How do you Indulge?
(Originally Published: March/April 2007)
Buying expensive jeans
I was brought up to bargain hunt, the queen of $3 earrings. So when I heard that fellow shoppers in Chicago were snapping up jeans for more than $150, I was shocked. Curious, too. What makes denim with designer names like Seven For All Mankind so special? I needed to know. I went to Krista K boutique in Lincoln Park and left—with two pairs, one from Meli-Melo and one from Citizens of Humanity. The salesgirl praised how each made me seem 5 pounds slimmer. The grand total? $225. Yikes! I'd never spent that much on clothes.
It took a few weeks, but then the jeans seemed, well, justified. Was my guilty conscience tricking me, or did these jeans actually feel better (aside from the compliments)? A year later, I'm hooked. I frequent The Blues Jean Bar, with more than 200 styles for women, most going for $175. Patrons order at a long, wood bar: a fitting setup for a vice. I still shudder at the cost. But overall, I'm OK with my ensemble. My jeans are like a car payment, but my sweater cost only $15. And my earrings, $3.
- Contributing writer, Kelly Aiglon, recently found a cool metallic-gold handbag for $1
Faking a sick day
Ask anyone: I'm honest to a fault. But when Mom called with tickets to the Oprah Winfrey Show in Chicago, what could I say? My employer at the time had a policy: no vacation days without notice. So I did something I'd never done. I called in sick. But I did it for Mom...
Our seats were behind Oprah. Mom was disappointed because we didn't have the best view. I was worried because we'd be on camera. But since the show was live, there was little chance my boss would see his "sick" employee in Oprah's audience. I gave the camera a little smile. It felt good to have a play day. Later, I realized the show reran at night, and the next day, my boss commented on a news story, adding, "It's just like something you'd see on Oprah." I froze. What are the chances?
- Copy Chief Kendra L. Williams' New Guilt: Screening Mom's Calls During American Idol.
Escaping to the woods
A good dad would be home on a Saturday, chatting with his wife over coffee and scribbling in coloring books with his little girls. But me? I'm tromping through waist-high grass before dawn, hoping to see nobody for the rest of the day. I like empty prairies and shadowy woods. Alone. I wait for deer or turkey to walk by with no clue I'm there. That's hard to pull off with 4- and 6-year-old girls shrieking over flowers and stacking acorns so they'll be easier for squirrels to find. So I usually go solo in places like southeastern Ohio's Dysart Woods Laboratory, an obscure virgin forest with oaks 4 feet wide and 140 feet high. But I'm not totally selfish. Sometimes, I take home a few acorns for the girls.
- Managing Editor Trevor Meers' World is Changing, Thanks to the Arrival of a Barbie Fishing Rod.
I'm addicted to kitchen gear: smooth-handled knives, fruit peelers, bent frosting spreaders. No matter that I have a kitchen full of everything; I need more. Like the Good Grips mango splitter. It's a lovely thing the size of a saucer, with cushioned black handles and a stainless-steel blade shaped like a mango pit. It splits a mango and removes the pit in one easy motion. Should I ever need to split one, I'm ready. How did I ever go without?
- Senior Food Editor Diana McMillen Now has Her Eyes on a Flooding Cutting Board