So What Are We Waiting For?


I learn a lot from the comments on my posts. I really appreciate you commenters for taking time, when I know your life, on-line and off, is busy.

In my recent post about wearing what makes you smile, I showed a cool pair of Doc Marten boots that I said were on my list. Val commented: “And I’ve got my eye on some Doc’s too. Why are we waiting?”

Why indeed? Val’s comment got me scratching my head. What am I waiting for? My birthday? (those come very quickly now). Next paycheck? (it doesn’t make a difference as far as the boots go). Or until I deserve them?

The Docs in question.

I can be a self-denier – for certain things. Not for travel, or medical issues, but for “frivolous” stuff.Β  You know, stuff that will put a smile on my face and that I can afford. There is always something “better” that can be done with the money, right?

Truth is, I can afford those boots. I’ve worked for thirty-plus years, have retirement accounts, and no mortgage. One hundred dollars for groovy boots won’t change our way of living, or the share that goes to worthy causes.

I’m a shrink, so I have to figure out where this self-denial comes from:

  • I grew up in a family that struggled financially, like many. New clothing was bought infrequently, and only to replace worn out pieces, or for Easter Sunday. Therefore, my early programming says that clothes are not worth splashing out for.
  • I am appalled at the prospect of credit card debt as we approach 60. I don’t want to run out of money and not be able to afford home health care in 30 years. But that is not likely to happen, it’s just not.
  • I don’t want to seem selfish and vain. Clothing (but not vacations to NYC) must fall into the “selfish/vain” piece of my brain.
This is my fear! Having more than the acceptable amount of vanity.

Do any of you relate to this way of thinking? Maybe it’s part of being afraid to “sit in the front row”? Or maybe I have a sensible head on my shoulders: nobody every perished for lack of Doc Martens floral boots. But Val and I like them — why are we waiting?

Happy, happy Wednesday, and stay fabulous,

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  1. Thank you a bunch for sharing this with all people you really realize what you are speaking about! Bookmarked. Kindly also consult with my site =). We will have a link change arrangement between us!

  2. Get them get them get them! They're amazing! I love Docs, I have a few pairs and I've worn them since my teens πŸ™‚

  3. What can I say? I wonder whether we wil ever be able to track down the why of our behaviour (or am I insulting you now? Being a shrink?). My parents were pretty poor. We had a good roof over our head and enough food, but frivolous things… no. As you said: clothes were necessities. I always wondered whether I got my shopping addiction from those days. But you react in the opposite way. I cannot stop, you cannot spend. So where is the why?

  4. Yes, I've been thinking along these lines too – how do we decide what is our level of 'acceptable' spending? Where do these ideas come from and are they actually making financial sense?

    PS – those boots are so cute and so you! And they'll last forever. Get the boots!

  5. The first Adrienne who commented said what was on my mind. I, too, am worried I will fall back into the irresponsible ways of my youth if I start telling myself it's okay to splurge on something frivolous. I do splurge on nice things but only when I am very certain they will be worn, used, appreciated and loved. Sometimes those things are practical and sometimes they are frivolous.

  6. I love my docs and they make me smile when I look at them, so I would be an enabler in this situation and say "Get the Docs!!" But then, I'm not very sensible when it comes to spending money, so kudos to you. But still, get the Docs, you won't regret it πŸ˜‰

  7. I think my buying way too much for the last couple of years came from growing up poor with parents who thought clothes were frivolity and then spending a number of years in clothes-deprived size 18-20 land. When I finally got where I could both afford and find clothes I went a little nuts. Now I am figuring out how to swing back the other way. So I can relate.

  8. Sometimes I love the look or idea of things, but when it comes time to part with the cash I know that I'm not going to wear whatever it is enough to justify the money. My question to myself is: where am I going to wear this? The most expensive items in my closet are the ones I buy and never wear, not matter what their price. I usually think about similar things I've owned to make my judgement. Does it have a high heel — I can't count how many unworn high heels have left my closet in the Goodwill bag. Is it cling or low-cut — nope. Is it yellow (not my color) — no again. Can I walk 2 miles in them and still love them — buy immediately!

  9. I want to be in the front row too. Please tell me you went and bought those doc's today. I spotted some PINK patent leather ones yesterday, oh, and are they just calling my name?

