There was a time when a trip to J. Crew could brighten even my darkest of days.
Until December, I worked just a few short blocks from the flagship store in Rockefeller Center. It almost became a ritual for me to stop by after work and check out the constant changing SALE section.
With my head down, not to make eye contact with the sales associates for fear that they would recognize me from the days past, I would make a bee line to the back of the store. Wednesdays were the best days. Not only would they completely rotate the inventory, but also an extra 25% to 50% was taken off at the register. It was heaven. Beautiful linen skirts, adorable cotton dresses, buttery leather belts all at ridiculously low prices. “$9.99 or less” was my mantra.
After abstaining from J.Crew for close to three months, I decided to take a peek at the SALE section yesterday afternoon. I walked in with my head high. After all, I hadn’t seen these people in months and had nothing to hide! Like a woman on a mission, I scurried past the tourists and hurdled small children to get to my favorite section. But when I reached the end of the store, all that I saw was regularly priced goods. “I am not paying retail,” I thought. “Those skinny jeans cost a little less than my weekly unemployment check.” So, I turned around, with my head down, and left the store.
On my way home, I began to question just what had happened to my once Mecca. I remembered recently reading an article that said the Obamas frequent J. Crew because of the “reasonably priced fashion.” That made me wonder- if this is reasonable for them, what is reasonable for me?
Frustrated, I decided to stop in to Duane Reade and grab chocolate. While there, I also grabbed a bridal magazine, a pack of gum and a birthday card. My bill came to $9.98.
At least, even in these tough economic times, I am sticking with my mantra.