So, last year I came really, really close to ordering a bright-pink parka from Lands' End. I've had the same navy-blue-almost-black parka since 1995 (that's 13 years, yo), and if that's not justification enough, it has this crazy hood that a.) never fastened properly to begin with (cut me some slack; the parka was a gift. I didn't pick out a parka with a non-functional hood on my own), and b.) has since ripped halfway off and now won't cover my head.
I know; that's pretty sad, isn't it? And I live in MINNESOTA! And I have young children (so I'm constantly outdoors WITH them, taking them to the bus stop and going ice skating with them and whatnot)! It's not as if dressing for winter weather is optional for me!
Plus, winter is generally so difficult for me and my temperamental brain chemicals (oh, the horrible dark and the bone-chilling cold....doesn't it just make you want to crawl under a blanket with a box of cookies?), I really wanted a bright, cheery winter jacket. Where I live, everyone's parkas are black, navy, or brown. Dark, dark, dark. That's not what you need in the winter, people! You need cheerful, happy colors like BRIGHT PINK! That should be obvious.
But, though you may not be able to tell with all my online shopping for cute clothes, I am extremely frugal by nature. (These cute clothes I buy? Are CHEAP clothes. I never pay full price. And I never, EVER pay for shipping.) My frugality comes from growing up with no money, spending six years in graduate school with no money, spending a few more years with my husband finishing HIS grad school (with no money), and then giving up a paid career to be a stay-at-home mom with a grantwriter husband (no money).
So, even when the cute, bright parka was marked down to $70 from $140 in January, I didn't buy it.
But you guys. This year, right now, that same bright-pink parka is on sale for $40. Down from $140. And the description says it's designed for temps as low as -35 degrees. Remember, I live in MINNESOTA. Minus 35 degrees is not as crazy to us as it may sound to you. Obviously, there was no way I could NOT order it this time.
But then it occurred to me: If I have a bright-pink parka, I will look like an insane person when I wear my red skinnies or my colored cords. Insane. Can you picture it? Take a moment.
I mentioned this conundrum on Facebook, and my friend Margaret, one of my favorite fellow moms ever, who has three teenage daughters, said, "You are the parent of small children. The insanity train left the station a long time ago."
I ordered the parka.