Monday, September 24, 2007

The Jerk is Me

I have a problem. It is a ridiculous problem, and yet I am obsessing over it. Wanna hear? Sure you do!

Okay, so two years ago for George's fall break we had George's mom take a day or two off work to keep the kids. We had never left them before and I was quite anxious about it. We were going to leave and drive down to Birmingham to stay with our good friends and go to the Auburn game that weekend. It was going to be awesome. But I had major anxiety about leaving the kids while we drove four states away. I was overcoming it, but I mean, we were doing things like getting our will in order in case anything happened to us. Anyway, at the last minute, I balanced the checkbook. And that was a bad idea. Or a good one, depending on how you look at it. It seemed pretty foolish to drive hours away and spend money eating out, going to a football game, going to my favorite fabric stores and George's favorite tobacco store, having a little vacation (even though anyone would've argued that we probably needed it). All of those things are part of Alabama to us, especially when you throw Auburn in the mix, and it didn't seem like we could go and just not spend money especially when you're talking about 20 hours worth of gas. And can you really go to Auburn and not eat at Breezeway? I think not. Can you go without having a sandwich from Traditions? The answer to that is an emphatic no (even though it isn't there anymore and now you have to drive over to Airport Road to go to Block and Barrel Deli- at least you can still get smoked turkey on white, cold with no cheese, with lettuce, pickles, and honey mustard, two double chocolate cookies- one to share and one to eat-, and a coke). And football tickets, shopping expenses, etc. etc. I mean, it was just overwhelming. So we decided not to go. We both cried. It totally sucked. Our friends were a little perplexed but also very understanding. They were even generous enough to send us some extra money so we could at least enjoy our weekend in St. Louis without the kids. I think I must've told this story before, at least in part. Because I think I have expressed the heartbreak of not getting to go home and having to stay in St. Louis, which at that point was a place I could hardly stand (not saying how I feel about it at this point...).

Anyway, we did decide to sort of make the best of it, take advantage of no kids and go places in St. Louis we had wanted to go before. For me this was a place called "The Chocolate Cafe." Because seriously, any place called "The Chocolate Cafe" has to have something to offer even if it's not Traditions. Well, I don't remember the food being so so great, but they have outstanding shakes. George had one called a Brown Cow that was a sort of root beer float and chocolate shake combo. I don't even like root beer, but it was fabulous. It is no more at the location we visited that day, a charming little area in a place called Cottleville that had little antique stores, gift shops, and junk stores all in a few blocks of each other, kinda like ol' Opelika (hope you like it, Opelika), Auburn's next door neighbor. It is at a different location now in O'Fallon where my cousin lives. When my aunt was here for her cancer treatment before she died, we went to the Chocolate Cafe a few times out there. It is sort of in a strip mall right by the interstate now, so it has lost some atmosphere, but the food is really good now and they still have those unbeatable shakes and an enormous bakery case full of all other chocolate goodness. Alas, it is about forty minutes from where I live. Or again, I suppose that is a good thing depending on how you look at it, and if I look at my pants size and my bank balance, they seem to argue that it is indeed a good thing to live far from that place. But back to the Cottleville location that is no more but was two years ago. We walked around that day and came across a store with a darling wrought iron sign outside the door. Here lies the obsession. The sign said "It's Fall, Y'all!" The price tag said $45. George said "no."

George is usually the one to tell me not to worry so much about money. He is usually the one that says it's okay to buy a little something we don't need every now and then. I was really hoping he would be in that frame of mind that day, especially due to my broken spirit. But he was not. And I knew he was right. Sort of. Because if you can hang it ever year, really $45 is a pretty good price, right? And it was just really me. I know you can't picture it, but it was distressed and cottage-y looking like everything else in my house. And well, it said fall and y'all which is just me. And a hundreds of other people, I know, but still. So I thought maybe he'd just come back and get it for my birthday (which was a month away) or something. Or maybe I'll come back when we had more money. Which would be when?- not sure what I was thinking on that one. Anyway, I'm sure we both would've come back and bought six apiece if we would have known how often I would remember that sign. A sign, I know. Such a dumb thing. But I can't get over it.

I finally called today, two years later, and asked the lady if she knew any way she could find that sign for me. She was super nice. She couldn't believe I was still wanting it. I told her I have tried. I have looked for fall wreaths all over the internet and all the ones I like are $100. Most of the ones I see are either plastic or ultra cheesey or just not cute. Actually most of them are all of those things. Or else they're $80. If I'm lucky. I've seen some for nearly $200. And all of this could have been averted, if we had just bought the wrought iron thingy when I wanted it. But we didn't go to Auburn either. And if we had gone, we never would have seen the sign in the first place. But there's no comfort in that. That just makes it a double whammy.

"It's a sad story, one you've probably heard before. But I never thought it would happen to me."

This is the part in the movie when Navin's family drives up in the station wagon and rescues him. And in this post, it's the part where you all comment about how you have an "It's Fall Y'all" wrought iron sign just laying around in your garage and you were hoping someone could use it. Or maybe you know where there are cute and inexpensive fall wreaths? I already checked at Target. But I'm open to other suggestions. I know, this post makes it official, I am a jerk! A wrought iron fall sign, that's all I need, not one thing more.


Anonymous said...

You are not a jerk! I have been thinking about this very thing this past week. The past two years, living in our neighborhood, when my neighbors would put out all their cute and nice fall stuff, I have thought, "NEXT year I'll invest in a nice scarecrow, wreath, haystack, and all the pumpkins I want to give my house a homey fall look." But it is the second "next year" and there is no money and I'm not sure why I think there might be more next year when there will just be more expenses the older our children get/the more we have. That being said, I saw some gorgeous wreaths at a floral shop in Grasslands(across from the Grassland Market), but like the ones you saw, they were $85-$200 dollars also. So, I'm going to attempt to make a cheap, cute wreath next week. Wish me luck!

Love, Elizabeth

rebekah wright said...

I so wish I had that sign for you and I am now going to be on the lookout for one. I agree with you that all the fall decorations are tacky--plastic leaves, etc. but your sign sounds so cute! We don't have cute fall things either and we don't have the extra money for me to replace our dead summer flowers with fall ones. Oh well--maybe one day???!

courtney said...

Well, my mom and I are going to a really cute shop out here in Franklin this week and I'm going to look for your sign. The place is called Rooster Tails, and although it's not super cheap, it's not super expensive either. You're not a jerk. With kids, sometimes we're so focused on what they want and need that when we find something like this it sticks. Mind you, these are usually things we don't need or are too expensive (but, not too too expensive, just out of reach) and they stay with us. If wanting that or thinking about that makes you a jerk, then, I am a cuss word!! I don't spend unnecessarily, but, I think about things for sure.......


lauren said...

see, i like you. you're obsessive like me, but you can admit it! i'm in the same boat as elizabeth, i keep saying "next year".

last year i did buy a bail of hay for $5 at lowes, a few mums and pumpkins at walmart. it was pretty cute for a shoe string budget. but if your husband is OCD about his lawn, please know that the hay will drop weed seeds that will grow in the spring and it may cause a few "heated discussions", causing him to ban the hay this year. hypothetically speaking, of course. :)

i'll blog about it soon, but here is what i'm attempting this year. i can't decide if it's going to turn out super martha/chic-like or super tacky. we'll see! i am making a feather wreath like these:

and then ordering a little "Boo!" door decal from here:

Matt Churnock said...

I almost bought this for you:

but then I didn't want you to feel like you had to use it (it is pretty ugly).

Wait, maybe I will get it for you!

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