Last night I stopped by a Borders after work because that particular location is going out of business, so "Everything Must Go!" Bad for them, but great for me because I'm ready to start working on my applications now and I wanted to pick up some MBA guide books at 30% off.
I love books; you can find anything you need between the pages of one. Comfort, advice, wisdom, solace, humor, admissions secrets from the best business schools... I scoped out some titles ahead of time on Amazon. (By the way, what did we do before we could go check out the ratings on any given product, anywhere, at any time?) I was pleased to find a copy of two of the ones on my list: Your MBA Game Plan and The Best Business Schools' Admissiosn Secrets. Perhaps later when all is said and done, I'll do some sort of review on each. I've read a few chapters of both of them and so far I've found them to be enlightening.
After I left Borders I wandered over to some of the other stores in the plaza: Anthropologie and White House/Black Market. (This should tell you right now what caliber of shopping plaza we're dealing with.) Oh, Anthropologie...you are my fantasy and my anguish. You should just be renamed the Things You Can't Afford or Fit Into Store. With many places it's one or the other, but that establishment is decidedly both. I guess I could've gotten one of the candles, which is the only thing I've ever bought from there anyway. White Market was a lesser exercise in masochism, although only just. I still couldn't afford the clothes, but at least I fit into them. I felt bad picking piece after piece and letting the friendly attendant shuffle them away to a room for me to try them on, knowing full well that I wasn't going to buy anything.
And as if that wasn't enough, I stopped by the Premium Outlet mall and wound up wandering through the Coach Factory Outlet, something I've actually never done before in the four and a half years I've lived here. I suppose I always passed it and thought to myself, "Why is it always so busy? Who wants to buy a bunch of overpriced bags?". I heave a sigh and slowly raise my hand here--as soon as I stepped in, I got it. I was greeted by no fewer than three people and I wanted, mmm, pretty much everything within arm's reach. It may be overpriced and some of it is clearly not going to stand the test of time, but mostly it is quite at my taste level. I have a sad, dirty canvas purse that I bought at Target several months back that I have grown to loathe, but somehow I managed to escape the Coach store without giving in and splurging on $125 worth of leather, suede, tweed, or any other manner of fine fabric. Truthfully, I don't think that spending that much on a purse is ridiculous if the purse is well made, durable, and likely to last several seasons. It's like a pair of good shoes: spend a little more and get what you want, and if the quality is up to snuff, it's going to last you forever. However, I just couldn't justify that purchase when I have both holiday travel and MBA-related expenses hitting me right now. It came really close, though. That's why I call it shopping roulette.