Updated: Nov 16
My teaching semester ended last week. Which means I am in my transition period.
I would love to be able to tell y’all that the second my grading is done, I run out of that building like my hair is on fire, but no. It’s always a whimper instead of a bang. I finished my grading. I entered everyone’s grades. That was all.
But my body was still revving from all the stress from grading… still humming and repeating phrases in my brain like, “Generic introduction”, “Awkward sentence”, “Stop using the word unique!” (Honestly, y’all, I have a newfound hatred for the word unique based solely on the fact that every student uses it in nearly every paragraph.)
The transitional phase is always interesting. Sometimes it appears in strange dreams where I am herding my students like cats. Other times I get a splitting migraine. Sometimes I am full of energy and want to exercise. Other times I obsess over my summer writing plans. And sometimes – the more fun times – I start shopping.
Brandi Be Shopping. Or thinking about shopping. Or planning to go shopping. When I am like this, I am solely focused on acquiring new things.
I guess, technically, it started on Launch Day. I was anxious, so I drove to Sephora to pick up a hydrating face mask, and ended up purchasing it, a rose quartz face roller, and some Vitamin C serum. I then walked next door to Lululemon fully anticipating making a snide remark to a salesperson about how they don’t accommodate plus sizes, but the salesperson foiled that plan not only by producing the pants I wanted but also by being incredibly cool and encouraging about yoga for all bodies.
And that led me to thinking about how I wanted to spend my summer days – in yoga pants. But what about the vacation in June? And Miss M.’s wedding in Florida? I needed a dress. I needed to replace the bikini top I lost last year. I was out of face primer, and I had been slapping the moisturizer bottle against my palm for the last week for the final dregs. I’ve now learned how to squeeze a tube of toothpaste completely dry.
All the time focused on teaching, grading, writing, launch week, and–you know–raising those kids who are running around my messy house, meant keeping myself restocked with everyday items had been placed on the back burner. That time was over.
And yes, purchasing toothpaste isn’t really a shopping spree. But it’s kind of like opening a gate and letting the horse out. I didn’t just purchase one replacement bikini top – I bought two. I ordered three pairs of pants from Old Navy and when one pair didn’t work, I returned it to get that money back but walked over to Nordstrom Rack where I found two pairs of shoes. I needed something new to sleep in and also bought a wrap sweater to wear in the studio when Hubs drops the house temp down to the mid-60s. I liked those items so much, I bought another in the same size and color as a backup.
Slone’s gonna laugh if she reads this, but I honestly do not see myself as a fashiony person. My goal is not to make a statement but to look somewhat put together. I don’t enjoy shopping as a hobby. But sometimes there is satisfaction in the hunt. And while for others the hunt is digging through sales racks and finding deals, mine is usually finding the obscure, specific thing that I believe will hold up to my rough treatment of my belongings. Coffee spills wipe right off black leather bags, denim goes right in the wash, and a good pair of boots look good with everything and can be resolved when I wear them out.
Some people treat shopping like a competitive sport. Hubs is like that. It’s not about having the thing, it’s about getting a brag-worthy price for the thing. He looks forward to Black Friday, Amazon Prime Day, Promo Codes, Kroger points, Bath and Body Works coupons in the mail, and Kinja Deals. I can never remember to offer a coupon or a promo code, so when I tell him that I ordered something through my Rakuten app for cash back, he feels the excitement that I don’t for $2 in cash back.
And while I don’t see my wardrobe as my canvas, I do love aesthetics and lookbooks. My most recent Pinterest indulgence is my modified Trent Crimm lookbook. I am a huge Ted Lasso fan, and every moment Trent Crimm is on the screen, I am admiring his look. The T-shirts, the blazers, the trousers, the leather messenger bag, the modest black Moleskine notebook… every look is perfection. I have a collection of images and have modified my purchasing habits to help support this look for teaching next fall. I'm shopping Trent Crimm
Shopping Trent Crimm look:
The Blazer: I actually already have a great black blazer. I wore it recently when I wanted to announce my presence with authority to a group of students, and also paired it with a silk romper and some platform sandals.
The shoes: I picked up these pointy heels from Nordstrom Rack. They are surprisingly comfortable and go with basically everything. I also have a pair of black booties from Christmas that I still need to break in.
The bag: I have not purchased this, but it might appear on a birthday wish list. This bag comes from the Coach Outlet. It shares a slight resemblance to the famed Birkin bag, a dream I gave up on long ago (while the Chanel flap bag dream is still alive and kicking).
Currently, I can already feel the transition period starting to pass. I’m spending less time on my Rakuten app and more time in my journal. Soon I’ll find a different project that occupies so much brain space and time that I’ll forget to buy conditioner or some other essential upkeep product. And if I am smart, I’ll make the time to treat my face to a hydrating mask while wearing my new heels. I bought them. I might as well use them.
Read Books. Wear Boots.