  10. I only buy second-hand/vintage so, when I shop, its purely on impulse. I never have any idea what I'm going to come back with! If I buy then its well within my financial constraints so there's no soul searching or dithering about it. If I don't snap it up someone else will.
    I rarely look at websites or read magazines so the temptation to buy something new just isn't there.
    If you can afford it, its made ethically and you're going to wear something to death then I can't see the harm in splurging. xxx

  11. At 43 I own two pairs of pink doc martens. They make me happy, still. My clothes have become the way I paint myself in this world, they elevate my mood, boost my confidence, and definetly screams I care about what I look like…but not in the wrong way. I think you and Val need to say fuck it and get the boots! We all support ya here:)

  12. I'm not a "sit in the front row" type of girl. I'm actually the one who WANTS to be onstage. What are you waiting for, in terms of the boots (or anything else for that matter). Permission. You're waiting for the internal critic to say, "go ahead, it's OK." (The amateur psychologist is now "out", as Charlie Brown's friend Lucy would say.)
    I don't think anyone will die if you buy the boots. Try it and see.
    Cheers from England,
    Rosemary from

  13. This post really made me smile and nod my head! I have temporarily stopped buying b/c my closet is stuffed right now. But would one item make a diff? Go for it GFS!
    Love that pic! Xoxo

  14. great post Patti! I saw your boots in a store yesterday and smiled. you need them! For a long time, I didn't deny myself enough and now I am being more careful. But if I can imagine wearing the things for years and loving every moment of it, well, they are mine!

  15. That photo is splendid! You can get it on a card here, I'm sure I've given it to friends before.
    I definitely have similar thought processes about spending, I also come from a make do and mend background, and while I have shrugged off any notions of "saving things for best" (and thereby not getting good use out of them), I still struggle with paying full price and not looking for cheaper (secondhand) alternatives. I can't remember the last time I bought anything to wear from a "proper" shop and paid full price! But that's just me, I like the thrill of the secondhand bargain hunt, and rarely lust after any particular item which I can go and buy right off the peg.
    But you're right; if you can afford it, and you love the boots, and will wear the hell out of them, then why ever not?
    And it's interesting that things/clothes and other "indulgent" expenditure, like travel, are judged differently.
    How we spend, on what, and why, is really fascinating, Patti!
    So – are you getting the Docs? When?! xxxx

  16. That last photo curiously doesn't show your feet. Judging by that flashing action and the grins on your faces, I bet you've already filled your Doc prescriptions. I'm over my self-denial in many spheres, still suffer in others. That's me in the third car with (insert name here) wondering why we don't have awesome floral Docs too.

  17. Oh, Patti, thanks for this! I love that photo, and I'm wondering if the shoe store is still open so I can go buy those Docs tonight! I guess I feel guilty about being too vain, and the comments my husband might make that will imply that he thinks I'm vain. But $119 is not that much – and I know the boots would be very practical and last a long time.

    I can't wait to see all the posts of new Docs that this post is going to start!

  18. Your obstacle isn't financial or practical — it's psychological. Fortunately you're conscious of that. You get to make choices and those decisions affect the quality of your life.

  19. Oh oh, you might just have jump started the economy over here Patti! What the heck are we waiting for? I'm often guilty of waiting for a sale. But why? I wanna be in the front row having a ball too!

  20. How much I love that last photo. Really a metaphor for how we should be living our lives each day, skirts in the air, holding onto our hats, laughing with friends.

    Life is way too short to be denying yourself something so simple that would make your heart smile.

    Thoughts of guilt need to be banished. They fill up our soul with angst and regret.


  21. Yeah! What the heck are we waiting for?? I'm heading to Anthropologie to spend the gift certificate I've been holding onto for almost a year! Augh!! Thank you and Val for snapping me put of my self imposed clothing diet.

  22. Spending more money on an item because I like it would be frivolous. The question I ask,"Can I afford to be frivolous instead of practical?" I have to wait until I have the extra money to spend on the frivolous. This is typically the thinking process I put myself through. I think it is a result of buying frivolously when I was younger and then regretting it. Now if I wait and still want it probably I will like it for a long time. The delaying the gratification "waiting', seems to work as a barometer.

  23. Yes, I do relate. I too was raised to think vanity the worst sin and we weren't even religious. Do you have a British background? I do and I think it comes from that. The lesson I took away was that one must look appropriate and proper but not like one cares too much. One must not over decorate oneself as that would not be tasteful.

  24. If you buy your floral ones, I'll buy my Union Jack ones. Then we can be totally visible one Monday. And maybe Val can join in on it too! πŸ˜€

  25. I would much rather be laughing my head off in the front row, that be like those ladies in the third. Life is short. Buy the Docs!

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