.

Last week, I crossed the Rubicon with this soft addiction to trendy (by Midwest standards) clothes. I gave my hard-earned $25.00 savings cards to Jeff.  Those cards are the lifeblood of my relationship with Ann. They have kept me coming back, because it’s not that hard to find 50.00 worth of full-price merchandise, and then BOOM! Just like that: $25.00 off.  That’s like 50%.  Now, I’m not a math major but that’s a good deal.

The problem?  I don’t need anything.

Not only am I not really going anywhere, but I already have things I’ve never worn. And this is terrible for my reputation around here as a responsible consumer.

So I gave the coveted savings cards to Jeff.  And, in a moment of weakness when I wanted them back– to “give to a friend,” I learned he’d already thrown them away.

Jeff thinks it's funny how hard I was still trying to hold on.  Addiction much?

Jeff thinks it’s funny how hard I was still trying to hold on. Do all of you guys think my agony is funny too?  Just wondering.

Look at Mr. Money Saver throwing out real-ass money!  The nerve on him. I am just kidding.  (Hi, Jeff, kiss kiss– don’t mind me going through the trash out back with the rats and rotten pumpkins! I am looking for something very important!)

Maybe it’s not for forever.  Maybe someday Ann can help me out if I need a work wardrobe (*shudder*) or if I have a legitimate need for a little black shift. But for now, I’m gonna take my itchy twitchy self into my own closet and make up outfits composed of clothes I already  own to wear to exciting places that only exist in my imagination.

* I can’t help thinking this would be so much cooler if my addiction was to H&M or Neiman Marcus or Chanel.  But you know me, I am all about keeping it real.

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35 thoughts on “Goodbye, Ann. It’s Not You, It’s Me

  1. So now wouldn’t be the time to remind you that AT and Loft sell jeans and sweaters and other such items that aren’t necessarily only in the category of business/business casual? I’m afraid my love for either of these stores will never end. But I do restrict most of my purchases to their outlet stores, or at minimum a sale. If you really need to break this addiction, feel free to send those still-tagged clothes in your closet to your adoring fans.

    • Ha! I got those savings cards from buying colorful cords (mustard and fuschia) and sweaters. So just don’t tell me about the new stuff that would be appropriate for a SAHM. Man, this addiction will be harder than coffee!!! I bet you look snazzy.

  2. First Netflix, now this?!?! You are a rock, girl! By the way, I have also given up Netflix because of you.

    Ironically, I am headed to Dallas tomorrow to go to Ann Taylor Loft to get a new suit for a public speaking gig. Is there any message you’d like me to give her?

    • I know. I tried, but my boobs were always too big. Or at least my left one, but that’s a whole other post. I will try again. Cheap is good because I trash my clothes by letting my kids snot/spit up/vomit all over them. Glamorous times.

  3. Loft addiction is serious business. And I’m a bad influence – got my girlfriend addicted after we started dating. Way to be strong, lady. Unsubscribe from the emails too; those are what always get me!

  4. I. Love. Loft. I have a hard core addiction too. There is one a block away from my office, and I go in all the time (Read: Once a Week). Now that my husband and I just bought a house in the suburbs of NYC, renovated said house, and suddenly don’t have quite as much disposable income as we used to, I, too, am trying to break up with Ann. It’s so freaking hard though, because they always put the aforementioned raspberry slacks charcoal sweater set right in the window, where any woman in her right mind would see them and need them immediately.

  5. You broke up with Ann. I broke Michael. Mr. Kors that is. I knew I had to stop buying his leather handbags when it became evident that my toddler was hiding crayons in them. Breaking up is so hard to do.

  6. Yesterday – just yesterday! – I folded up a Loft charcoal sweater set from my teaching days that I hadn’t worn in five years and donated it to a local charity collecting clothes for women trying to reenter the workforce. May they wear it well.

    My current shopping addiction is the Boden catalog. The real danger is that it’s both very pricey and full of cute-Mom-about-town options. Dangerous, I tell you. Right now I limit myself to sale shopping with a coupon, bringing the prices well into Gap territory, but I fear what might happen one dark night with a credit card burning a hole in my pocket…

  7. I am so in your situation. My closet is still full of business casual clothes (cute!) that I haven’t worn in two years. I need to just purge, but I’m having a hard time! But, really, I can always buy new stuff if I really need it, so why is it hard? Great post!

    PS at least you get to keep Costco.

  8. I love that this post is tagged “soft addiction.” My shopping addiction is online. I won’t even whisper the name of my new obsession – I’m not kidding, new boxes are arriving every day and my husband, who never says a peep about my shopping has finally asked, “ok, what’s the deal?” That’s my cue to…I don’t know? Cause I can’t stop.

    • NOoooo, lady, you gotta tell me! I am dying to know, because it’s sure to be hip and on trend and so RIGHT NOW. What is it???? Wait, don’t tell me. No, do. TELL ME.

      • Piperlime. It’s overwhelming at first but I have got it soooooo down. I can shop for the kids, for me, clothes, shoes, purses, jewelry, I can buy expensive pieces or cheap trendy stuff. Free shipping both ways with return label in the box. It’s heaven. I’m in such trouble. Please don’t tell Jeff I told you (hi Jeff!).

  9. Okay. Number one: I still wear my Ann Taylor stuff. From my grad school I-miss-working-and-feel-dowdy days. And my Banana Republic stuff. Not from the they-just-debuted-and-make-safari-stuff days but from my they-just-turned-swanky-and-I-live-in-management-consulting days.

    The stuff lasts. Keep some of it in a box and dig it out in two years. You’ll think you just hit the jackpot.

    Number two: you are still worth spending money and looking good. Your current unpaid job is important and you need to remind yourself. How? Please with the colored cords. You’re better than that. Find a new thing. Great shoes. Fair trade chocolate. Fabulous music. Super duper eco-high-end-paraben-free lip gloss. Sparkling water instead of still. I don’t care what it is. But you can’t hand over the cards that say “I’m worth something” to show that you’ve caved and believe you don’t. Get cards that say “I am worth something to myself,” however you define it now.

    I prefer really good writing notebooks, myself.

    • I’m so deep in a reverie about the old safari days of Banana Republic, I don’t know what to do.

      Ok. Focus. Great tips! I will save it, because some of its classic and timeless blah blah blah. I still love colored cords, but your point is well taken. I need my thing…. When I’m done with these diaper bags I’m getting a nice purse. I love the chocolate idea.

  10. Ann Taylor’s stock went down yesterday. You do realize these are people’s lives you are messing with, right? I bet it’s all fun and games and fluffy knit sweaters to you. What’s next? Costco? Nordstrom Rack? You’re out of control, woman.

  11. I love Loft. Not so much Ann Taylor because I’m not all that fancy, but Loft is perfect for me when I fee like really dressing up. Remember, my office lets me wear yoga pants. Wearing jeans to work is overdressed. But Loft… I do love Loft…

  12. Pingback: Frailty, Thy Name Is Woman (At the Whole Foods Salad Bar) | Outlaw Mama

  13. Pingback: Time For Make-Up Sex With Ann Taylor Loft | Outlaw Mama

  14. Oh. See, I was thinking you were breaking up with LOFT because all those clothes there have been SUCKING for like a year now. WTF is with the neon? And the skin tight skinny (neon) jeans? And the big ugly sweaters with terrible awful color blocking?

    Blech. I broke up with LOFT six months ago. Problem is, I haven’t found me a new love yet. So yoga pants it is!

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