Saturday, October 10, 2009

Green Goodness (aka Conspicuous Consumption)

This is my fourth year volunteering at the Green Festival, and I have to say, it's been my favorite year yet. Not necessarily because the festival was better--just because I had a better time.

The volunteering was good. I spent 5 hours working on Friday morning doing what I do best: organizing things. We started by folding and stacking T-shirts in same-color piles, to be sold during the festival. When that was done, we moved on to consolidating all excess T-shirts into boxes. I also had my first experience with zip ties--oh, so gratifying! And after the 5 hours, free admission for the duration of the festival!

I went alone this year, which was an infinite improvement over the first two years, both of which I spent in the company of at least one person who moped and sulked the whole time we were there, and last year, when, due to icky weather and depression, I decided not to go at all. So this year I was free to browse at my own pace and spend annoying amounts of time deciding whether or not to buy various combinations of items. And buy I did. Even though I make a point of avoiding having too many possessions, there are times when I just want to gloat over my material acquisitions. This is one of those times.

I went there with the goal of finding a new winter shirt, a pair of earrings, and possibly some shoes. When I got there, I realized I didn't like the winter shirts very much, it was silly to buy new earrings when I have plans to make some in the near future, and the shoes were way out of my price range. So instead, I left with a skirt and a pair of gloves. They were frivolous buys totaling 65 dollars, but oh-so worth it! The skirt is khaki color, pure hemp and cotton, and has a scene of clouds and birds printed on it! The gloves are fuschia, alpaca wool and outrageously long, which means I can keep my arms warm and still wear short sleeves! And best of all, they were for a good cause!

OK, I realize no one is as excited about my new possessions as I am, so I'll refrain from telling you all about the stuff I got for free, which includes brochures from a number of worthy organizations I'm glad to have discovered, and -- oh, wait, I'm refraining. But I just can't refrain from sharing the thrift store success I had on Monday. After all, pre-owned stuff? Very green.

That day, I went to the thrift store with a donation of purses (purged in order to avoid having too many possessions--oh, the irony!) and went home with two new tops and three sets of hair clips for a total of thirteen dollars! The hair clips were an especially amazing find, because I've been searching forever for little jaw clips that are metal (not plastic, because those always break after a few uses). Sometimes I find them, but there are never enough in a set to hold up a bun, which is how I use them. But at the thrift store on Monday, they were selling sets of 2 each of black, silver, and copper metal clips for just 79¢ each! I was able to purchase three sets (6 clips in each color) for less than the cost of one similar set at the store! Victory at last! I also got a cute new blue-and-white striped summer blouse (I justify this purchase because my collection of oversized solid colored t-shirts is starting to depress me), and a black blazer. The blazer was the perfect buy, because with a blazer, you can turn any outfit into a professional outfit -- infinite versatility for just six dollars!

All right! Enough of that! I vow not to buy any more stuff until I put away all my summer clothes and realize that I still need that winter shirt I didn't buy.


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